Skip to Main Content

Uses for Barcodes in Inventory Management

barcode inventory management

Inventory warehouses and distribution centers can contain hundreds of thousands of square feet of space filled with row after row of shelved items. The online retail giant Amazon opened a fulfillment center in Ruskin, Florida that measures 1.1 million square feet in 2016! A “Mom and Pop” grocery store may have a tiny storage space in comparison, but each of these businesses will experience tracking issues. With any size inventory there are several challenges to consider. How do you track what is coming in and out? How do you know which of these items are performing well and which are not selling? If any of your items are perishable, how do you keep track of which need to be pulled from inventory first? You thought you had more of this product in stock, where did it go? Using barcodes in inventory management can help.

The Challenges of Inventory Management

The reality of inventory management is that it can be a difficult and time-consuming undertaking. Without proper inventory tracking and control, your business could miss out on sales, lose inventory to shrinkage and undetected theft, or experience product spoilage. Any of these issues can cost a business both time and money! Manually handling inventory also increases operating expenses, taking up vast amounts of time and creating a large margin for human error. All of these are issues that can be addressed by implementing a barcode system.

The Benefits of Inventory Control Systems

Monitoring the flow of your products is vital to understanding what needs to be restocked more often, keeping your business from missing out on potential sales. At the same time, you need to keep an eye out for products that are underperforming, thus taking up valuable space and racking up carrying costs. A well implemented inventory control system allows users to keep visibility on levels of inventory and notifies them when it is time to reorder or return items. Using barcodes as a part of an inventory management system is a low-cost way of ensuring product levels are constantly available. Assigned barcodes can also help track when items are nearing their shelf life.

How Barcode Systems Can be Integrated with Inventory Control

With a barcode system, the location of items becomes constantly available as well. You can use barcodes to track a product from receiving through shipping, shelving, and sale. This is useful in ensuring the number of products ordered or shipped is the same as the number of products received, especially in the case of large shipments containing hundreds or even thousands of units. Should shrinkage be an issue, this information can help determine where in the process products are going missing and for what reason.

Implementing a Barcode System

Manually managing inventory can be time-consuming and costly. The chance of human error in counting, remembering to reorder, or tracking products is high. A software program that utilizes barcode generation and reading is a low-cost, highly efficient way of eliminating error. Simply generate a barcode for a specific product, print it on a sticker, and scan for instantaneous data. Once you decide to implement a barcode system, try Barcode Xpress. Barcode Xpress quickly and accurately reads and writes over 30 different barcode types including 1D, 2D, postal codes, and patch codes. It also reads broken, damaged, and poorly printed barcodes automatically. Be sure packages are accounted for at every step in the process, in any condition.