A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO IMPLEMENT BAR CODES IN YOUR WAREHOUSE
How reliable is your inventory management system? Do you overstock or understock products? Warehouse inventory management can be a complex task, but it doesn’t have to be.
When you implement barcodes in your warehouse, you can reduce errors and increase productivity.
With so many benefits, it is no surprise that most businesses have the barcode system running. Disruptions in global supply chains are getting worse with the pandemic, and improved warehouse management helps businesses keep on track in times of uncertainty.
Barcode systems help companies track their inventory in real-time. But before you decide to install a barcoding system, there are several factors you should consider:
WHY IMPLEMENT BARCODES IN YOUR WAREHOUSE?
Barcode systems are a necessity in the modern business world. They revolutionize how we do business and help companies become more efficient in warehouse management. Implementing barcodes significantly impacts warehousing and distribution.
A barcode system is a set of data encoded and stored digitally in the graphical representation of bars and spaces. Barcode systems in warehouses keep track of goods and materials.
The system is compatible with other software, such as warehouse management software. This helps in automating the entire process and managing inventory.
A bar code system speeds up the entire inventory tracking process. It also increases the efficiency of employees working in the warehouse. They can accurately determine available stock and transactions.
The systems are fast and timely, automating your warehouse procedures like stock taking.
Businesses that rely heavily on their inventory manage many different items and information. Warehouse barcode systems conveniently track your inventory and keep everything in order. It’s easy to implement and will pay for itself over time.
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING BARCODES
It is essential to differentiate inventory from one another in an efficient way. A barcode system uses long and short lines to identify different products. This is an efficient way to organize your products and automatically track their inventory.
How do you implement the system? What procedures do you follow? If you plan to implement barcodes in your warehouse, here is a step-by-step guide.
IDENTIFY YOUR INDUSTRY’S BARCODE STANDARDS
There are two primary barcode standards used in the industry. They are:
- UPC. This is the most widely used. It is a 12-digit number that represents the product. It is used extensively by retailers to track inventory.
- Manufacturers also use the EAN barcode. It is a 13-digit number that contains information about the product. It also features other information like pricing and product availability.
Check the barcode standards for your industry, as they can differ.
In supply chain management, businesses mainly use code 28. The automotive and defence industry uses code 39. Note that not all products may have codes. If you manufacture or customize some of the products, you will have to identify the new code. Regardless of the industry, there is a bar code standard ideal for you.
DEFINE ALL SKU (STOCK KEEPING UNITS)
In a warehouse, there is a need to define stock-keeping units. The stock-keeping units are identified by each product in an inventory database.
In some systems, the barcode is used as the stock keeping unit. It is a unique value used to identify each product in an inventory database. It must be unique across all products in the warehouse.
If some products don’t have one, create one.
The barcode system is suitable for any business. An optimal barcode system should be able to handle any number of SKUs. It should be able to determine the difference between an item that has been purchased and one waiting sale.
It should also be able to track prices, quantities, and locations.
DETERMINE BARCODE INFORMATION
Do you know what information is stored on the barcode? The first three digits determine the type of product it is. For example, if the first three digits are .062, it’s a cleaning product.
The next few numbers represent the manufacturer and item number. The last digit is a check digit that helps to ensure accuracy when scanning the code.
Your barcodes may hold more information like:
- Purchase price
- Vendor details
- Store location
- Variations like size or colour
Depending on your warehouse and product, the information may vary. Include all necessary product and manufacturer information to identify a product.
CHOOSE BARCODING SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
Figure out which types of barcode software exist and how they can help you automate your warehouse.
The most common type of barcode software is desktop scanners. Unlike handheld devices, desktop scanners are not portable. However, they are much more powerful and can scan barcodes from a distance of up to 6 feet.
Handheld scanners are easy to move around. However, they won’t work on a barcode without being moved into place first. Wireless portable scanners are also an alternative to consider.
There are many different types of barcode software. Make sure the software is compatible with your point-of-sale system and accounting software.
IMPLEMENT BARCODE INVENTORY PROCEDURES
You need standard inventory procedures that align with your warehouse operations. To avoid errors in data entry and information management, you need an effective system. Remember, garbage in garbage out.
The metrics you need to determine include;
- Key performance indicators
- Bar code size and placement
- Barcode entry system
- Coding system
Define how you store your products in the store. How are new products assigned new codes? Who assigns them?
Train your employees on the new procedures and warehouse operations. The goal is to make the system practical.
IMPLEMENT A BARCODE SYSTEM TODAY
Implementing a barcode system in your warehouse can be difficult and time-consuming. It doesn’t have to be. If you’re having trouble with this process, our team is here to help.
Datatel Systems is committed to improving warehouse and manufacturing functionality. We bridge the gap between the current accounting software and inventory management. We use the latest technologies and work with experts in the field.
Contact us today to see how we can implement barcodes in your warehouse. We streamline operations in your warehouse and eliminate errors simultaneously!