Barcode Scanners: Empower Your Team to Conquer the Peak Season

6 minute read

Warehouses are fast-paced environments, so order fulfillment just can’t afford to skip a beat, especially during peak seasons. With barcode scanners, you can avoid mispicks (pulling the wrong item from the shelf),  the chaos of lost or misplaced items and ensure visibility to improve control of your inventory. Prior to the Christmas holiday season warehouse […]

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Warehouses are fast-paced environments, so order fulfillment just can’t afford to skip a beat, especially during peak seasons. With barcode scanners, you can avoid mispicks (pulling the wrong item from the shelf),  the chaos of lost or misplaced items and ensure visibility to improve control of your inventory.

Prior to the Christmas holiday season warehouse order volumes can double or triple! With Black Friday sales have seen 10-20x orders in just a few days. Imagine your team of workers tasked with moving and organizing inventory, and your workload jumps 10x, are you prepared for this? Barcode scanning can help your warehouse team work efficiently and effectively during these times. Barcode scanning paired with the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) gives your team the power to conquer any challenge.

barcode-scanners

How to use a barcode scanner for peak season success

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, including warehouses, fulfillment centers, and distribution centers. Many companies add temporary staff and extend their hours during peak season, but the rising labor cost and lack of labor make that more challenging. Increases in fulfillment can be a challenge for even the most well-run warehouse, but there are some things you can do to help ensure peak season success. One of these is to use a barcode scanner.

If you still need to start using barcode scanning, now is the time. Barcode scanners can significantly help keep inventory levels accurate and avoid out-of-stock. They can also speed up the fulfillment process, which is essential for the peak season. Here’s how to get the most out of this valuable tool:

Make sure you have a suitable scanner for your needs. There are a variety of barcode scanners on the market, so it’s essential to choose one that will work well for your particular application and streamline your operations

Use the scanner regularly during peak season. The more you use it, the more efficient your operation will become. Some employees may be reluctant to adopt new technology but soon find out it makes their jobs much easier. And when things get hectic, your team will be glad you have the extra help that a barcode scanner can provide.

barcode scanners

Not your Grandfather’s barcode scanner

The problem with barcode scanners when they first came out and in the preceding decades was that they were big, bulky, and could have been more user-friendly. But those days are long gone. You no longer need a two hundred-page manual or a Ph.D. in Computer Science to complete a transaction. Today’s barcode scanners are sleek, compact, and easy to use, even for beginners. There are a variety of barcode scanner manufacturers to choose from, so you can find one that offers the features and functionality you need at a price you can afford.

Wired and wireless handheld barcode scanners

This general-purpose category of barcode scanner is affordable and reliable for warehouse use. These scanners read data and feed it into a computer system or other peripheral device. Wired barcode scanners are ideal for mobile workstations and are less likely to get lost or left behind. If your team requires more mobility, wireless scanners are a better option.

You can find reliable barcode scanners for under $100. Choose a company that provides the support you need. Scanning range and warehouse environment are important considerations when choosing a barcode scanner. Paying a little extra for the rugged model may be worth it.

Wearable Scanners

One of the drawbacks of handheld scanners is they take the functionality away from one of the worker’s hands. Wearable scanners are an excellent solution that keeps both hands free while workers are on the move. Some wearable scanners come with a ring that attaches to the finger for barcode scanning.

Wearable barcode scanners are ideal for healthcare settings where hands-free barcode scanning is necessary. However, they are proving valuable in warehouse environments in terms of improving productivity and accuracy.

Ring Scanners

As its name states, a ring scanner is a barcode scanner that attaches to your finger like a ring. Ring scanners are lightweight and comfortable to wear, allowing users to scan barcodes without having to stop and hold a handheld scanner. This type of scanner is ideal for warehouse workers who are constantly on the move and need to be able to scan items.

Ring scanners are more expensive than other barcode scanners, but they offer several advantages that make them worth the investment. In addition to being hands-free, ring scanners are less likely to be dropped or misplaced. Ring scanners typically have a button on the side that is depressed to activate the scanner. 

Wrist Scanners

This type of scanner attaches to a wearable glove. The operator points the scanner at the barcode and depresses the button with their thumb. Ergonomically, this type of scanner is more comfortable than handheld scanners because it doesn’t require the operator to grip the device.

Both ring and wrist scanners promise to improve productivity and accuracy while keeping employee safety in mind. They require pairing to a mobile computer or another device, such as a smartphone, which may limit their use in some warehouse environments.

All-in-one barcode scanners

All-in-one barcode scanners have a built-in display that provides warehouse workers with information about the products they are scanning. This type of scanner is the evolution of Grandfather’s barcode scanner. These scanners have come a long way in terms of functionality, ease of use, and displays.

These high-end scanners are mobile computers designed for scanning, data capture, and mobility. Most come with the standard keypad as well as touchscreen functionality. All-in-ones have long battery life and are built to withstand multiple drops, although I wouldn’t advise it.

Smart device scanners

When your team is familiar with the device, and when you are onboarding new employees, utilizing technology they are familiar with speeds up training and has them picking like a pro in no time. The Linea Pro NexusConnect combines an intelligent device, rugged casing, and scanning hardware to create an all-in-one barcode scanner that operates on Android or IoS.

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The benefits of barcode scanning

There’s no doubt that barcode scanners have revolutionized the way businesses operate. Barcode scanners have significantly impacted efficiency and productivity by reducing human error, increasing agility, and making information more accessible than ever.

Barcode scanners are especially beneficial in fast-paced environments where mistakes can be costly. By quickly and accurately scanning items, barcode scanners help to reduce errors and ensure that the right products are always going to the right places. These capabilities can add up to big savings for businesses in terms of time, money, and resources.

Agility is a substantial competitive advantage in today’s constantly changing marketplace. In addition to reducing error, barcode scanners also help to make businesses more agile. By allowing companies to track inventory in real-time, barcode scanners enable businesses to quickly adapt to changes in demand.

Finally, barcode scanners also make information more accessible than ever before. By storing data electronically, barcode scanners make it easy for businesses to access information about their products and customers at any time, from anywhere. Data capture makes it easier for companies to make decisions, track progress, and provide better customer service.

barcode-scanners

Harness the power of barcode scanning with the right WMS

It is essential to have a robust WMS that works seamlessly with barcode scanning. When you combine Datapel Systems’ WMS with the proper barcode scanning hardware, you get a comprehensive solution that will empower your business to navigate challenges and disruptions easily, putting you in the best position for continued growth.

The WMS from Datapel provides you with complete control over your inventory. With real-time visibility into inventory movement, order fulfillment capacity, and worker activity, you can simplify your warehouse operations and stay on top of your priorities. Contact us today to learn more about how pairing barcode scanning with Datapel’s WMS can help your business.

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