Has anyone ever told you that barcoding is a difficult and expensive process? They couldn’t be more wrong. But first things first, what is barcoding all about?
A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached – in most cases, individual SKU’s (stock keeping units) – and helps ensure your items can be tracked for accurate and easy inventory management. Scanning technology is constantly evolving, providing the fulfilment industry with even greater choice of data capture solutions. Of course, deciding between a laser scanner or digital imager is often the hardest part of the entire process – but not to worry, that’s a decision left up to your third party logistics provider, so you needn’t even worry about it.
The benefits of barcoding are extensive at best, so we thought you might appreciate a breakdown of the top 3 reasons it might be time you took advantage of barcoding.
- Accuracy and speed
Barcodes eliminate the possibility of human error, with the occurrence of manually entered data significantly higher than that of barcodes. Not only are you reducing error rates by implementing barcoding technology into your systems, you’re also minimising the time taken to do the job too. As your data is captured and received electronically, the exchange is rapid. Did you know? A bar code label of twelve characters can be captured using a laser scanner or digital imager in the same time it takes an employee to manually enter two keystrokes into the data base. And as you’ve probably heard before, time is money! Why spend your own time and money manually entering data (and double or triple checking it as you go), when you could speed up the process, reduce risk of error and have the time to focus on the more important aspects of your business as you go?
- Inventory tracking and data integrity
Inventory management is key to operating an efficient and effective business. Of course, keeping track of your inventory can be difficult at times if you don’t have transparent stock levels to be prepared for upcoming orders. With data available almost instantaneously as items are scanned and logged in your database rapidly and with greater accuracy using barcode technology, you can make more informed decisions regarding your inventory levels. So not only does barcoding provide reliable inventory management, meaning you can replenish your stock levels as required (no more over ordering stock “just incase”), you’ll also receive alerts about the status of pending, current and future orders – and that means saving time and money too. Of course, with accurate data, you’ll find the process of recalling products or managing returns logistics is a whole lot simpler too. If you’re using a third party logistics provider or fulfilment service, using barcoding technology, they’ll be able to quickly and efficiently pinpoint the delivery location of each individual SKU to be recalled and can therefore implement the process with greater speed and accuracy.
- Reduce costs and implement with ease
One of the greatest benefits of implementing barcoding technology is your ability to minimise costs. Ask yourself this – if your business were to ship to the wrong address or input one number wrong into your inventory data system, how would that affect your business? What would be the cost of recollecting that wrongly distributed item? Or what would happen if you think you have 34 of a particular SKU on hand but really you only have 3? One tiny human error can be costly for your business and with barcoding technology readily available, inexpensive and easy to implement, is it worth the costly risk?
Along with the other benefits outlined above, the fact that barcoding is so easy to implement, is another great bonus for you. That means you won’t need to spend any excess time on extensive staff training is a simple task to learn. And what’s more? The barcodes themselves are inexpensive to design and print, can be customised to suit your business’ needs and in a variety of materials and they’re extremely versatile, so you can capture both pricing and inventory data in one scan! Barcoding is accurate, efficient, inexpensive and easy to use all while helping you better manage your inventory levels and data integrity – what more could you want from a business solution?
Of course, if you’d like to know more about barcoding, or you’re ready to save even more time and money by outsourcing your fulfilment needs to one of Australia’s leading fulfilment service providers, we’d love to help. You can always give us a call on 02 9828 0111 (Sydney) or drop us a note. Alternatively, you can find a full list of Coghlan’s services here.