Since the invention of the modern barcode in the 1970s, the little rows of white and black lines have found their way into just about every retail store imaginable. But they aren’t just used in retail stores; barcodes have found homes in warehouses, office buildings, and airports, among other places. Barcodes can be used for a wide range of tasks and as organizational assistants throughout the business world. The technology required to scan barcodes has also developed quite a bit over the years, with easy to use, wireless handheld scanners available from websites like Shopify. According to Barcodes Inc., barcodes have been one of the most influential pieces of technology of the 20th century via creating a level of efficiency in tracking and inventory management previously unattainable. There are a few different types of barcode scanners available; laser, LED, and 2D imager scanners are all available and they all offer slightly different advantages and disadvantages. Figuring out which is the best for your business is important, but also a decision you will want to think deeply on. You’ll have to do some research in what each kind of barcode scanner is capable of and pick the best one based upon whatever your business needs are.
Barcodes have been used for inventory tracking just about since their creation and they continue to be the best technology for keeping a close watch on your inventory. According to Small Biz Trends, barcode technology is helping you with your inventory through multiple means; it can help you understand demand by showing you what’s selling and what’s not so you can stock the appropriate products in appropriate numbers for your demands. It can help reduce the cost of unused inventory by letting you know what’s not moving, thereby allowing you to know what inventory you need to get rid of to free up space and cash. Your customer service can improve via the ability to get a consumer the exact product they want if in stock, or if not in stock, allowing you to immediately ordering it. Barcode technology is a tried and tested tool of the retail trade, and it’s one you should definitely get for your small business. A single employee with a portable barcode scanner can easily check incoming inventory and keep orders in an organized and easy to use format thanks to the simple act of scanning the barcode on each incoming product.
Barcodes are not just useful for keeping track of all your products, they can also be used for security purposes, regardless of whether you run a small business with less than ten employees or are part of a large corporation with multiple office buildings and hundreds, if not thousands of employees. Barcodes can be used in a combination of attendance and time tracking for employees as well as an added layer of security to help keep traffic away from more sensitive equipment or areas of your business. According to Barcodes Inc., barcodes offer a number of benefits when used for attendance tracking, including elimination of inaccuracies in attendance timesheets and safeguarding against falsified timesheets. It is a simple system that only requires a single scan of an ID card to log all relevant information into a database that is also extremely efficient, allowing employees to spend more time working instead of working on timesheets – thereby increasing productivity as well. Since barcodes are simply a way to store information in a picture, they can help with security clearances as well. If your business has sensitive areas that require a security checkpoint to keep unwanted employees or visitors from passing, a barcode scanner is a cheap and effective way of increasing the security of that checkpoint. You can have a predetermined list of IDs that are allowed past the checkpoint and a single scan can verify if the holder of the ID is allowed past or not.
Coupons and Discounts
Barcodes can also be a great benefit in assisting in drawing customers in and increasing customer loyalty through coupons or membership programs. Sending out coupons with a barcode on them makes it easy for both customers and cashiers to use; the customer simply has to bring the coupon in and the cashier scan it for it to be automatically applied to the purchase. A membership card with a barcode is another excellent way to increase customer loyalty. All they need to do is let the cashier scan the code and the system can automatically update how many purchases they still need for a free drink or whatever the rewards for the membership are (those are up to you to decide on).
Portable barcode scanners make a system that has already proven itself as an efficient and time saving system even more useful to a business. Portable barcode scanners are a must for any small business looking to stay focused and organized.
Daniel Vander says
This is an excellent article, especially given the advent of wireless bluetooth barcode scanners that will connect to any operating system. The ability to collect barcode data is becoming less and less expensive. Unfortunately for traditional barcode manufacturers and resellers, barcode scanning is becoming a peripheral to tablets, smartphones and PC’s.
I’d like to point out that a “stand alone” barcode scanner is superior to phone and tablet camera scanners, which are sensitive to the focal length of the camera and ambient light conditions. Because wireless barcode scanners are designed for a specific task, they are almost immune to difference in light and to some degree the focal length. From a performance perspective, wireless barcode scanners can scan at least five times as fast as a camera scanner.
And as prices of this equipment go down, the capability continues to improve. Bluetooth barcode scanners like the ones at http://www.barcodeguy.com/Developers-SP2100.htm allow you to integrate the scanner into your program or App. Using the SDK commands within your code, you can send messages to the scanner’s display after the scan. That way the user doesn’t have to look at their phone / tablet or PC because the scanner instructs them on what to do next.