Barcoding allows big businesses to keep on top of every step in their daily operations; however, for small to mid-sized businesses, barcoding systems can be too expensive and complicated.
Much like mobile payment systems, modern barcode scanners and printers come in sizes and with systems even startups can implement for tighter control and tracking.
Better Inventory Control
The biggest concern for modern retailers is inventory control and management. There once was a time when counting inventory was a dreaded duty few employees wanted to help with, no thanks to the massive piles of paper records and indecipherable spreadsheets. Barcoding systems not only make the job faster and simpler, they reduce expensive human errors, which saves big money. In addition, updated scanning software makes it easy to implement systems for businesses of any size without dramatically affecting how they already operate.
Keeping Up With the Times
Barcoding has come a long way since its inception. New systems are affordable and work with the same software and hardware that businesses already use. Some systems can integrate with Microsoft Office and other common database technologies. They now use scan-ready sales sheets and shipping trackers, as well as inventory labels and management systems that they can access anywhere using smartphone tools and apps.
Here are four simple ways to save on barcoding systems and equipment:
- Start with Stickers
The majority of retail products come with UPC codes printed on the package. Although you may prefer to put your own printed UPC labels over existing ones, by skipping this step, you can save much time and money. You can set up your barcoding system to read and process preprinted retail labels.
- Separate Technology
It may seem like a money-saving move to buy a scanner that comes with a credit card reader, for example, but if it breaks down, the expense of replacing both technologies can be expensive. Instead, buy them each separately, so if one malfunctions, you won’t be without both. Barcode scanner repair is relatively affordable on its own.
- Buy Used and Refurbished
Look for a company that provides used and refurbished barcode scanners guaranteed by a strict testing process that come with a warranty. Some scanner businesses have trade in programs, so you can trade your used barcode equipment and apply a credit towards your next purchase. This can save hundreds of dollars while keeping your storeroom clear of old, unusable junk.
- Maintain Barcode Equipment
Train all employees on the proper use and maintenance of barcode scanners and printers. This way, they will work longer and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs or replacements.
A Word on QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes is a newer type of 2D barcode that mobile devices can read. They hold more data and connect consumers with business websites, online stores, social networks, as well as provide discounts and coupons. QR codes create a stronger connection between consumers and retailers.
Mobile devices drive many aspects of modern life and retailers are leveraging that fact to increase sales. With barcoding technology, you can offer shoppers special discounts, deals and coupons to boost those slow business times. You can also provide shoppers with ways to do price comparisons while in-store.
By leveraging the technology your customers already have, you can use barcoding to save money and boost profits. Consumers want convenience in the form of price comparisons and coupons in their hands, so using a barcoding system and hardware can benefit both you and your customers.
Christina Kelley is a retail inventory manager. She likes to share her insights online. Her articles appear on many business and retail industry websites.