5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Barcode Inventory Management Tool

barcode inventory management questionsImportance of barcode inventory management for your business

Are your operations suffering because of lack of data accountability or organization? Are you having issues with delayed or no shipments? Is it that your customers don’t receive the right product on time? Yes? Then you are probably in dire need of a better solution for managing your inventory. Choosing a software that works well with your business needs isn’t an easy task. Better not take it lightly. Remember that a software that works for someone else’s business may not work for your business.

Barcode inventory management software is a handy tool to get a clearer and bigger picture of even the largest numbers on your balance sheet. You will be able to exercise better labor control, have more visibility of the things your business owns, have a clearer sight of your inventory and pump up your efficiency and accuracy levels with barcoding.

So how do you choose the best barcode tracking software for your organization? You will have to investigate into your business goals and needs in order to find just the product your business wants. We have garnered five questions that will be instrumental in helping you make the right decision for your business.

Question 1: What kind of information needs to be stored?

When trying to decide the barcoding symbology, you need to know what kind of information you want to store. When you change the symbology, you are actually changing the way barcode looks to the computer. The reason for choosing a specific symbology is to accommodate a particular space requirement, functionality needed or character set. For instance, if you are recording inventory numbers for your products, the 1D barcode, like UPC or Code 39 with a limited number of characters and digits is just what you need. In case you want to record comments like shipping location or product information, then a two-dimensional (2D) barcode, like QR code or Data Matrix is going to be the best option.

Here are some important giveaways when figuring out what information to store:

  • One-dimensional barcodes need a database with which product corresponds to their respective item. This is the reason most of the small businesses are going for 2D barcodes as they don’t have a lot of products to label and for that reason, they don’t require an actual database. The 2D code allows you to fit a lot of information into one little space improving traceability.
  • The best one for automation purpose is RFID. RFID usually has a barcode or human-readable part to it. However, the actual code is in the antennae found within the tag. Think about a situation where you are standing in your warehouse and want to pick up an item. Using this barcode, you can easily scan from your where you are standing or from your forklift. You will be able to pick up all that you need within the radius (usually 10 inches to 10 feet) it is programmed for.
  • Barcodes of similar items should have a similar format. An item’s unique identifier is the only information that should change. This enables easier interpretation and minimizes errors when humans are involved.

Read more: QRCode versus Barcode – issues, practices, and recommendations

Question 2: What is your product line?

Without a shred of doubt, barcodes help in managing your administration and inventory more efficiently. When you are on the lookout for a barcode tracking system, you should opt for the one that is compatible with your particular business. Think about the size of your products because some products may be too small to print barcodes on them and others may be too big.

inventory barcode solutionKnowing your products better will help you choose the right barcode solution for yourself.

For instance, if you have a garment business, clothing items will need tags instead of sticky labels as labels can get peeled off when you move the clothes around. Therefore, you need to look into your line of products before deciding on a barcoding system because different barcoding systems can print on a wide range of formats. Choosing a barcoding solution has a lot to do with the kind of products your company manufactures.

Question 3: What are the integrations you require?

So your organization already has a lot of multiple software managing other areas of your business like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and more. The barcode inventory management that you opt for must integrate with other existing systems that you are using. In case it doesn’t integrate with the existing systems, you will have to use time-consuming and error-prone spreadsheets and enter data manually into the system.

If your company happens to be growing, ensure that the barcode inventory management system integrates with more than one financial system because as you grow it becomes risky and costly to upgrade both systems at the same time.

You could have various data points on your system – such as orders, locations, items and others. The more data points you have, the more time-consuming task it becomes putting you at a risk of data loss and resulting in delays in data updates. Going for a barcode tracking software that easily integrates with other existing software will incredibly enhance the visibility and efficiency of your company.

Question 4: How many users are going to access the barcode inventory management tool, who they are and where they are located?

It is always a good idea to know the number of users accessing the system while you are on the lookout for a barcode inventory management system. Many barcode inventory management software out there charge extra money for extra users. This information will come in handy when you take a look at software pricing information or ask the company for a quote. Having the number of users in mind, you will find it easier to estimate the cost of software implementation.

Furthermore, having the knowledge about who is going to use the system and where they are going to be located, aids in figuring out how you are going to set up your barcode tracking system. It could be your management, customers or suppliers using the barcode inventory system. You can locate the users in different parts of the country or around the globe.

Question 5: What are your inventory challenges?

There is a wide range of barcode inventory management tools and along with them, there is a variety of system functionalities and capabilities. Make a lemonade when your business throws lemons at you but to make a good lemonade for your business, you need to know your lemons well. Be aware of all your inventory processes and the challenges you encounter with your workflow. Inventory management professionals will find this information handy to figure out the barcode inventory tracking solution that can solve your inventory challenges.

barcode inventory control managementYou can exercise incredible control over your inventory using barcode inventory management.

Before you jump in to buy barcode printer and scanner, make sure your purchase will improve the workflow. Barcode solutions are very versatile and may not be the answer to your problems. If you think your orders are often lost or filled in incorrectly, you are losing money or time to human errors and tracking inventory is using up too many resources, then barcode inventory management is just the thing for you.

Read more: Use Barcodes More Efficiently With Your Equipment Tracking Software

Ready to optimize your inventory?

EZOfficeInventory is a leading asset tracking software supported with barcoding technology and used around the world regardless of business size. It optimizes your inventory and keeps your business lean.best barcode inventory management tool

For more assistance, drop us an email at support@ezofficeinventory.com.

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