Barcodes are one of those things in life that most of us recognise, but never really fully appreciate. We see them every day in supermarkets, on labels, on the back of greeting cards and consumable goods. But, have you ever taken the time out to appreciate how remarkable they are? How is it possible that a series of black bars and white spaces of varying widths can be printed on a label, in order to uniquely identify it?
A label, which can then be read with a scanner (another remarkable invention) which measures reflected light and then interprets the code into numbers and letters that can be read by a computer, and processed into a payment for a customer.
Small businesses that are expanding, and even existing enterprises that don’t see anything wrong with the way they do business, might want to fight against changing their traditional businesses practices. However, the attraction and sheer ‘business sense’ of the bar code cannot be denied. There are several benefits to bar coding for your small business.
There won’t be errors
Not only is it time consuming to manually enter data by hand (goods at a till, keeping track of what time your employees started/finished work etc), but the possibility of making mistakes – which can be costly – is high. A barcode scan is infinitely more reliable.
Cuts the costs of employee training
Handheld scanners are easy to use, reduce the time and cost of teaching employees how to use inventory or pricing procedures, and then checking to make sure it’s been done correctly.
Inexpensive to design and print
Regardless of what you need them for, or where they’ll be fixed to, bar-coding your merchandise won’t break the bank.
They can be used for anything from tracking assets in a building, to mail being flown across the continent and to keep track of employee timesheets.
Inventory becomes a breeze, and stock control improves
Again the possibility for error (i.e. not being able to find an item, presuming it lost, and buying a replacement only to find what you had been looking for at a later stage) reduces and overheads get lowered.
Fast, accurate and reliable data collection, which makes for better reporting systems
This in turn makes it possible to make more informed decisions, which ultimately saves the company both time and money
Getting to Grips
Note that while DIY bar-coding is an option, beware of taking that route. It’s true that using and implementing a barcode system is easy enough, however, creating and maintaining the actual program requires extensive expertise and a working knowledge of industry standards.
As technologies and standards change, barcode experts keep up with new developments, such as DCI Scanning
, thereby ensuring that their clients get cutting edge products. If you’re new to the world of barcodes and scanners, the only thing left for you to do is to explore the potential lying in wait for your business – and if you’re old hat, check up on what’s new and make sure your business isn’t getting stuck in a rut!