How Barcoding Systems Can Revolutionize Your Distribution Business

Technology can be the flint that sparks revolution; however, it comes at a price and may not be the prerogative of business organizations because of the heavy investment demands. Bar coding is one of the rare technological marvels that has lived up to the tag of a true game-changer, and has brought with it tremendous value to numerous distribution businesses by maximizing employee productivity and enhancing inventory management systems.

Let us take a more in-depth look at how bar coding systems have helped streamline workflow in warehouses worldwide:

Efficient Check-in and Putaway of Stock

By simply scanning products via barcoding systems, employees are able to quickly authenticate that the material meets the order requirements. The barcoding system will then automatically update the available quantities in your inventory system. During the stock putaway process, barcoding systems also play a critical role. The receiver scans the item and bin location and the system verifies the item is being placed in its proper location, and then records that location in the system for future reference. Compare this to any manual process and it becomes quite hard imagine why anyone wouldn’t have a barcoding system in place.

Smarter Inventory Replacement

Since your inventory systems maintain real-time data on the quantities of different items available, you can simply scan the bar code on both the item and its container to ensure that orders for inventory replacement are precisely executed.

Proper Authentication of Shipment Orders

Bar coding systems have completely eliminated the problem of wrong shipment orders and associated liabilities. You can easily scan all outbound shipments in order to verify that they are correctly loaded and sent to the right location.

Easier Inventory Counting Methods

Utilizing a physical approach to verifying your inventory is a rather mundane, time-heavy and error-prone process. On the other hand, scanning products and automatically updating their quantities is more than twice as efficient as doing it physically. Mistakes in orders are also easily avoided since any wrong product number and wrong quantity is automatically updated into the computer system.

What Are the Costs Involved in Bar Coding Systems?

Let us take a look at some of the primary costs involved in the implementation of bar coding technologies in your business operations:

  • Printing bar code labels for all current and upcoming products and for their bin locations.
  • Purchasing the bar code scanning equipment and other essential hardware.
  • Purchasing and maintaining the software that manages your inventory system on your computers.
  • Training employees to properly utilize bar coding equipment.

Most recently, the price of barcoding systems and equipment has come down. As most distributors process hundreds of line items a day, a barcoding solution is easily justifiable. And if you’re still hesitant, just remember that there was a time when distributors wondered whether investing in a forklift for your warehouse was a good idea. Times change, don’t get left behind.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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William Wu

Insight written by William Wu

Executive Vice President at Rand Group

William Wu has over 16 years’ experience consulting for and performing ERP software implementations in the energy, technology, telecommunications, and service industries. With a background in both accounting and business and extensive certifications in ERP systems, William possesses both the drive and skill to move a company from where it is, to where it needs to be.

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