Is it time to transition your business to a barcode system? Then you’re probably wondering what the best barcode system for small business is.
Barcodes have become an integral part of running a business over the past few decades. The patent for a barcode was first granted in 1952 after a couple of graduate students realized there was a need for a way to easily collect information about products at checkout. Since then, they’ve revolutionized the way small businesses run.
Which barcode system will work best for your brand?
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to choose the best price scanner for your company.
Read on before you make the choice!
How Do Barcodes Work?
A barcode is essentially just a way to print numbers on items, in a way that machines can easily read.
Of course, it’s also easy to print numbers on items. However, numbers often get mistaken for each other: an 8 can look like a 0 in some typefaces, for example. And 6 and 9 are the exact same number if you flip one of them upside down.
A barcode always gets read accurately in virtually no time at all. Every possible digit is assigned the same width in barcode technology.
The black and white pattern used to color that width of space tells the machine what number it’s looking at. Using this simple method, a barcode can tell a system not just what product it’s scanning, but also the country where the barcode was given, and the manufacturer who created the product.
Why Use a Barcode System?
If you’re ringing things up at a cash register, the need for a barcode system is obvious. However, there are many businesses that can benefit from barcodes – and some of the uses might surprise you. Here are a few reasons why a barcode system for small business is a good idea.
1. Keep Track of Parts
If you’re keeping an inventory of different product parts across multiple locations, a barcode system can help you see where everything’s at. When you scan one barcode, you can use the system to see if the same item is held at other warehouses.
This lets you quickly decide if you’ll need to transfer stock to stay ready to meet customer needs.
2. Manage Inventory
Inventory management can be a huge challenge, even at small companies. If you don’t know what you have on hand, you can’t be ready to meet customer demands at any moment.
Trying to manage your inventory with handwritten methods quickly gets complicated. But if you have a barcode on every time, you can scan it to see how much you have in stock, and where it is.
This system also lets you quickly update quantities so your inventory numbers are never out of date.
Whether it’s being sent, received, or even marked as damaged, a barcode system lets you know exactly what’s going on with everything you have in stock.
3. Work With Accounting
A barcode system for your inventory can be synced with accounting software. This lets you create invoices, make changes, and more, reducing delays in communication between accounting and other aspects of the business.
4. Simplify Order Management
When you can scan a barcode, you can see the status of an order right away. You’ll also be able to place a new order just as easily.
You can even create an auto-reorder system on certain items so that they’ll be reordered as soon as the inventory reaches a certain point. Since a barcode system automates your inventory management, you’ll have to do virtually nothing to make sure you keep the right items in stock.
Is a Wireless or Wired Scanner Best?
When you start comparing scanner prices for your new barcode system, you’ll probably see that you can choose between wireless and wired options. Which one is right for your company?
Wireless often seems like the cutting-edge option for businesses. Wires get tangled and limit your range of motion. However, keep in mind that wireless scanners take batteries, which can become a serious expense for your business.
The wireless signal also runs the risk of getting interrupted, which can seriously slow your operations down.
If you can, you’re best off testing out each system to find what’s right for your business. There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to barcode scanner technology.
Barcode Scanning Technology
Barcode scanners use different technologies to read the numbers, but they all do the same thing.
Most businesses use laser barcode systems, which have a fairly long range. This is ideal if you need to reach difficult areas, like the top shelf in a warehouse, with your barcode scanner.
CCD scanners, on the other hand, only work in a short range. This is ideal for a cash-register type situation when the barcodes will always be close at hand.
Finally, linear image scanners offer the most accurate barcode reading technology. They photograph the barcode and then analyze it to ensure no mistakes get made.
What’s the Best Barcode System for Small Business?
There are a few different scanners you can choose from, and each system has its pros and cons.
The handheld scanner is fast and easy to use, perfect for scanning items both large and small. They’re also quite inexpensive, making them a great choice for a small business on a budget.
However, an industrial warehouse might do better with a stationary scanner as part of its system. These are much more expensive, but they do allow small items to get scanned much faster.
The most difficult price scanner to use is the wand or pen scanner. These have tips that need to run across the entire barcode, as though you were tracing it with a pen. This takes much longer, so they aren’t ideal for most small businesses.
The Verdict: Handheld Scanners are Best
Although the best barcode system for small business depends on your company’s needs, the handheld scanner is the overall winner when it comes to versatility.
Handheld scanners are easy to use, fast, and fairly affordable. They aren’t limited to one place, so they can be used for many different purposes. And they come in wired and wireless types, so you can decide which power source is ideal for your scanning system.
Whether you’re going to try a versatile handheld scanner, or need a different type for specific uses, we have what you need – start shopping here.