As your small business grows and expands its product lines that it sells, you will most likely find that you need to stop keeping track of your inventory by hand and start using barcode scanners. Simply writing down inventory quantities on a notepad with a pen or pencil is simply ludicrous when you consider how many items you have in stock and the amount of time it would take to perform that operation. Plus, the possibility of errors being made in the form of typos or illegible scribbles on a page makes this form of recording data extremely dangerous.
Inventory tracking is too difficult to accomplish without some type of automation. And not having an accurate picture of a company’s inventory can cause inefficiency, lost sales, and other expensive problems. Scanning a product’s barcode might seem like a tiny, even inconsequential thing. But tiny barcodes have a huge impact on business operations, as we shall see.
The Usefulness of Barcode Tracking Software
Barcodes and inventory tracking go hand in hand. So it is no surprise that barcode tracking software is a popular tool for small business, midsize business, and large businesses, alike, to use in their inventory management. Barcode tracking software allows companies to accomplish many important tasks on a daily basis, including:
- Reordering products
- Balancing inventory levels
- Picking, packing, and shipping products
- Updating both inventory and accounting records
We will discuss each of these factors of barcode tracking software in much more detail below because each one is important to a company’s overall success.
When it comes time to reorder more of a certain product, you can easily scan that product’s barcode and enter the quantity you want to order. Doing this allows you to avoid all sorts of potential pitfalls that could otherwise cause serious problems down the line. For example, let’s say you were attempting to reorder a product by hand. If you were to type in product’s SKU, lot number, or other identifying number, you could accidentally enter the wrong number. With so many numbers to remember and repeat, it is not unlikely that such a thing could happen, possibly even on a rather frequent basis.
Barcode scanning eliminates this worry by removing the possibility of making mistakes and typos when entering data. Just scan a product’s barcode and the product information will automatically be filled in for you. There is no chance of the wrong product’s information being displayed because there is no manual data entry in that step of the reordering process. Then you can add the appropriate quantity that you would like to reorder and generate the purchase order to send to the correct vendor.
Balancing Inventory Levels
By tracking inventory levels via barcode scanners, you can keep up with changes in demand and have enough products on hand to avoid both stockouts and overstocks. Not only can you use barcode scanners to efficiently and accurately order more items to keep your shelves stocked with the ideal quantities of goods, but you can also set up automatic reorder points to save a step.
Automatic reorder points allow you to save a lot of time and money. Instead of having to scan products’ barcodes in order to generate purchase orders, you can simply scan them once and set up automatic reorder points based on historic sales and ordering trends. You can also create reordering quantities and maximum so that you will not accidentally wind up with way too many products or far too few products. And all of this will be handled automatically for you so products will come to you when they need to be reordered instead of you having to go to them.
Picking, Packing, and Shipping Products
Barcode tracking software can help you locate products in the warehouse, print packing slips, and monitor shipments’ progress on their way to their destination. You can set up locations and sub-locations for all of the items in your warehouse with the help of barcode tracking software. Then you will know exactly where to find every nut, bolt, and widget in your warehouse. By clearly marking aisles, shelves, and bins, and recording that data for easy access on a barcode scanner, you will be able to pick, pack, and ship items quicker than you could attempting to do it all through memory or by other unreliable means.
Updating Both Inventory and Accounting Records
Fishbowl Go is a robust mobile app that can be used on barcode scanners and other mobile devices. It allows you to scan product barcodes to access detailed inventory information and update that information as you see fit. Fishbowl Go integrates with the main Fishbowl solutions, Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse, so that any changes made in it will automatically update your inventory file.
Similarly, Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse integrate with QuickBooks, so whenever you scan a product’s barcode to sell, order, receive or ship that product, it will automatically update your inventory count and financial position for you. Fishbowl integrates seamlessly with a variety of desktop and online versions of QuickBooks, and you can schedule regular updates to be sent from Fishbowl to the accounting solution as often as you like. This will keep the two solutions in perfect sync with each other, which is a huge help in many ways.
Benefits of Barcode Tracking Software
Barcode tracking software speeds up your company’s processes and reduces the risk of costly errors finding their way into your data by streamlining tasks and making them less complicated to perform. Fishbowl offers superb barcode tracking software that is affordable and packed with all of the features that you need to do your job effectively. You can start using it as a small business and keep adding more functionality as your operations expand and you continue to move beyond your original requirements.
Barcodes play an important role in inventory tracking. Using barcode scanners helps with many business processes, including:
- Ordering products
- Optimizing inventory quantities
- Picking, packing, and shipping items to fulfill orders
- Eliminating double data entry