Using Barcode Technology and Barcode Scanner App
In this article, I will try to explain the usage of warehouse barcode technology in a small-sized retailer’s inventory management processes. Barcode has been in use for many years in retail warehouses. Barcode and Barcode Scanner App help retailers to reduce cost and increase the accuracy of fulfillment operations. Below I use the same warehouse layout which I have used in my previous articles. Check out my small-sized online retail warehouse layout.
There are various other technologies which can be used to increase productivity and accuracy in a warehouse such as pick-to-light systems, voice logistics, RFID technologies. In this article, I focus on barcode technology and Barcode Scanner Apps which I think is the first step for a small-sized retailer.
In order to use barcodes effectively, retailers should use an inventory management software so that they can automate their processes. It is difficult to have productivity by using barcodes without a barcode scanner application. Barcodes together with inventory management systems, help us in the following areas:
- Perfect tracking, finding of inventory
- Reduces human errors
- Improves productivity
- Allows standardized processes to benchmark employee performance
5 Main Processes that you can use with barcode scanning
- Inbound Receiving: You can achieve faster processes with more accuracy by avoiding manual processes such as human control, selection, recognition.
- Putaway: Perfect picking process starts with perfect putaway process. By scanning and verifying the barcode of the putaway location, the putaway process helps the pickers find the right products faster.
- Picking: Barcodes are used to verify if the picker is picking the right product or not.
- Packing: Barcodes are used to scan items into the boxes and print shipment labels.
- Shipping Process: By scanning the shipment barcodes, you can hand all order packages over to your shipment carrier.
If you want to see more processes that you can use the barcode technology, you can check out Logiwa’s Product Tour.
5 Must Technologies to implement effective barcode technology
- Barcode printer
- Cable Barcode Scanner or a bluetooth barcode scanner
- Barcode Label
- Wireless network
- Inventory Management System or barcode scanner application
Where to use Warehouse Barcode Technology?
In this article, I explain where barcodes can be used. Creating barcode labels and implementing barcodes within your inventory management software will be the topic of another article.
- Products and boxes
- Pallets and cases
- Picking Carts/Equipment
- Paper forms such as picking list, packing list, bill of lading
- Define different barcode label sizes such as product labels, location labels, shipping labels.
- Check if you have enough barcode label slips before you start.
- Check if the barcode label is suitable for your barcode printer. Don’t forget that some printers don’t print some labels.
- Check if the barcode scanner perfectly scans the printed barcode labels.
- Check the battery lifetime of the bluetooth barcode scanner.