5 Reasons Why You Need to be Using SKU Barcodes, Now!

Using SKU barcodes to help manage your e-commerce business might seem like an unnecessary step. After all, keeping track of your inventory hasn’t been too difficult so far, and there haven’t been any problems yet, right?

SKU barcodes are more important than you might think.

Barcodes use item numbers or stock keeping units (SKUs) for your Amazon store. Barcodes help you reach your full sales potential, regardless of the size of your inventory, by keeping track of and managing your inventory in your warehouse. Many professional companies use SKU barcodes to manage their goods and sell them across multiple marketplaces, but why is it so beneficial? Here are five reasons why you should use barcodes with your business:

 

 

1. It’s Easy

Barcodes helps in many different ways, such as categorizing products easily, measuring inventory levels, purchasing accurate items, and helping make communication between you, the vendors and your customers smooth and efficient. Barcodes are easy to implement and keep track of; instead of having to input unique individual numbers for each product,  you can easily scan in or out a piece of inventory and have it register automatically in your inventory management system. The data on that item can then be recalled at any time with a simple scan, and be accessible from all devices.

2. It’s Accurate

Barcode implementation helps ensure that an item is never double counted, lost, or mislabeled. By attaching a barcode to each product in your inventory, you can also easily keep track of how much of a particular type of product you have. This can be beneficial when measuring inventory levels and deciding on numbers like safety stock. Additionally, if you want to sell your product across multiple sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or Shopify, these channels require an SKU or UPC to list your product. If you already have SKUs assigned to your products, it will be easier for you to match different listings of the same product amongst all your online channels. If you use an inventory management software, it will act as a sort of hub for all your sales channels by connecting to other sales channels and feeding them the correct inventory quantity for the right product.

3. It’s Cost-Effective

Implementing barcodes in your warehouse is very cost-effective! Each barcode label only costs a few cents, and all will be compatible with an inventory management system, ensuring that they work every time. Additionally, barcode implementation cuts down on work and training time, which will improve overhead costs and save you money by increasing productivity. Finally, implementing SKU barcodes ensures that you do not tie up money in accidentally ordering excess inventory, which can save you money in the long run.

4. It’s Accessible

Barcode technology is simple and accessible to implement and can be used in a variety of ways. Additionally, the technology is everywhere and internationally recognized, which helps when selling overseas. Every experienced merchant knows that the best way to search and find a product is the SKU code or the UPC code. Barcodes also help other retailers search for your product and find your store. WMS systems like Logiwa help manage barcode data and provide access to it in real-time.

5. It’s Secure

Barcodes not only streamline the sales process but also leave less room for errors. Without a barcode, it is impossible to tell whether a returned item truly came from your store. For example, if you sell dish soap and someone returns it to your store, you have no way of telling whether the dish soap being returned is truly from your store, or if it is from somewhere else. Barcodes make sure your inventory is secure and free from fraud situations like this. It also keeps track of all your inventory and allows your system to pool data from a quick scan, which can help when having to report exact numbers for taxes or other purposes. Barcodes provide the security of knowing that your inventory is accurate and error-free, and that you have data for it always.

 

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5 Reasons Why SKUs are Essential for your Amazon Store

It might seem unnecessary to use item numbers or stock keeping units (SKUs) for your Amazon store. You might wonder if you need it if your product portfolio is limited, or your warehouse is small. Is it worth it?

SKUs are actually essential to helping you reach your full sales potential, regardless of the size of your inventory.

What Is An SKU?

An SKU is an identification code which is used to track a product for inventory and sales purposes. It may also include some details about the product such as color, size and other variations. You should always assign a unique SKU to a product, even if you sell the same product with another seller. Don’t fret; even if they’ve got different SKUs, they would have the same UPC (Universal Product Code). An SKU helps in many different ways, such as categorizing products easily, measuring inventory levels, purchasing accurate items, and helping make communication between you, the vendors and your customers smooth and efficient.

If you want to create a system that’s easier to work with and uses your own item numbers, here are some of our recommendations:

  • Make unique SKUs — SKUs should be unique, so that you don’t accidentally use an SKU again for a product you don’t sell anymore
  • Keep the SKUs short — SKUs mostly will be maximum 30 characters long. If it is longer than 30 characters then it becomes hard to interpret. Even don’t make it longer than 7 characters
  • Avoid spaces or special characters — Use simple characters to make it simple and easy for you to understand
  • Avoid using product title in your SKU — Instead, use short and brief descriptions for the product title
  • Never start your SKU with a zero – Never use “0” in the beginning of an SKU as the Excel spreadsheet will strip out the 0 and mess everything up

No matter the size of your product portfolio, what you sell, who your customer is, or what channel you sell through, each and every product should be identified with an SKU. Logiwa Inventory Management Software makes it very easy and fast to set SKUs.

So I bet you’re wondering why SKUs are right for you. Here are five reasons SKUs are important for your Amazon store:

 Easy and Effective Inventory Management

It is much easier to measure your inventory when you identify every item that you sell with an SKU. You may think it could be easy enough to use the item’s name, title or description to measure your inventory level, but think about how many errors that could produce! You might not write down the same description every time, and another employee might have a different idea about what the product could be called. By avoiding streamlining this process, you are setting your business up for failure. However, if you have a unique set of 7 characters that identify the product, it’s easier to put it in an excel file, write down the inventory quantities against it, and differentiate it from other similar items. Worried about having to generate and track all these SKUs? An inventory management software will provide SKUs for each item and track them internally.  

 

Multiple Sales Channels Connect through SKU

Imagine that you are selling your products on multiple sales channels such as Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, or Shopify. All these channels require an SKU or UPC to list your product. If you already have SKUs assigned to your products, it will be easier for you to match different listings of the same item amongst all your sales channels. If you use an inventory management software, it will act as a sort of hub for all your sales channels by connecting to other sales channels and feeding them the correct inventory quantity for the right product.

Customers Search for Items by SKU

You also have the chance to use UPC codes as your SKU. Logiwa’s Inventory Management Software is built for Amazon Sellers to do just that. If you are sourcing from other manufacturers, using these UPC codes as your SKU code is a fast, convenient option to help you reach your sales potential. Potential customers searching a specific item mostly search with UPC codes because of its ubiquitousness. By using your UPC as your SKU code, your store will pop up in their search results, providing you the chance to sell to this potential customer.

SKUs Make Returning Customers’ Lives Easier

Imagine your customer is very happy with the product he purchased 4 months ago and he wants to buy it again. Instead of searching through thousands of similar products, they will most likely just search for the item’s UPC code.

Even if you are selling your own handcrafted items, assigning an SKU code helps your customer find your work again. By assigning an SKU code, your returning customer will definitely find the exact item they’re looking for!

Returning customers with SKU access can also it to get to your product page much faster than those who don’t. All they have to do is search for the number, which they can usually copy and paste from their order or shipping confirmation emails, and they’ll end up right on the product page they want especially for mobile shoppers. It’s fast and easy for your customers, and great for your business too!

Other Retailers Use SKUs to Search for Items

Many merchants on Amazon and other sales channels also sell their products to other retailers as wholesales. Every experienced merchant knows that the best way to search and find a product is the SKU code or the UPC code. SKUs also help you increase your wholesales figures, which helps other retailers search for your item and find your store, every time.

As you can see, it can be pretty beneficial to have a WMS like Logiwa for your inventory needs. A WMS  not only streamlines the sales process, but also leaves less room for errors. Check out whether Logiwa is right for you with our free demo!

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3 Barcode Scanner Technologies That Are Used For Inventory Management

Barcode scanning technology is being used to achieve real-time inventory, accuracy and productivity in the warehouses. The main benefits of barcode technology are to prevent human errors and save cost. Depending on the business, products and size of the operation, you can use different barcode scanner app and technology. Some of the main barcode app technologies and their usage in your warehouse are:

Desktop PC + Cable Barcode Reader App

A cable barcode scanner which is attached to a desktop PC is one of the most affordable ways to start scanning barcodes for your inventory. This option is affordable and easy to configure however you can not use this option in big warehouses and mobile processes such as picking, putaway and movements. You can use PC + cable barcode scanner in small warehouses or for specific processes such as packing, receiving.

Smart Devices + Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

Android barcode scanner app and ios barcode scanner app are useful for online retailers which have limited number of warehouse employees and relatively small warehouses. Smart devices such as tablets, smartphones are used for specific inventory processes in warehouses for barcode scanning. Especially, tablets and bluetooth barcode reader are being used in warehouses for picking and receiving processes. The main advantage of smart devices is mobility and image capturing.

Warehouse Management Software- Balance Your Supply Chain

Industrial Barcode Scanning Guns

The industrial barcode scanners are designed and developed to work in warehouses. They have better battery life, scan barcodes faster, longer scanner range, scan barcode in poor lighting environments and they are protected from drops. Usually, industrial barcode scanner guns are used by big warehouses which have multiple employees.

barcode-scanning-technology-scanner-gun

 

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Warehouse Technologies to improve fulfillment process – Barcode Scanner

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 scanners have 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 Which We Scan Barcodes

  • 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 app

 

Warehouse Barcode Label Types

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.

  • Locations/Racks/Bins
  • Products and boxes
  • Pallets and cases
  • Picking Carts/Equipment
  • Paper forms such as pick list, packing list, bill of lading

Key Takeaways

  • 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 app perfectly scans the printed barcode labels.
  • Check the battery lifetime of the bluetooth barcode scanner.

 

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3 Steps for Synchronizing Barcode with Inventory Management

Synchronizing Barcode with Inventory Management

In our previous post 4 Benefits of Using Barcode Technology in Inventory Management, we introduced how businesses can take advantages of barcode scanners. Using a barcode scanners app and synchronizing barcode with inventory management system provides greater productivity and accuracy to the business than traditional inventory management methods. Here are a few simple steps to guide you get a barcode scanner setup for your inventory management.

Get a Barcode Reader

To hit the ground running, all you need is a barcode reader or scanner. Nowadays, there are tons of barcode scanners and barcode guns listed on Amazon. Just spend less than $40 bucks than you can get one. It is quite affordable for small to medium-sized businesses to invest in barcode scanner.

Generate Barcode Labels

After preparing a barcode reader, next step is to generate barcode labels for your inventory.

A barcode label can contain and present a massive amount of information regarding products. You’ll need to define what you want to track and record through barcodes. For example, SKU number and attributes can all be included in a barcode.

Here are some free online barcode generating websites like Barcode Generator and OnlineLabels.com. You can easily enter barcode data and choose the barcode type to create your own barcodes.

It is also possible to use Logiwa to generate barcodes for your products, locations, pallets and shipments etc.

Connect to Your Inventory Management System

Last but not least, implementing barcodes along with dedicated inventory management system helps you manage inventory more efficiently and make more profits in the long run. Once the barcode system has been set up, you can synchronize it with your inventory management software.

Logiwa Inventory Management System will be the perfect choice for you. It is designed for small to medium sized businesses and allows you to track inventory via multiple devices in real time using the barcode technology. Click here to learn more about how Logiwa unblocks your bottlenecks by seamlessly integrating barcode system with inventory management for you. 

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4 Benefits of Using Barcode Technology in Inventory Management

Barcode technology in inventory management is widely used in today’s business world. As customers, we can experience barcode technology at anywhere and anytime in our daily life. When grocery shopping, cashiers check out our purchasing items by scanning the barcode on each product. We enter gym by scanning the barcode on our key chain membership card. We even can show the barcode on a mobile app to buy a cup of coffee. Barcode scanning has been applied in different industries and made people’s lives more and more convenient.

In the field of inventory management, how can businesses take advantages of barcode scanning? Here, we point out four main benefits that companies can utilize barcode scanning technology to optimize their inventory management process.

Increase Productivity

Firstly, linking barcode scanner to the inventory management software can boost productivity for businesses. Barcode scanning offers extremely fast product identification and recognition functions. Once the barcode is scanned, the item information will be automatically updated and shown on the connected devices. By this way, workers can generate higher picking rate and greater efficiency in managing inventory for their company.

Improve Accuracy

Barcode technology can be designed to provide companies more accurate inventory control. By connecting barcode scanner to the inventory management system, employees can easily know where to pick the correct product with the correct quantity. Workers can instantly identify and manage items with a high rate of accuracy.

Eliminate Human Errors

We know that manually typing in each piece information of thousands of items will be time-consuming and with higher mistake rates. Barcode scanner app can eliminate manual data entry errors for businesses’ inventory management process. It’s reliable and takes significantly less time than entering data by hand.

Reduce Costs

Barcode scanning not only simplifies inventory management process but also saves money for businesses. Once set up, a company can implement the system for many years and economize operation costs in the long-term journey. Besides, barcode scanner app is generally inexpensive and affordable for any size of business.

Above mentioned are several benefits of utilizing barcode technology in inventory management. Learn more about the benefits of a retail inventory management system which can be linked to barcode technology.

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