What is a Barcode Scanner?
A barcode scanner is a gadget used in inventory management and product tracking. It consists of an illuminator, a lens, and a sensor and may be connected to a fixed or mobile computer terminal through a wire or wirelessly. A barcode scanner reads product information off barcodes or QR codes by throwing light on the codes printed on product labels.
The beam reflected back by the barcodes is measured by the sensor of the scanner. Optical impulses are translated by the barcode scanner sensor into electrical energy, which is then changed by the decoder into comprehensible product information that is sent to the inventory software residing in the computer or mobile. The data is displayed on the screen as text.
One of the biggest advantages of barcode inventory management is that a large amount of information can be packed into the limited space of a small product label.
How Does Barcode Scanner Software Work?
A barcode scanner system is made up of hardware and software. Barcode scanning devices, printers, and computer terminals or mobiles are all part of barcode inventory hardware, while inventory management software is the set of programs loaded into the computer system.
Barcode systems automate data gathering. Barcode inventory management facilitated by a robust software solution is a speedier and more efficient stock-taking process than manual and spreadsheet-based ones.
Barcodes are essentially numeric or alpha-numeric characters punctuated by black and white lines running from top to bottom. These characters are usually 8-12 in number and contain details of the product on hand in coded form. QR codes are more sophisticated than two-dimensional codes and contain even more information.
QR codes appear as patterns, including dots and squares. They are able to store product information both horizontally and vertically. This allows QR codes to hold a wide range of data like manufacturing date, name of the manufacturer, product type, expiry date, email addresses, geolocation data, website URLs, and so on.
The functioning of a barcode scanner has been briefly outlined in the preceding section. Scanners read barcode data contained between the white and black bars by illuminating the barcodes. The black bars reflect less light than the white ones.
An even more advanced way of scanning can be done by using mobile apps to turn smartphones into scanners. QR codes, for instance, can be scanned in this manner to access menu cards digitally. The data transferred to the cloud-based app can then be accessed across multiple locations and devices. Updates to stock levels can also be viewed in real time this way.
Popularity of Order Management Systems: More than 40% of US retailers reported that their demand forecasting and planning systems worked efficiently, and nearly 60% of them deployed effective systems for order management, a 2020 Statista study said.
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Benefits of Barcode Scanners for Inventory Management
1. A barcode-based system enhances inventory control, allowing businesses to place only the minimum number of orders required to prevent both dead stock and stock-outs. This lowers inventory carrying costs and resource wastage, thereby increasing savings. It also gives firms the ability to boost profits by promptly satisfying customer demand.
2. A barcode system makes business decisions data-driven. For instance, if a business is stuck with a lot of unused stock, barcodes can be utilized to discover bestselling items, thereby creating opportunities for idle inventory to sell. Moreover, the customer information gathered by using barcode inventory management enables firms to better target promotions, construct robust loyalty programs, offer alluring bargains and discounts, and enhance product design and pricing.
3. Effective inventory management through barcodes reduces mistakes in stock-counting and unreported losses. Organizations can monitor which product is sold and how much of it is sold at the point of sale (POS) thanks to barcode scanners. This information on stock utilization helps in inventory reconciliation. Barcode scanning makes it simple to trace individual objects as they transit through various phases of the supply chain. Barcodes make it easier to pinpoint precise phases at which losses may occur. Barcode systems also provide audit records that make it simple to spot theft.
4. Businesses can reduce order fulfillment errors by using a barcode scanning system to automatically assign items to purchase orders. This guarantees flawless deliveries and raises client satisfaction.
5. Barcode scanners save costs and increase operational efficiency. For example, a company with many locations may find through barcode scanning that a product is used up at one site, while it may still be available at another. This enables the company to replenish inventory at the first site with surplus products from the second, thereby preventing disruptions and delays in supply.
Top Barcode Scanner Software- No. 1 - Zip Inventory
This Hubworks offering is one of the most sophisticated inventory software solutions on the market. Its shelf-to-sheet inventory count lets bar and restaurant owners track inventory and stock levels directly on their mobile app. Moreover, with the help of its voice search feature, users can take inventory counts by simply saying the name of a product out loud. Zip Inventory can be easily integrated with Barcode Scanners to make stock-take accurate and frictionless.
This software syncs inventory data automatically with the cloud, enabling operators to keep an eye on their operation in real time, from anywhere, on any handheld device.
Business owners can track changes in food and beverage costs and identify factors leading to losses by using the variance and cost of goods sold (COGS) reports created by Zip Inventory. The program alerts bars and restaurants to food waste, over-portioning, losses, and pilferage that could raise food and beverage costs.
Users don't have to resort to guesswork when placing orders because the program takes into consideration empirical data on sales, ingredient usage, on-hand stock levels, and supplier delivery timetables. Another feature that reduces waste and overspending is suggested ordering.
Also, business owners no longer need to worry about misplaced inventory sheets and illegible or unclear orders. Zip Inventory significantly cuts down the time taken to count stock as well.
Additionally, this software offers a thorough item-by-item recipe breakdown, giving business owners a clear understanding of their most popular menu items as well as the quantity and price of the goods they require for it.
Last but not least, the waste-tracking tool of this software enables business owners to post feedback and fix staff accountability for controlling resource wastage and reducing food and beverage costs.
Top Barcode Scanner Software- No. 2 - EZOfficeInventory
EZOfficeInventory is a top inventory and asset tracking program that can be linked with a barcode scanner for enhanced efficiency. It is a high quality asset management program designed for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
This cloud-based software is available whenever you want to access it, wherever you may be located, and on whichever mobile device you may be using. The EZOfficeInventory mobile app with Qr Code and barcode scanning functionality, in this regard, aids in inventory tracking on the fly.
EZOfficeInventory ensures that items can be tracked across locations and departments, barcodes can be scanned directly from the phone, product maintenance can be automated to improve operations, stock levels can be maintained at an optimal level, and all users and suppliers can be managed with the help of a single solution. The solution's inventory management module allows inventory tracking with barcode tags and QR codes.
With this software, misplaced or lost assets can easily be identified and located thanks to the GPS tracking feature that lets users monitor assets on interactive maps. Asset tracking is also facilitated with the help of customized reporting tools. The software integrates seamlessly with third-party programs like Dropbox, Zendesk, Active Directory, Jira, and OneLogin.
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Top Barcode Scanner Software- No. 3 - Order Time Inventory
Order Time Inventory is a top-class order management and inventory control solution which can be used for barcode-based inventory management.
The software integrates well with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise accounting solutions and links up with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Volusion, ShipStation, and BigCommerce.
For manufacturers, Order Time is fantastic since it can manage production using assemblies and work orders.
Wholesale distributors, on the other hand, have a very useful tool in the form of reorder analysis that uses purchasing data from the past.
For e-commerce retailers, this software helps with the pick-pack-ship cycle and facilitates order fulfillment and order tracking. Being cloud-based, this barcode software can be accessed anytime, from anywhere, and by using any handheld device.
Top Barcode Scanner Software- No. 4 - Finale Inventory
This is an intuitive inventory management platform, whose functionality can be enhanced by integrating it with a barcode scanner system. The cloud-based software is simple to use and can expand with the needs of a developing company. It lets you take care of all inventory movement, from purchases to sales, seamlessly.
Finale Inventory offers connections with online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy and also, shopping carts like Magento and Shopify, thereby allowing e-commerce orders to be effectively managed.
Furthermore, the software also integrates with shipping services like ShippingEasy and ShipStation. Finale Inventory offers combined shipping and e-commerce features by virtue of which businesses can manage stock levels and effectively manage online customer demand.
The software also helps in managing stock movement as well as receipts across different warehouses. It also provides stock auditing, which enables users to consult inventory history reports for spotting stock inconsistencies. These reports can be utilized to monitor past purchase orders, stock transfers, stock-takes, as well as sales orders.
Top Barcode Scanner Software- No. 5 - Cin7 Orderhive
This is a cloud-based software for order management and is designed for small, medium, and big wholesalers, retailers, and distributors. It can be integrated with a barcode scanning system for improved results.
Retailers can monitor orders, inventory levels, and shipments across various digital sales channels using Cin7 Orderhive. This software also lets users analyze team performance in terms of different tasks and locate stocks in the storehouse. The reporting and analytics feature offered by this software gives customers access to real-time details about the company.
Cin7 Orderhive enables users to create purchase orders, monitor stock levels across warehouses, monitor raw materials, store client information for marketing purposes in the future, create invoices, and keep track of payments.
This software system can be integrated with online marketplaces, including eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and others. Integrations are also available with e-commerce sites like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento, and accounting platforms like Xero and QuickBooks. The software also integrates with a number of shipping carriers and payment portals, which ensures hassle-free order shipments across the world.
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