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Scanning Barcode Technology: Improving Warehouse Accuracy and Efficiency in 2023

Scanning Barcode Technology: Improving Warehouse Accuracy and Efficiency in 2023

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Barcode technology has revolutionised the way businesses manage inventory and streamline operations. From retail to healthcare, logistics to manufacturing, barcode scanning is an essential tool for enhancing accuracy and efficiency in supply chain management.

In this article, we’ll explore how barcode scanning technology, including data matrix codes, can help improve warehouse accuracy and efficiency. It’s a quick and easy way to identify and manage items, which is why it’s a go-to for many warehouses. Barcoding is the most cost-effective method of product tracing across various industries.

Barcodes provide automatic identification of products, fast recognition, and efficient implementation of data. Barcode labels are highly cost-effective, even when dealing with complex applications. Additionally, barcodes help to reduce capital costs by preventing the need to carry excess inventory, as they provide accurate information on what is in stock and prevent over-ordering.

Many companies are planning to upgrade their warehouse mobile devices because of these benefits. Barcodes allow businesses to track the “who,” “what,” and “when” of any activities within the warehouse. It is not surprising that businesses with portable barcode scanners are enjoying the efficiency that barcoding brings.

Whether you’re a warehouse manager, a logistics professional, or simply interested in learning more about the benefits of barcode scanning technology, this article will provide invaluable insights into how a barcode reader can improve accuracy and efficiency in supply chain management.

How Does A Barcode Scanner Work?

Barcode technology involves the use of a barcode scanner, which is a handheld device that reads information encoded in a barcode. When a barcode is scanned, the scanner uses a laser or camera to read the pattern of bars and spaces that make up the barcode. This pattern represents a unique identification number that is associated with a specific product, inventory item, or other data.

There are several types of barcodes that a warehouse might use these include:

  1. UPC (Universal Product Code) – used in retail for product identification and inventory management. UPC barcodes also have additional subtypes such as UPC A and UPC E.
  2. EAN (European Article Number) – similar to UPC and used for product identification in Europe
  3. Code 39 – used for alphanumeric data and inventory management
  4. Code 128 – is a barcode type that is used for alphanumeric data and more complex supply chain management
  5. QR (Quick Response) Code – can store more information than traditional barcodes and is used for a variety of purposes including advertising and product tracking
  6. Data Matrix – similar to a QR code and used for tracking and managing inventory and products
  7. PDF417 – is a barcode type used for storing large amounts of data, often used in transportation and logistics
  8. MaxiCode – used for package tracking and high-speed scanning
  9. Aztec Code – used for tracking and managing inventory in small spaces
  10. Interleaved 2 of 5 – used for inventory management and product identification

These are just a few examples of the many types of barcodes used today. Each barcode type has its own specific use case and advantages, and businesses may choose to use different types of barcodes depending on their needs and industry.

By using a scanner to read the unique identification number encoded in a barcode, warehouses can then use this data to track inventory, manage data, and improve accuracy and efficiency in supply chain management.

Advantages of using barcode technology in warehouse management

Improved accuracy

A study conducted by PeopleVOX revealed that the leading problem in warehousing operations is human error, accounting for approximately 46% of all issues.

Barcode scanning is much more accurate than manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and improving inventory accuracy.

Increased efficiency

Utilising a barcode scanner is a faster alternative to manual data entry, enabling workers to complete tasks more efficiently and boosting overall productivity.

Real-time tracking

Barcode scanning enables real-time tracking of inventory, making it easier for managers to monitor stock levels and adjust orders as necessary. Implementing barcode scanners can increase efficiency and conserve resources, particularly when onboarding new employees. Instead of training staff on an entire inventory of products, a barcode scanner can automate much of the work.

Improved inventory management

Zoho’s report indicates that accidental redundancy, picking errors, a disorganised warehouse layout, and inadequate preparation for seasonal demands continue to pose significant challenges for many warehouses. However, implementing a barcode reader can simplify inventory tracking and reduce the risk of stockouts and overstocking by keeping tabs on inventory levels and movements.

Reduced labour costs

Using devices that read barcodes reduces the need for manual data entry and paperwork, saving time and reducing labour costs.

Better decision-making

By having access to real-time data on inventory levels and movements, managers can make better-informed decisions regarding purchasing, production, and supply chain management.

Enhanced customer service

Barcode technology enables faster and more accurate order fulfilment, reducing delivery times and improving customer satisfaction.

The utilisation of barcode technology can offer substantial advantages for warehouse management, including enhanced accuracy, efficiency, and inventory management, while also reducing labour costs and improving decision-making. By adopting barcode technology in their operations, businesses can gain a competitive edge in the fast-paced and data-driven marketplace of today.

Rugged Devices With Barcode Scanners Vs Commercial Devices

Barcode scanners are essential tools for efficient warehouse management, but not all scanners are created equal. While commercial mobile phones like Android and iPhone can be used for barcode scanning, they are not always the best choice for rugged warehouse environments. Rugged devices with integrated barcode scanners offer several advantages over commercial mobile phones, including:

  1. Durability – Rugged devices are built to withstand harsh environments and can handle drops, vibrations, and extreme temperatures better than commercial mobile phones.
  2. Longer battery life – Rugged devices typically have larger batteries than commercial mobile phones, allowing for longer usage times and reducing the need for frequent charging. With longer battery life, your teams can scan through multiple shifts.
  3. Better scanning performance – Rugged devices with integrated barcode scanners are specifically designed for fast and accurate scanning, with advanced scanning technologies and better optics.
  4. Improved ergonomics – Rugged devices with integrated barcode scanners are designed for comfortable use over long periods of time, with ergonomic handles and buttons that are easy to use even while wearing gloves.
  5. Enhanced connectivity – Rugged devices often have better connectivity options than commercial mobile phones, with features like 4G LTE, GPS, and Bluetooth for improved communication and tracking.
  6. Security – Rugged devices are often more secure than commercial mobile phones, with features like encryption and secure boot for protection against cyber threats.

Using rugged devices with integrated barcode scanners can significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in warehouse management, especially in rugged and challenging environments. By investing in the right technology, businesses can optimise their operations and gain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced marketplace.

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Barcoding

  1. Include your label manufacturer and vendors on the planning team. Your label manufacturers can help in the installation process. Furthermore, the vendors can also help ease the installation process by labelling the products beforehand, provided that they also have the technology.
  2. Choose which kind of barcode works best for your facility. There are two kinds of barcodes, a 1D barcode (also known as linear barcodes) or a 2d barcode (e.g., QR code). Barcodes should be selected and labelled based on the environment in which they will be used, taking into consideration factors such as foot traffic, temperature, and durability requirements.

The installation process for barcode technology can be a bit laborious, and there are associated costs, but the overall benefits far outweigh these expenses.

Four reasons why barcoding is so helpful in increasing a company’s accuracy and efficiency

  1. Mistakes are less likely to happen

Human errors can have severe consequences for businesses. Mistakes in manually entering data on receiving documents, transfers, and cycle counts can result in inaccuracies. Furthermore, there is a risk of items being misplaced. Such errors can have a range of negative impacts on businesses, including damage to reputation and loss of sales. In contrast, barcode scanning is 99.9% accurate, eliminating the risk of human error.

If barcoding is implemented in your warehouse, simple mistakes can be avoided completely. With barcoding, you can save money, time, and energy.

  1. It makes an employee’s work easier

In a warehouse without barcoding, employees must constantly move back and forth to access inventory. With mobile barcode scanning devices, however, employees can quickly retrieve items and get to work immediately, saving time and reducing workload. Barcoding significantly streamlines warehouse operations.

  1. Processes are much faster with barcoding

Training employees to use barcode devices is relatively easy since barcoding is a simple tool. Barcoding is also the fastest way to streamline processes, as scanning a barcode is quick and instantaneous. This reduces the overall workload and minimises the time required to complete tasks.

  1. Accuracy = Efficiency

Barcodes are highly beneficial in managing inventory and tracking key performance indicators in a facility. They assist in monitoring the accuracy of inventory levels and shelf life of items, reducing the workload significantly. Barcodes can also enhance a company’s performance by providing valuable insights into the inventory management process.

Conclusion

Implementing barcode technology in a warehouse is crucial for cost reduction and achieving higher throughput. If your business aims to minimise errors, enhance warehouse operations’ efficiency, and capture information quickly, using warehouse barcode scanners is essential.

Conker’s rugged devices go beyond the features of standard mobile phones, providing excellent durability and functionality.

Conker is a company that specialises in rugged mobile devices for various industries, including warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, and retail. Our devices are built to withstand harsh environments, drops, water, and dust, making them ideal for use in tough working conditions.

A standout feature of Conker’s rugged devices is their built-in barcode scanners. These scanners make it easy for workers to quickly and accurately scan barcodes, improving inventory management and reducing errors. With real-time data on inventory levels and movement, a user can make better-informed decisions about purchasing, production, and supply chain management.

In addition to their barcode scanning capabilities, Conker’s rugged devices also come with other useful features, such as long battery life, fast processing speeds, and multiple connectivity options. This makes them highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications.

Furthermore, Conker is committed to providing excellent customer service and support. Our team of experts is available to assist with device setup, training, and troubleshooting, ensuring that businesses can fully utilise the benefits of their rugged devices.

Overall, Conker’s rugged devices, equipped with barcode scanning technology, offer a range of benefits for businesses, including improved accuracy, efficiency, and inventory management, while reducing labour costs and improving decision-making. With their durable construction and versatile features, they are a valuable investment for any business operating in challenging environments.

To find the right rugged device for your needs, contact Conker today.

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Anthony Nicholson

Anthony Nicholson

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