Thursday, September 26

Printing your Own Barcodes

Barcodes are either linear or two dimensional representations of information that can be deciphered using a barcode reader. There are many places such as Shopify where you can get a reasonably priced printer to print your own barcodes. But why on earth would you want to print your own barcodes? The power that lies hidden behind the common barcode is complex. With a properly utilized barcode system, a company can manage to automate most of its processes, making for faster turnover time and a larger propensity to get work done. Let's examine the ways printing your own barcode can affect your company.


Image from: http://www.fordesigner.com
The Data Entry Problem

In many businesses, there is a need for data entry to take place. This requires inputting data from previously collated information which is then further processed. Humans are notorious for encountering errors when dealing with sustained repetitive tasks. The only way you can completely remove any data entry error is to remove the process completely. By seamlessly introducing data into barcodes, you create a way of moving it from where it is to where it is most needed seamlessly. The result is a far more efficient system with less errors that require things being redone. Barcodes can provide the necessary push to drive the company into a more well-organized system capable of getting more done without problems arising. Eliminating the propensity for human error is the first step towards creating a more well-rounded industrial or commercial process.


Inventory Management Issues

Integration of the barcode printer with the point of sale terminal creates a seamless closed-loop system.  A barcode is generated that can later be used to reference pricing and inventory data from the input via the point of sale terminal. The usefulness from a business perspective of inventory management software has already been discussed extensively. The power of using customer barcodes comes from bringing the two systems together. Separately, they are very good in their own way. Combining them makes for an interesting development by linking the inventory with the actual products it references. The barcodes ensure that no errors are made when entering the data through the point of sale machine. This also allows the point of sale machine to automatically update the amount of a particular product still left in stock. Warnings can be generated well in advance to a stock running out so that it can be reordered.

Cost vs Risk Analysis

If a company is planning to integrate something like a barcode printer into its operation, it should benefit the company far in excess of the cost of installation and maintenance. Luckily, where barcode printers are concerned, price is usually on the lower end of the spectrum. The cheap availability of hardware for the production of barcodes makes it ideal for use in small and medium businesses, where the amount of funds available for the upgrade of systems to increase productivity is limited. The overall effect is that smaller businesses are able to operate beyond their scope thanks to the wonders of automation. This translates for more business and larger profit margins for the owners. It is not strange to hear of a barcode system being able to cover its own installation cost within a year of being implemented. 

The risk part of the equation comes into play when the business attempts to institute a barcode solution without fully understanding how the solution helps the business. The result is a poorly designed system that tries to maximize the potential of the barcode printer, but comes up woefully short. This failure is mostly due to an inability to grasp the ways a barcode printer can impact the business from a logistical background. In order to manage the risk, the owner must fully understand what the barcode system can do for the business and figure out if it would be worth the downtime to implement the system or not.

In any business, the aim is to provide a service or goods to a client. Understanding this puts us in the correct framework to make important decisions regarding the purchase of a barcode printer. The institution of a barcode system linked to the company's inventory has wide-reaching connotations. Almost every facet of the business is affected by the presence of the barcode system. Seamless integration is what the business seeks to achieve, for the simple reason that it allows the enterprise to better serve its customers. 

Increasing the speed and accuracy with which paperwork and other associated tasks are processed makes for faster turnover. Automation via the installed barcode system keeps errors out of the system whilst at the same time maintaining the speed of the process. Ideally, barcode systems would be introduced into most industrial and commercial businesses. It is one of the wonders of modern technology and it should be exploited to gain the full extent of the benefit it can give to small and medium enterprises.

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