Product labelling can be a complex process. Manufacturers today are faced with a range of evolving requirements that complicate this process and leave many businesses merely accepting this process as the cost of doing business. But it certainly doesn’t need to be. Product labelling can make a huge difference if properly implemented, increasing efficiency and accuracy to create a competitive edge.
Although not new, product labelling and barcodes do not reach their complete usefulness if not used in tandem with a manufacturer’s entire operations. For example, it may be better to invest in streamlining processes that compliments labelling tasks, such as mobile barcode scanners that come equipped with a printer, to allow for quick and instant label making. This increases efficiency compared to say a centrally located printer where labels can get mixed up and other time-consuming implications result. When deploying barcoding technology, the best way to increase both accuracy and efficiency is by starting off right and ensuring the organisation is ready for the implementation. While the setup of a barcoding system has its associated costs, the overall benefits of increased accuracy and efficiency to your warehouse after implementation are well worth the investment.
After you’ve properly prepared for and established product labelling with barcode scanning in your warehouse, here are a few ways barcoding increases both accuracy and efficiency.
Reduces human errors
Warehouse workers manually entering data can be prone to errors, and each error has the potential to snowball in a warehouse environment. Frequent mistakes could result in items having incorrect labels, being misplaced, lost or shipped out to the wrong customer. Not only are these situations costly and drain energy and time, but the negative impact on your company’s reputation and can have severe consequences on your bottom line.
People and businesses are becoming increasingly more mobile because it’s convenient and more efficient. Many manufacturers have started to follow suit. For example, by using wireless, handheld barcode scanners make it easy for an employee to start such related tasks immediately. Streamlining processes provides the opportunity to save as much time as possible, and to get through tasks quicker while maintaining accuracy.
If your business is managing lots of stock, label printing can make inventory management much easier. Smarter manufacturing inventory management software allows your business to create, customise and print labels. No more excuses for unidentified boxes lying around the warehouse and risk mixing up inventory stock. Customised labels can be especially important when you are in heavily regulated industries such as the food and beverage or medical industries where label requirements are critical.
Accurate can be efficient
Product labelling and barcoding simplifies tracking the lifecycle of a product as it moves through the supply chain. This way you know exactly where your inventory stock is. This is highly beneficial for product traceability too, in the event of a product safety recall. By ensuring your manufacturing inventory management solution is well equipped to cater for tracking may save you astronomical amounts of time and money later.
Tracking and monitoring KPIs
Not only does product labelling and barcode scanning have the ability to track physical inventory stock, a sound manufacturing inventory management solution can help monitor KPIs too. Monitoring manufacturing KPIs such as inventory turnover, procurement accuracy, order filling accuracy, employee performance, (just to name a few!) is becoming a widespread practice. Manufacturers are then looking at this information to then reveal where improvements may be needed, setting up realistic benchmarks for employees, maximising profits, by increasing efficiency and maintaining accuracy through product labelling and barcodes.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.