For a small business, every cost counts. Small businesses will look for ways to save costs through different ways. One way small businesses think they are saving costs is by managing inventory manually. A familiar mindset is that “In the past it was done manually, and if we do it ourselves it will save money.” Therefore, they think they have saved money by deferring costs of automated inventory systems. However, inventory is one of the biggest assets for a small business. So inventory management tools are not just a cost, they are an investment. Investing in tools such as barcodes can not only support inventory stock control, but can actually save money and time.
A barcode system can be hugely beneficial to a small business. Barcodes can improve efficiency and management of inventory stock control. The best part about a barcode system is that it doesn’t have to come at a big cost. This makes it accessible for small businesses, as it is cost-effective and dependable. For instance, a barcode scanner and labels can be purchased for under $50. Most comprehensive barcode systems can be purchased for a few hundred dollars depending on the needs of the business. Let’s look at some of the benefits that a barcode system can have on your stock control and small business.
Barcodes take human error out of the picture. Typos during manual data entry can lead to a significant amount of errors. Mistakes with barcodes are infrequent, with scanning providing fast and accurate information. In addition, it’s done instantly, so it saves your employees time.
Reduced Training Time
Speaking of time, barcode systems save time gathering information and with training your employees. Since hand-held scanners are relatively simple and intuitive to use, employee training time is reduced. Employees would normally go through lengthy processes to become familiar with the inventory stock control procedures and tracking methods. Since time is saved on training, money is also saved in training wages.
Barcode training can save money and the actual implementation of the system is relatively inexpensive. Designing and printing barcodes applicable for your business is very economical. Additionally, you can customise them to look and feel exactly how you want to best suit your product. In turn, a barcode can make your product look more professional. Not only is the design aligned to fit with your product, but at the checkout a customer will see that your product is processed like other products from a big company.
Improvement in inventory stock control
Barcodes allow stock to be tracked in a very precise manner. With up-to-date information on your inventory levels from barcode data, you will be able to track trends and levels with ease. By identifying inventory levels, you can better manage stock and decide what needs to be ordered. With accurate information, you can choose to reduce some inventory levels if appropriate, leading to lower overhead. In addition, you know the location of your inventory, which reduces time spent searching for it.
Barcodes give small businesses a great tool to operate efficiently and accurately, just like some big businesses. They are inexpensive and user-friendly and can provide real-time data about your inventory levels. It will help with your stock control, reduce inefficiencies, and make your small business scalable if the future brings growth.
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.