Barcode Technology for Inventory Management: 10 Essential Considerations

Consider these 10 essential questions prior to implementing inventory management using barcode technology.

barcode technology and QR codes

QR Code Image via CrunchBase

Since their origin several decades ago, mobile systems using barcode technology and RFID (radio frequency and identification) tags have become a popular form of business-oriented technology. Scanbuy, a leading mobile engagement solutions provider, estimates that over 24 million commercial QR codes and UPC mobile barcodes were scanned in the third quarter of 2013.

Some of the most popular forms of barcode technology and RFID tags are found in mobile advertising and commercial inventory management. With the use of an inventory system that utilizes barcodes or RFID tags, businesses reduce their labor costs, decrease theft and optimize their sales revenue.

This type of inventory management also enables companies to have real-time knowledge of their inventory in storage facilities, to know when new products need to be ordered to ward off “out of stock” issues and to determine what products are most popular with customers.

However, inventory management using barcodes or RFID tags needs careful planning so that the system is cost-efficient and has no performance problems after installation. Business owners should consider the following questions before implementing an inventory system with barcode technology or RFID tags:

1) What are the business issues that the inventory system is intended to solve? These issues could include theft prevention, faster order processing, greater accuracy and up-to-date knowledge of the products stored in a warehouse or other storage areas.

2) What items require tracking? In addition to items stored in boxes, envelopes or bags, the system could be adapted to track pallets or large storage containers.

3) Which employees will be responsible for managing the inventory system? Ideally, one or two employees should manage the system and their responsibilities should be clearly identified before the system goes into full-time use.

4) Will the system need to withstand normal indoor use or rugged outdoor conditions? If the system is used outdoors, the barcodes and RFID tags may require weather-resistant covers to protect them from damage.

5) If the system uses barcode technology, can the barcodes be easily created on a printer as needed?

6) Are the barcodes and RFID tags compliant with industry standards?

7) Is the system intended for local, national or international use?

8) Can the system be upgraded to accommodate new software when necessary?

9) Are barcodes easy for different mobile devices to read? Barcodes in the inventory system may need to be adapted for both smartphones and tablet computers.

10) Has the system been tested with a pilot program? By using a pilot program, performance problems can be quickly identified and tweaking the inventory system to suit specific business needs becomes easier.

COMMANDmobile® supports various technologies such as barcoding, smartphones and tablet computers. To learn more details, request a demo account or view our product information video.

Related links

Business Benefits From Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – PDF

What Are The Benefits Of Using Barcode Technology?

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About DeAnna Davidson

DeAnna Davidson is a proven technologist and business leader who is passionate about the power of mobile computing to revolutionize a business or industry, and dedicated to helping organizations use mobile, wireless, and web technologies to their advantage.

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