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Warehouse Management Blog

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Top 4 reasons to use barcode scanning software

How To

WRITTEN BY Jonathan Bellwood /

13 April 2015

Top 4 reasons to use barcode scanning software Top 4 reasons to use barcode scanning software

We have previously talked about reasons to automate your warehouse, but, if like many growing companies, you’re not quite ready for full automation yet, at the very least introducing barcode scanning software will do wonders for your eCommerce warehouse management.

To keep you informed, we've compiled a list of 4 reasons to put in a barcode scanning system.

1) Live inventory

We love accurate stock figures almost as much as we love warehouse management. Accurate stock figures are what makes the warehouse work. Without them, you have overselling, lost stock, unhappy customers, and confused warehouse operators travelling for miles across the warehouse looking for that stuffed polar bear toy that the Excel spreadsheet says you have in stock.

Barcode scanning software on an android or a Motorola handheld at goods in will ensure that stock is 100% accurate and live on the website immediately. A sport and outdoor fashion retailer we work with went from doing between 20 to 30 oversells a day, to having just one in 40,000 out-of-stock sales.

2) Know what’s where

Barcoding the warehouse Barcoding the warehouse

Mike is a warehouse operator. He’s a resilient soul who traverses the vast reaches of the warehouse on a daily basis. His biggest frustration is walking ten minutes across the warehouse to pick an item for an order only to find that the item isn't where it was meant to be. He now has to check the spreadsheet, search for where the item might be, and then go find it in the warehouse.

With a barcode system, the location of every single item in the warehouse should be logged accurately in a database. Any errors in stock figures or location can be flagged up and rectified by the stock control team.

3) Less walking

Mike’s second biggest frustration is having to walk from one end of the warehouse to the next multiple times to pick for an order. During the summer, for instance, when the bathing suits become popular, he has to cross the whole warehouse several times a day to fulfil the increased orders for bikinis.

By using barcode software, when Mike goes out to pick an order, he can use the handheld scanner to show him the fastest route to the nearest location for the items he needs to find. This ultimately means that he can pick more orders during his shift. For another industry example, a women’s fashion retailer using our system introduced barcode scanning and went from picking 500 orders a day to picking more than 4,500.

4) So long, human error

Inventory checking Inventory checking

To err is human, to pick every order accurately is divine. Warehouse operators don’t mean to make mistakes but spotting the difference between a large green cardigan and a medium green cardigan isn't the easiest job, particularly when the order has to be picked in time for the couriers to deliver it.

Barcode labels eliminate the need to spend time double-checking every item picked because it’s simply impossible to pick the wrong one. Each SKU has its own barcode and pickers just need to scan the barcode and the handheld device will let them know whether it’s the correct item.

Key Takeaways

>> 100% accurate figures registered at goods in.

>> The location and quantity of every item is stored for easy viewing.

>> Your warehouse operators don’t need to replace the soles of their shoes nearly as often.

>> Human error will be a thing of the past.

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