Upgrading your warehouse’s barcode system might seem like a substantial investment of both time and money. Not only can this investment pay off in the long run, but it also might not be as large of an undertaking as you imagine.
Upgrading barcode solutions to streamline warehouse processes could provide you with greater quality control, reduced costs, and important data that may make your job easier and business more profitable.
For many warehouses, barcode systems are limited to the products they store, pack, or ship. Getting the most out of a barcode system should involve a more comprehensive approach.
Adding barcodes to everything from locations to picking totes could increase efficiency and provide helpful metrics on how your warehouse operates. The more real-time data you have access to, the more informed your decision-making can be.
Barcodes are useful in a variety of ways in warehouse settings. With handheld scanners, tracking the movement of products and orders within the warehouse is simple. With strategic planning and placement, scanners could also be placed on door frames to automatically scan the barcodes that pass through the threshold.
These tools are commonly used for tracking when inventory comes in, goes out, or is picked from storage. Scanning barcodes allows management to keep track of inventory movements and provides useful data regarding shrinkage or inefficiencies.
Barcodes are especially useful for tracking heavy assets. Scanning barcodes in strategically placed locations makes tracking large assets as easy as tracking small products and also gives management the data they need to address bottlenecks in a facility.
While cost reduction is the primary focus of upgrading barcode solutions for many warehouse managers, doing so could also improve error detection and quality control throughout the supply chain.
A warehouse that lacks a barcoding system requires workers to manually track inventory. Hiring and training staff to perform work that could be easily streamlined using barcode tracking is an expense that warehouse management should not have to absorb.
The cost savings go well beyond reducing labor expenses. A successful barcoding system could lower costs by eliminating shrinkage and waste and limiting returns by picking up on errors before the product is shipped.
Upgrading to a barcode system could also help the bottom line by improving quality control and error detection. The implementation of a barcoding system could decrease the scope of manual errors that can result from carelessness or inadequate training.
One of the most common sources of errors in a warehouse is through poor recordkeeping. Employees frequently use hard-to-read handwriting or make incorrect keystrokes. The use of barcodes could reduce these errors dramatically.
These errors can have a direct impact on the performance of a warehouse. Missing inventory can lead to shipping delays, while packaging errors could result in costly returns. On-time shipping and correct packaging also improve customer experience.
Another potential benefit of using barcode solutions is adding layers of security to a warehouse’s operations. The use of barcoding systems allows for greater tracking of inventory, which could quickly identify theft or mishandling. These systems could help dissuade internal theft and provide management with tools to identify and address the source of missing shipments or inventory.
If your facility is not yet able to upgrade its barcoding solutions, you could benefit from working with a 3PL provider to help get the process started sooner. Reach out to learn how customized solutions from a 3PL provider like Brown West Logistics could help.