The Importance of Using Barcode Scanners for Warehouse Inventory

the importance of using barcode scanners for warehouse inventory
Barcode scanners are an essential tool for warehouse efficiency and accurate operations.
Written by Francisca Silva
Category: Supply Chain
November 1, 2023
8 min read


Barcode scanners are an essential tool for warehouse efficiency and accurate operations.
Written by Francisca Silva
Category: Supply Chain
November 1, 2023
8 min read

In today’s fast-paced world of business and logistics, the role of warehouse barcode scanners cannot be underestimated. These devices, such as Shipedge WMS-compatible barcode scanners, have revolutionized how companies manage their inventory and streamline operations. From accurately tracking products to automating processes, barcode scanners have become indispensable tools for businesses across various industries.

A warehouse barcode scanner is not just a piece of hardware; it’s a gateway to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance accuracy. In this post, we will explore the world of barcode scanners, their warehouse applications, and the benefits they bring to your business. At the end of this article, we will delve into Shipedge’s WMS-compatible barcode scanner solutions, which can take your warehouse management to the next level.

So, let’s dive in and discover how barcode scanners can transform your warehouse operations and boost your business’s success.

What Does a Warehouse Barcode Scanner Do for Inventory Management?

A barcode scanner, also known as a barcode reader or barcode scanner device, is a piece of hardware used to scan and decode barcode symbols. Barcodes are graphical representations of data, typically in parallel lines or dots, that store information about products, items, or entities. Barcode scanners have extensive applications across various industries for inventory management, point-of-sale (POS) transactions, asset tracking, and more.

In a few steps, this is how a barcode scanner works in practice:

  1. Scanning: The barcode scanner emits a light source, such as a laser or LED, onto the barcode symbol. This light is reflected off the barcode and collected by a light-sensitive sensor in the scanner.
  2. Decoding: The scanner’s sensor detects the variations in light intensity as it moves across the barcode. These variations represent the black-and-white elements of the barcode pattern.
  3. Data conversion: The scanner converts the detected pattern of light and dark elements into an electrical signal, then processed by internal electronics.
  4. Data interpretation: The internal electronics of the scanner interpret the electrical signal to decode the barcode’s data. This data is typically a series of alphanumeric characters representing information about the item or product associated with the barcode.
  5. Output: The decoded data is then transmitted to a connected computer, POS system, or other devices, where it can be used for various purposes, such as inventory tracking, pricing, or product identification.

Various barcode scanners exist, encompassing handheld options, fixed-mount scanners, and mobile device scanners, for example, smartphone apps, such as the Shipedge inventory scanner app, that use the device’s camera to scan barcodes). Each type is designed for specific use cases and environments.

Barcodes come in various formats, with the most common types being:

  • UPC – Universal Product Code
  • QR code – Quick Response code
  • Code 128

Barcode scanners for inventory management have significantly improved efficiency and accuracy in industries that rely on rapid data capture and have become an essential tool in retail, logistics, healthcare, manufacturing, and many other sectors.

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How Are Barcodes Used in a Warehouse?

Inventory scanners are essential tools, especially when running and operating a warehouse.

Scanners help employees efficiently monitor and manage inventory, streamline complex processes, and minimize costly errors. Barcodes simplify overseeing the vast array of items stored in a warehouse, helping to ensure accurate and error-free shipping. In the warehouse environment, these specialized scanners have diverse applications.

They are indispensable for inventory tracking, swiftly pinpointing item locations, and closely monitoring the movement of products from when they are received to when they are prepared for shipping.

This comprehensive tracking capability ensures real-time visibility into the whereabouts of every item, leaving no room for things to go astray in the bustling warehouse environment.

However, the advantages of inventory scanners, barcode scanners for inventory, and warehouse barcode scanners extend far beyond these foundational functions. They possess the unique ability to automate various warehouse processes, ushering in even greater levels of efficiency. 

For instance:

  • Scanning a barcode can trigger automated actions, such as retrieving a specific item from its designated shelving unit or generating a shipping label with precision and speed.

By eliminating the need for manual labor and significantly reducing the risk of errors, these tools become indispensable allies for warehouse managers, ultimately elevating the overall efficiency of warehouse operations. In summary, inventory and barcode scanners are the trusted companions of warehous

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What are the Benefits of a Warehouse Barcode Scanner?

Barcodes offer invaluable advantages within warehouse management systems, contributing to error reduction, operational efficiency enhancement, and process optimization.

One of the foremost merits of utilizing barcodes lies in their error-reduction capabilities. 

The automation facilitated by barcodes significantly mitigates the potential for human errors, guaranteeing the accurate storage and shipment of items.

Barcodes catalyze improvement in efficiency. Automation streamlines formerly manual tasks, such as item retrieval from shelves or label printing, reducing costs and heightening productivity.

Furthermore, barcodes play a pivotal role in process streamlining. They ensure accurate item allocation through precise inventory tracking, preventing the pitfalls of overstocking and understocking. This, in turn, minimizes the occurrence of stockouts and bolsters customer satisfaction. Let’s explore other benefits related to implementing handheld scanners in inventories.

CASE STUDY: Snapl’s Integration of Shipedge’s WMS and OMS Systems

1. Improve Efficiency in Your Warehouse

Barcode scanners are instrumental in optimizing warehouse efficiency. They achieve this by automating data entry. This diminishes the likelihood of mistakes linked to manual data entry. By facilitating quicker data capture, barcode scanners expedite warehouse processes, such as receiving, order fulfillment, and inventory management. This enhances productivity and reduces labor costs, as fewer employees are required for manual tasks.

Barcode systems offer real-time visibility into warehouse operations, allowing managers to make informed decisions and streamline workflow. Standardization of processes often accompanies the implementation of barcode technology, ensuring consistent and efficient procedures. Integrating barcode scanners with warehouse management systems leads to seamless data flow, enhancing overall warehouse management.

READ MORE: Maximize Your E-Commerce Success with Real-Time Inventory Management

2. Reduce Labor Costs

Savings can be achieved by reducing clerical work associated with manual data entry and increasing efficiency in the picking process, which may reduce the need for additional staff.

By tracking picks per hour with the barcode scanner tied to a specific user, managers have better insight into top performers in the warehouse and may even find bottlenecks or areas to improve.

The capacity to capture precise and promptly available data, enabling the monitoring of individual and departmental performance, along with the transparent posting of individual outcomes, will lead to enhanced productivity.

3. Timely Data

An important note to make is that some barcode systems may not communicate in real-time with your Warehouse Management System (WMS). Some scanners will send updates to the WMS every 15 minutes, drastically reducing visibility into the warehouse’s efficiency. Using Shipedge’s app for picking allows your warehouse operations, pick rates, and inventory levels to be updated in real time.

4. Reduced Training Time

With Shipedge’s straightforward approach to training, new staff spends less time learning about how to use the system, and more time on the warehouse floor contributing to daily operations.

Warehouse workers grab a scanning device with Shipedge’s mobile app installed, are given a pick list with efficient routing, and are on their way to pick items. Laborers then scan the item to ensure an accurate pick and move on to the next item.

5. Better Decision-Making

This results in achieving the utmost precision and promptness in data acquisition, enabling you to optimize the utilization of your inventory and human resources. You will no longer rely on individual managers to gather data based on their schedules and individual methods. Instead, you can establish standardized procedures for how warehouse department managers strategize and oversee their operations.

How Barcodes Will Improve Your Business

Inventory scanners, such as barcode and handheld scanners, can enhance business efficiency and effectiveness, leading to various benefits, for example:

  • Accuracy and Precision: Inventory scanners ensure precise data capture when dealing with inventory-related tasks. This accuracy reduces the likelihood of errors in inventory counts, leading to more reliable stock levels and minimizing discrepancies.
  • Efficiency: These scanners expedite inventory management processes. With the swift and accurate scanning of barcodes, tasks such as receiving, picking, packing, and conducting inventory counts become more efficient. This results in time savings and enhanced productivity.
  • Real-time visibility: Warehouse barcode scanners enable real-time tracking of inventory. This visibility into stock movement allows for better decision-making, reduces the risk of stockouts or overstocking, and ensures optimal stock levels.
  • Cost reduction: Improved accuracy and efficiency brought about by inventory barcode scanners lead to cost savings. Fewer errors mean fewer operational costs related to returns, order fulfillment, and labor.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: With the ability to process orders quickly and accurately, your customers receive their products on time and with fewer errors. This enhances satisfaction levels and can lead to increased loyalty.
  • Streamlined operations: By implementing barcode technology and handheld scanners for inventory, you can standardize and streamline your inventory management processes. This consistency results in a more organized and efficient warehouse operation.
  • Integration: Inventory scanners can seamlessly integrate with your inventory or warehouse management systems. This integration ensures that data flows smoothly across various parts of your business, providing a comprehensive view of inventory-related activities.

In conclusion, inventory scanners, including barcode scanners for inventory, warehouse barcode scanners, inventory barcode scanners, and handheld scanners for inventory, empower your business by enhancing accuracy, efficiency, real-time visibility, and customer satisfaction. These tools contribute to cost reduction and streamlined operations, ultimately improving business performance and success. 

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How Can I Implement Inventory Barcode Scanners in My Business?

In today’s ever-evolving world of business and logistics, the role of barcode scanners, especially 2D scanners like those offered by Shipedge, has become paramount. 

These devices have revolutionized inventory management and operational efficiency for companies across diverse industries. From meticulously tracking products to automating complex processes, barcode scanners have become indispensable tools, driving business success.

The versatility of Shipedge’s WMS-compatible barcode scanners allows for seamless integration into your operations, offering flexibility beyond just using Shipedge’s devices. You can employ these scanners on any Android device by downloading the Shipedge app from the Google Play Store. This adaptability empowers you to align your hardware choices with your needs and budget.

Here’s an introduction to how you can successfully integrate Shipedge WMS scanners into your warehouse management:

1. Assess Your Warehouse Needs

Begin by assessing your specific warehouse requirements. Understand the areas where barcode scanners can impact the most, such as inventory management, order picking, packing, and receiving. Identifying these key areas will help determine which scanners best suit your needs.

2. Select the Suitable Scanner(s)

Shipedge offers a range of barcode scanners designed to meet different operational demands. Choose the scanners that align with your workflow and the types of barcodes you’ll be working with. These scanners are designed for various applications, including handheld devices for inventory management, mobile scanners for order picking, and rugged devices for challenging warehouse environments.

3. Training and Familiarization

Train your warehouse staff on how to use the Shipedge WMS scanners effectively. Familiarize them with the scanner’s functions, barcode scanning techniques, and how to interpret the data they capture. Proper training is essential to maximize the benefits of the technology.

4. Barcode Labeling

Create and apply barcodes to your products, bins, shelves, and other relevant items within your warehouse. Ensure that barcodes are clear, well-placed, and easy to scan. Consistent labeling is crucial for accuracy and efficiency.

5. Testing and Calibration

Before Shipedge barcode scanners are sent out for use, they are thoroughly tested by our team to ensure proper functionality. When using your own Android devices, conduct thorough testing and calibrating to identify and resolve any potential issues and prevent problems before they occur.

6. Continuous Monitoring and Optimization

Implement a system for ongoing monitoring and optimization of your barcode scanner usage.

By following these steps and effectively integrating Shipedge WMS scanners into your warehouse management system, you can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your operations. Barcode scanning technology, when implemented correctly, can lead to improved inventory control, streamlined processes, and, ultimately, increased productivity within your warehouse.

It’s worth noting that Shipedge not only provides rigorously tested in-house barcode scanners but also encourages clients to explore other scanning devices. We are committed to offering users the power of choice, adaptability, and customization.

WMS Inventory Barcode Scanner

In conclusion, Shipedge’s barcode scanners have the potential to revolutionize your warehouse operations by enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, providing timely data, streamlining processes, and ultimately improving decision-making. To fully unlock the benefits of inventory barcode scanners, consider Shipedge’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) scanners. By partnering with us, you can optimize your operations and drive your business toward greater success. We invite you to get to know us better and explore how our solutions can meet your unique needs. Reach out to our team today and embark on a journey towards an efficient and successful warehouse management experience.

Discover how our WMS can improve your business

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