Inventory Scanning Systems: What To Look For (2023)

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a warehouse worker using a barcode scanner and inventory scanning software

As an eCommerce business owner, you know how important it is to keep an accurate inventory of your products to maintain quality control and meet customer demand.

Investing in the right scanning system for inventory can give your business a serious edge over the competition.

In this blog post, we’ll explain the key features you need in a top-of-the-line inventory scanning system, and explore some of the best options available on the market today.

The basics: What are barcodes?

Barcodes are a technology that’s had a considerable impact on inventory management and eCommerce.

Barcodes are linear symbols that can be scanned into a computer system, so you can track goods on a grand scale. In barcode inventory systems, scanners are used to capture information from the barcode and store it in an electronic database.

Barcode scanning enables easy tracking of inventory and dramatically improves the efficiency and accuracy of eCommerce operations. Barcodes have changed the way businesses manage their products, making it simpler and faster to track stock levels.

Barcode inventory management system components

A barcode inventory management system is an essential tool for businesses of any size, making it easy to track and manage stock efficiently and accurately.

With a barcode system in place, business owners can get access to valuable data that will help them better understand their stock levels and plan for future purchases.

Here are the key components of an effective barcode inventory system:

1. Barcode scanning device

Your barcode scanner should be able to read a variety of barcodes and be easy to use.

2. Mobile computers

Mobile computers keep your barcode scanning system portable and provide you with accurate data quickly.

3. Barcode label printer

A barcode label printer prints custom barcodes for scanning in the inventory management system.

4. Barcode scanning software

This software enables the scanning and also integrates with an inventory management system for accurate data tracking.

5. Cloud-based inventory management

With cloud-based inventory management software, you can store your scanning data securely and remotely, making it accessible from anywhere.

6. Hardware infrastructure

You need infrastructure in place to ensure all scanning components are correctly connected and functioning.

7. Reports

You can gain insights into inventory trends and patterns over time by generating reports from the scanning data.

8. Customer support

Look for scanning systems that come with customer support to help you with troubleshooting and other scanning issues.

What to look for in an inventory scanning system

When it comes to inventory management, using a scanning system is one of the best ways to keep your business organized and efficient.

To find the best inventory scanning system for your business, look for reliable barcode software that can track your assets in real time, issue timely alerts when stocks start getting low, and enable you to reorder items quickly and easily.

Because each company’s needs are different, it’s essential to review your options carefully before settling on the right solution for you. An inventory scanning system should be flexible enough to grow with your business and capable enough to keep up with all of the changes that come with managing vast amounts of data.

Overall, when choosing a barcode inventory system, you’ll likely want to consider the following:

1. Ease of use

Look for scanning systems that are easy to use and require minimal training.

2. Accuracy

Make sure scanning systems are accurate enough to capture all data points needed, such as item quantities and locations.

3. Durability

Select a scanning system that is durable enough to withstand heavy-duty scanning in a warehouse environment.

4. Mobility

Choose scanning systems that are portable and provide wireless scanning capabilities to accommodate scanning needs throughout the facility.

5. Connectivity

Ensure scanning systems have the capability to connect with existing IT infrastructure such as POS systems, ERP software, etc.

6. Cost efficiency

Consider scanning systems that are cost effective by saving time in the long run.

7. Maintenance

Look for a system that has an easy maintenance schedule and requires minimal downtime to keep operations running smoothly.

8. Support

Identify scanning systems that come with a reliable and knowledgeable customer support team in case of any issues or technical difficulties.

9. Upgradeability

Choose scanning systems that can be easily upgraded to keep up with evolving scanning requirements and technologies in the future.

10. Security

Select scanning systems that provide a secure platform for protection against data breaches or unauthorized access.

How can I create an inventory scanning system for my small business?

A barcode inventory system is a powerful tool for small business owners.

For example, without a barcode inventory system, the owner of a pet supply store might not realize until it’s too late that a certain brand of dog collar has been flying off the virtual shelves. With a system in place, however, shop owners can track products with speed and accuracy.

Creating a barcode inventory system may seem like a daunting task, but there are many resources available to help you get started. With a little bit of research and planning, you can have an effective and efficient inventory management system up and running in no time.

Here’s how to create a barcode system for your small business:

1. Choose an inventory scanning system that’s right for your business

It is vital to select a scanning system that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Consider features such as scanning speed, advanced scanning capabilities, robustness of the software, accuracy rate, and ability to handle large volumes of data.

2. Purchase barcode labels or tags

Tags or labels that contain barcodes need to be printed and applied to each item in the inventory. Make sure they are durable enough to withstand scanning and don’t fade over time.

3. Create a database

This will store all data collected from scanning items, including product name, quantity, location, etc. The database should be secure, easily accessible, and simple to update in a timely manner.

4. Train your staff

Educate the employees who will be using your scanning systems on how to use scanning devices, manage the database, and maintain an accurate inventory.

5. Scan items regularly

The scanning of items should be done consistently to ensure the accuracy of your inventory tracking and maintain an up-to-date database.

6. Analyze data

Once the scanning is completed, the barcode data should be analyzed to identify trends and help with decision-making regarding ordering items. A wide variety of useful reports can be generated from your scanning system to provide you with insights into your inventory performance and needs.

7. Monitor scanning accuracy

Regularly check and monitor scanning accuracy to ensure that barcodes are being scanned properly and data is being captured correctly.

8. Update your scanning system as needed

To keep up with changing inventory levels and the growing needs of your eCommerce business, scanning systems should be updated regularly to reflect current stock. Keeping your scanning system up-to-date is essential for managing inventory accurately.

Final thoughts

When it comes to shopping for inventory management software for your small business, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind.

First, be sure that the barcode system can accommodate the scale of your business now and into the future as you grow.

It’s also essential to find barcode software that easily integrates with any existing systems you have in place.

And finally, make sure you get expert advice and support throughout the process to ensure a smooth transition for your team.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best inventory scanning system for your business needs.