Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are Barcodes Good for Business?

by Nate Schubert


Business owners and other decision makers are constantly evaluating products and processes to determine whether they would be a good fit for their business. If a proposed new process or component can provide benefits to a business in terms of increases in production or efficiency or lower operational costs, then it is likely that the process or component up for a consideration will be put into action. Of course, one of the major factors is also the cost of implementation-- is it going to generate more revenue than it cost to implement? How long will it take to recover the investment?

To Barcode, or Not to Barcode?

The question of implementing barcode technology has been asked at many businesses throughout the marketplace. Whether the proposed integration will prove to increase revenue or decrease operational costs is something that differs with each and every company that opts to put the technology into practice. However, there are some specific processes or procedures across the spectrum of industries where barcode integration is clearly a great decision...

  • Retail stores require that the manufacturers of the products they offer have UPC or Databar barcodes present on them. This allows for easy product identification and pricing information which can really speed up price checks and checkout. Further, the fast and easy record of product scans can be accumulated and analyzed to determine popular products, the impacts of lower (or higher) prices on certain products and much more.
  • ECommerce web sites utilize barcodes for a variety of reasons such as sales orders and return requests. This type of implementation allows staff to locate orders faster which increases response time and quality of customer service.
  • Shipping and receiving warehouses regularly scan the barcodes on their inventory to run up-to-date counts and keep tight control of their assets. Barcodes placed on packing slips may also be scanned to ensure that all items ordered have been picked and will be shipped to the customer. This type of increased command over shipping and receiving helps to keep costs down for returns and missing or stolen goods.
  • Advertising agencies have spent a great deal of time and effort looking for ways to incorporate 2D barcodes into promotional materials and endeavors. This type of integration can be as simple as a barcoded coupon with an incentive to save on a purchase, or something as complicated as scanning a 2D barcode in a movie, television show or video game to go "deeper" into the storyline, plot, etc.

You may not be in the movie-making industry, and you may not be in control of a multi-million dollar ECommerce store, but there is undoubtedly a place in your business where properly-used barcode technlogy can save you valuable time and money. How does your business use barcodes? 

No comments: