Why Use Barcodes?
Why do all retail stores scan barcodes before making a payment? If we look at it from a business standpoint, the reason is because of 'efficiency.' Employees need to process transactions quickly with accurate calculations at the checkout counter. Attaching a barcode with the product's details saves workers time from having to input amounts one by one.
However, if you have items without barcodes attached, the count must be done manually along with checking the price. For example, fruits do not naturally come with barcodes (although there are barcodes ready to scan at the counter these days). Counting a variety of fruits one by one and entering the totals individually would be quite tedious. Considering how most supermarkets or convenience stores hold thousands of products, remembering all of their product details would be counter productive.
Not only do barcodes refer to product data, but it also allows you to commit transactions on a POS(Point of Sales) system. You can see many businesses using a POS systems when checking out products. This is not only a great system for transacting payments faster but also assists in gathering all information on product sales for management. Fortunately for customers and businesses, barcodes have seamlessly supplemented the advancement of POS systems.
This can apply to different types of businesses. If you are having trouble with tracking inventory and collecting sales analysis, let an inventory system do it for you. From generating barcodes to sales analysis, it can all be done at once.
How Barcodes Work
In general, barcodes are just a combination of numbers (and sometimes letters) that provides unique numerical identifiers to each product. The number itself does not represent anything unless there is the same specific value in your database that corresponds to the identifier. In practice, barcode scanners shine a light that reads the black and white lines, signifying 0's and 1's. While black lines tend to absorb light, white lines will reflect back the scanning light. The reflected or non-reflected patterns creates a binary code that refers to the unique number of the product.
Since 1D (UPC, code128, etc) and 2D (QR codes, etc) barcodes are a unique identifier to your inventory, you can create any combination of numbers (and letters) to refer to your product, as long as it is recorded in your database. Code 128 can use any strong of numbers or letters but typically business will use a 12 digit number for barcodes and will print that number on the bottom just in case there are any complications.
For the 12 digit format, the numbers represent:
- First Digit: Product type. If carrying multiple product types, there can be variations.
- Next five digits: Manufacturer's Code which the makers or distributors will provide a unique code
- Next five digits (2): Product Code unique to the specific product in reference.
- Final Digit: Check Digit, a computed number that is used to verify the composition of the prior numbers.
A 2D or QR codes function a little differently but provide the same service. Using various patterns or shapes, a 2D code can contain a large combination of numbers in the code and can be read either vertically or horizontally, thus 2D. A 2D code can encompass a variety of information, depending on the debate that is referred. Alphanumeric digits, pictures, websites, voices, and other binary data files can be read with many kinds of scanners.
If there is no need to create such a complex system of numbers, designating any number is fine as long as it is unique within the database. For example, if you own a bakery with a 100 different kinds of bread, you can randomly generate a barcode number from 1 to 100 for each bread type. The corresponding breads can then be brought up to the counter and scanned individually to extract the correct total due.
How to make your own Barcodes
Many barcode generating printers exist on the market. On BoxHero, an inventory management system, you can easily generate barcodes if your products do not have one and exist in your database for reference. Items such as handmade products usually do not have a barcode attached and would require the creator to designate barcodes in order to keep track of inventory and sales.
Print your Barcode Labels
BoxHero allows you to print barcodes in a quick and easy fashion. Generate and print barcodes in less than a minute with BoxHero's 'Label Print' menu. BoxHero provides various barcode templates with customizations to print labels and input any information you wish to include.
Create your own barcodes now by entering the information in BoxHero's Label Print feature.
In BoxHero, you can print from both thermal and general printers (inkjet, laser). If using a general printer, simply purchase an A4 sticker paper with the amount of labels required and print your customized label right from the BoxHero.
Track your Inventory with Barcodes
Almost all industries - retail, medical, and manufacturing - utilize barcodes to manage their products. Moving, organize, locating, shipping, and looking up statuses are quite possible by scanning and finding the product's unique code. Products with a barcode can be scanned using a hand-held device (i.e. cellphone) and synchronized with an inventory management software in real-time. Having access to barcodes allows to track several items at once without needing to manually type numbers or log any changes in inventory by hand.
Barcodes also helps provide data to develop strategies for seasonal sales cycles. From a product's barcode, a business can predict trends of when certain items have an uptick in sales. From there businesses can time when they want to receive extra products in order to avoid stock outs and minimize their inventory holding costs.
Find the software that is the right fit for your business and be wise in choosing the solution for your company to save money and time. Start now and streamline your workflow immediately.
Let BoxHero generate barcodes for you
BoxHero supports features that are ideal for managing inventory, such as:
- 📜 Categorize items to easily sort and group based on characteristics.
- ✔ Check reordering status from the 'Analysis' menu.
- 🔎Identifying products with 'Low Stock' status and plan reorders
- ║▌Generate, scan, and print Barcodes all in one system.
- 🧾 Easily create Purchase Orders, invoice statements, and sales analysis.
- ☁ BoxHero is a cloud-based inventory management system that allows you to create and share transactions with your team anytime, anywhere.
Having a hard time managing your inventory? Try BoxHero now.
Start inventorying right now with BoxHero!