For most companies, inventory is their biggest asset. The stock you carry represents a huge financial investment and provides the potential for profit. The value of your inventory can’t be understated, which is why it’s fascinating so many companies struggle to implement inventory management tools.
Inventory management software can simplify the process of tracking your inventory, save you money, help you avoid losses and costly fees, and allow you to forecast for the future.
With barcode inventory management tools, it’s never been easier to reap the benefits of an inventory management system. Today, we’ll show you why barcode inventory management software is a game-changer.
What is Barcode Inventory Management Software?
Our first order of business is to define what barcode inventory management software is.
The best way to do this is by breaking down the definition into two parts: barcode inventory scanning and inventory management software.
Inventory management software tools are programs designed for tracking inventory levels, sales, orders, deliveries, and other warehouse or distribution center needs.
Beyond this, inventory management software can help manufacturers create things like work orders, purchase orders, bills of materials, and a wide range of other documents needed in production.
Barcode inventory scanning, meanwhile, is a method of tracking inventory in your warehouse and other locations. Barcodes are created for each product and item and feature a wide range of information (customizable to meet your specific inventory tracking needs).
With barcodes applied, employees can easily track inventory manually or automatically with barcode readers in your facility.
Barcode inventory management software like SkuVault combines these two things in one centralized hub. As barcodes are scanned, counts and other important data are updated automatically in your inventory management software.
This means you’ll no longer have to manually track inventory with physical counts and spreadsheets and will have a better, more up-to-the-second understanding of your inventory levels and locations.
What are the Benefits of Barcode Inventory Management?
There is a wide range of benefits to implementing barcode inventory management in your business. Here are a few of the most common:
Better Inventory Tracking
With barcodes and scanners, tracking your inventory in your warehouse or between locations is easier than ever. Scanning items will relay information to your inventory management software almost instantly, meaning you’ll always have accurate, up-to-date information.
Fewer Inventory Errors
Scanning barcodes is simpler than physically tracking items and manually updating spreadsheets. With barcode inventory management tools, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes when it comes to tracking and counting items.
Barcode inventory management does require some investment upfront, but the system will soon pay for itself in increased savings.
The software will generally feature analytics tools that can help you forecast future sales. This knowledge will allow you to order the right amount of stock and eliminate carrying costs.
Beyond that, the software will alert you to low inventory levels, and can even automatically reorder key items. This means you’re less likely to encounter stockouts and lost sales.
Better Point of Sale Integration
A barcode system makes transactions at the register much easier too. Simply scanning a barcode is easier than manually entering data and leaves significantly less room for error.
It also makes managing returns simpler as well. Scanning a barcode at the register can both remove or add the item back into stock instantly, which means more accurate counts.
These are just a few of the benefits of barcode inventory management. The system as a whole is simple to integrate, easy to use, and will streamline your inventory management process across the board.
Improved Order Accuracy
Mispicks, mis-shipped orders, and incorrect order fulfillment cost your company money both in lost time and shipping fees, as well as lost customers.
Barcode Inventory management software can greatly reduce the number of order errors, helping you push your order accuracy towards 100%.
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What Features Should You Look For with Barcode Inventory Management Software?
By this point, you’re hopefully starting to see how barcode inventory management software could impact your business in a positive way.
The next step in the process is finding the right software solution for you and your company.
There are a lot of different options on the market, with products that are free (or have very low monthly fees) to fancy full-featured modular solutions you can customize to meet your exact needs.
The first step to finding the right solution for you is figuring out what features will aid your business the most. Here are some of the tools we think any good barcode inventory management software should have:
Easy Integration with a Wide Range of eCommerce Solutions
One of the most important and commonly overlooked features your barcode inventory management software should have is the ability to integrate with a wide range of eCommerce solutions.
From various marketplaces to shipping platforms to your CRM and point of sale tools, the more efficient your IMS is at integrating with other platforms, the more powerful and useful it will be.
SkuVault’s barcode inventory management software seamlessly integrates with more than 50 other solutions. From Shopify to Amazon and beyond, you’ll want a software solution that works with all of the various platforms you use on a regular basis.
Full Analytics Support
Another key feature that you’ll want to have in your barcode inventory management software is analytics and reporting.
Analytics tools are key for forecasting future trends, spotting potential issues, and ensuring your inventory management operation is running smoothly.
Most products on the market offer some sort of analytics and reporting, but SkuVault provides deep insights into all facets of your operation from orders to fulfillment.
Pick and choose as much or as little data as you’d like, but having an IMS with a full complement of reporting and analytics tools will help you make better decisions at every level.
Pick, Pack, and Ship Tools
In the previous section, we talked about how barcode inventory management software can help you improve order accuracy. One of the ways you can ensure this happens is by choosing a solution that features a full suite of pick, pack, and ship tools.
SkuVault can help you achieve better pick, pack, and ship rates by automating processes to decrease the likelihood of human error. Streamline your picking, fulfillment, and shipping processes and deliver error-free orders on time, every time with inventory management software.
Pick, pack, and ship tools will take your order fulfillment to the next level, allowing you to improve your seller performance ratings and find things like quality control issues before they leave your building.
Supply Chain Management
If you have a long supply chain, or inventory stored in multiple warehouses, you know firsthand the challenges of managing inventory across multiple vendors and locations.
Tools like SkuVault can simplify this process by allowing you to manage multiple locations from the cloud, track and manage your suppliers, and use barcoding to save time when receiving new inventory.
The increased transparency provided by barcode inventory management makes monitoring inventory levels and receiving at multiple locations a snap.
How Much Does Barcode Inventory Management Software Cost?
One of the biggest factors that keep companies from embracing inventory management software comes down to the price.
There’s a misguided belief that inventory management software is expensive and therefore out of reach for companies on a budget. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
As inventory software tools become more prevalent, there are solutions tailored to fit every need and budget. From freeware solutions with limited functionality to full-service software that has every conceivable bell and whistle.
With many companies offering a “Software as a Service” solution, the buy-in is more affordable than ever.
With these products, you’ll purchase a contract for the software of your choice and will pay a monthly fee based on that agreement. This can dramatically reduce the initial cost of upgrading your current IMS or implementing a new one.
Beyond that, the other cost with barcode inventory management is the barcode tools you’ll need.
As with the software, there is a wide range of options available. Barcodes come in a variety of different types and price ranges. Scanners are the same.
And while low-priced scanners abound, it’s good to try before you buy. You often get what you pay for with barcode scanners. Spending a few extra dollars upfront can save you money in the long run on repair and replacement costs.
The key takeaway here is that a barcode inventory management software solution isn’t as pricey as you think it is. With SkuVault, we regularly see new customers recoup their investment costs in the first few months after installation.
No matter what option you choose, it’s important to figure out your budget, determine what features and tools are “must-haves,” and then find solutions that meet your needs. Schedule demos and take advantage of free trials to get a test drive with your candidates, then select the one that’s right for your business.
Barcode inventory management software can make your operation more profitable, streamline your inventory processes, and help you spot problems and opportunities.
While there is some initial investment required to get this inventory solution up and running, in many cases the costs are reasonable and the project pays for itself with increased productivity, better inventory management practices, and reductions in costly human error.
With so many options on the market, finding the right barcode inventory management solution can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Reach out to us to schedule a demo or ask questions. We’re dedicated to helping you find the solutions you need, regardless of the company you choose.
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