Barcoding – Why?
Barcodes are just a set of vertical lines representing an item code which makes it quick and easy to enter on a system. Barcode tracking systems require all the tracked items to have a unique identity. Where there are thousands of items to be tracked it means that the identifying number or code is probably going to be more that a few digits and characters which in turn means that there is a high risk of input error when recording their location or condition. Barcodes and RFID tags are used to minimise the errors and a side benefit is that it is a lot quicker.
Barcode label printers or preprinted labels?
A barcode tracking system must have the capability to print or attach this unique identity to the items and it must have the capability to read the codes. Some items will arrive with barcodes on them already, others will need to have one attached. Our tracking systems all print barcodes directly from within the application and you can also use preprinted labels or tags and stick them to the items. It depends on which is most convenient in your own situation. After fixed tags or labels to the items the PDAs or scanner guns read the barcodes and log them into the system.
Refining the identity of the item
There is a difference between inventory items like stock and non inventory items like assets. In the case of inventory items (items for resale) these can be split further into consumables and saleable stock. So for commodity items and consumables within your inventory you need a single generic identity to cover each item type.
Batch number and serial numbers
You may also need a batch number to identify the batch in case of customer complaint. Lets say you are selling flour. You will have a generic product code for flour, say P1234, but each consignment of flour that arrives will have its own batch number, say B4567 so that you can identify which batch caused a problem. This is not necessary for internal consumables like A4 paper or pens because batch traceability is more useful to your supplier than you. Unique assets such as Laptops or phones will have a generic code but also a barcode serial number so that each one can be identified uniquely. Then you can easily see the number of laptops you have in total and each individual one as well.
We have barcode solutions for the applications below. To find out more about them click on one of the items below!