Over the years, new technologies have forced businesses to change the way they operate; a business that is unwilling to adapt is a business that will fail. Barcoding is just one of the many technologies to shape the way businesses are run today. Warehouses have turned to barcoding and barcode scanners in order to operate more efficiently. Barcodes have become so popular that certain trends are being utilized in warehouses.
These days, it isn’t enough to simply have a barcoding system installed. The system must be custom tailored for each warehouse. Although warehouses achieve results in different ways, they all have the same goals:
- Speed: Operations in a warehouse can always be faster. Barcodes eliminate or shorten a plethora of tasks, which means production will increase. With the emergence of the internet and online shopping, speed is being stressed more than ever.
- Accuracy: It doesn’t matter how fast things are getting done if those things aren’t being done properly. A barcoding system almost entirely eliminates human error. In the warehouse while humans will make a mistake every few hundred keystrokes, barcode scanners will make a mistake once every few million scans. In addition, inaccuracy really slows down the speed of the warehouse.
- Money: The main goal of a business is to make money; a business cannot be sustained without income. Barcoding enhances productivity and efficiency, thus improving profitability in the long run.
The Importance of Traceability
With these three goals being so important to the success of a business, it comes as no surprise to see the trend of traceability emerging in the warehouse. Traceability is the ability to document and track each and every component that passes through your company. Warehouses are only one part of the supply chain. Warehouse managers should understand where a product is, even if it isn’t in the warehouse itself; this is something barcode scanners can help with. Traceability can lead to faster movement through the supply chain, and also allows for a more accurate picture of a product’s location.
In a world where information can be shared at the click of a button, it is more important than ever to protect your reputation. If something catastrophic led to your business issuing a recall, traceability could make the process as smooth as possible. Traceability would make it easy to manage the recall, and it could also help limit costs and retain customers.
In order for traceability to be effective, warehouses will have to automate as many processes as possible. Utilizing barcode scanners in the warehouse makes the most sense when eliminating manual processes. In most businesses, the supply chain will have gaps where manual processes are still the norm. It is up to those in charge to take control of the supply chain, or else there is a great deal of money that could be lost.
The goal of traceability is real-time updates that focus on the safety and satisfaction of the customer. Although warehouses don’t generally deal directly with them, the customers are the most important part of a business. If a warehouse is able to meet its goals of being fast, accurate, and profitable, it should have no problem pleasing customers.