AML Blog - The Scan

Fixing the Manual Warehouse: How Barcoding Helps

The warehouse is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful business. It acts as a hub through which almost everything must pass. Without a warehouse – or without a functional warehouse – a business is extremely limited. In this day and age, a warehouse that operates manually is simply wasting money. Manually recording information and then entering it into a computer later is a two step process that requires time and effort from employees. Even the most diligent and efficient employees pale in comparison to a barcoding system.

Businesses with manual warehouses might still find success, but beating out the competition usually takes a forward-thinking mind. Take a look at some of the issues that may arise in a manual warehouse:

  • When information is recorded by hand, instead of with a barcoding system, and then transferred to computers, extra time is consumed. An employee must take the time to record and then re-record that information. Not only does this keep that employee from completing other tasks, it is a much slower process than is needed. Why do something in two steps when it can be done in one?
  • When an employee is required to record information, errors are going to be made. Handwriting can be sloppy and accidental keystrokes are always a possibility. In addition, these mistakes might not immediately come to light. Discovering a mistake at an inopportune moment is time consuming and can damage a company’s reputation.
  • Customer service can also suffer when it comes to manual warehouses. If it takes a while for information to be updated, customers will not get immediate help. Manually recording information affects more than just the warehouse.

When a warehouse starts to implement newer technologies – like barcoding, for example – a ripple effect can be felt throughout the entire business. A barcoding system allows employees to instantaneously transfer information. A manual warehouse that begins to use barcoding will experience some extreme improvements.

  • Barcoding can save employees time because they don’t have to bother writing down any information. They can simply use a barcode scanner to update or transfer new data. Although this change may only save a few seconds or minutes at a time, those seconds and minutes add up quick. In a warehouse that completes a good number of transactions, the improvement will be seen from day one.
  • In addition to saving time, a barcoding system also keeps employees from making errors. Human error is common and unavoidable, but barcode scanners typically make a mistake once in every few million scans. Cutting down on mistakes is important, not only because it saves time, but because mistakes tend to affect the business as a whole.
  • When information can be updated immediately, a business is able to easily keep track of all levels of operations. This helps when it comes to customer service; having up to date information can help answer questions. Barcoding also allows a business to easily track inventory. Having to guess how much of a product is still in stock is never a good option; barcodes take out the guesswork.

The manual warehouse is outdated; barcoding can help your business look to the future, and save you money in the process. Every single aspect of the warehouse can benefit from the introduction of a barcoding system. Barcodes will make a difference, even if the differences are minute. It isn’t often that speed and accuracy can coexist so easily, but the modern warehouse is proof that it happens.

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