If you’re intrigued by the world of barcodes and want to invest in them to help streamline your business processes, you’ll need to do your homework before purchasing a model. In fact, you’ll need to get pretty familiar with how barcoding works and what type of scanner software will be best for you.
Below are three barcode scanner tips to get you started on your way to becoming a 21st century organization.
1. Why do you want to get a barcode scanner? Is it because you’ve seen one in companies similar to your own and are trying to keep up “with the Jones’s”, as it were? Or have you really given thought to how you’ll use barcoding to propel your organization to the next level? All the barcode scanner tips in the world can’t help you if you cannot answer this first question.
Therefore, here are some ideas for you based on the type of business you have. If it’s a retail establishment and you aren’t using barcodes, it’s time to start. Barcoding started gaining momentum in the 1970s and has exploded into an accepted (and expected) way to track and organize inventory. However, if your business is more service-oriented, you may not need to use a barcode scanner. Sure, a UPC-type symbol would look snazzy on your invoices, but will it be more work that it’s worth to buy the software, learn how to use it, and then only utilize it when sending out bills?
2. What kind of barcode scanner do you want? You’d be amazed at how many different kinds of scanners there are – handhelds, wands, fixed-position, PDA – and they all use different sources to read the barcodes, such as lasers, LEDs, and 2D imagers. What you choose will depend on the computer software you intend to install in order to make the best use of your scanner.
Before you get too overwhelmed, though, there’s some really good news. Many barcode-related computer programs come packaged with all the tools you need, including a scanner (usually hand-held) and connector cables. If you’re just starting out, considering purchasing one of these for a few hundred dollars. Conversely, if you’re looking for a barcode scanner that will grow with you, get one that will be able to read two-dimensional barcodes, the next generation of coding.
3. Who will be using this barcode scanner? This is the third of the barcode scanning tips, but it should be considered concurrently with numbers one and two. If you have employees, they might need to be trained on the barcode scanner. This can be done individually or, if you have many workers who will be using the equipment and software, you might want to hire an outside consultant to train everyone en masse. Again, use your best judgment based on the number of people you want to work with the new software and scanner.
By thinking about these three barcode scanner tips, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to upgrading your business.