How Barcode Technology Streamlines Warehouse Processes & Reduces Costs

Have you been putting off using barcodes in your warehouse?

While barcodes may seem like a heavy lift, they are not as difficult as one would think. You can start small, by focusing on one area of the warehouse, a customer or process, and measure effectiveness from there.

Using barcode technology and a WMS can provide greater quality control over your warehouse operations, reduced costs, and many more efficiencies.

Implement barcode technology within the four walls of your warehouse 

Barcodes are used to label a variety of elements in a warehouse such as products (including cartons and skids), locations, packing materials, and picking totes. These labels dramatically speed up transactions, replacing manual, physical or handwritten methods with a quick scan of a wireless device.

By implementing barcode technology, managers can capture data in real-time and oversee warehouse activities with more speed and accuracy. This increased efficiency and visibility can have a major impact on the bottom line.   

Key transactions you can accelerate

Barcodes can be used to perform a multitude of wireless warehouse transactions. Our customers are using barcodes and wireless processing for: 

Receiving   

  • Receive Inventory 
  • Confirm Put-Aways
  • Confirm Automatic Kit Builds

Material Handling

  • Move Inventory 
  • Merge Inventory
  • Transfer Inventory 
  • Record Physical Inventory Counts

Picking

  • Pick to Cart 
  • Confirm Inventory Picked 
  • Confirm Inventory Picks by Line Item
  • Confirm Inventory Replenishment by Line Item 

Packing  

  • Product Verification
  • Package Contents Tracking
Barcode implementation can be done fairly quickly with only a few initial setups prior to managing inventory. You may want to start shopping for a preferred wireless scanning device!

Benefits of using barcode technology

The implementation of barcodes can help streamline your warehouse operations in the following ways:

Improve accuracy all around  

Often, warehouse employees work from handwritten notes to capture key information that is then manually entered into a computer. This form of data entry can be prone to human errors from illegible or misinterpreted data. 

Barcode scanning eliminates the need for manual data entry for functions like inventory receiving, transfers, and cycle counts. Performing transactions via barcodes instead of manually keying data at a computer results in minimized mistakes across your operation.

Speed‑up transactions  

Keeping up with a high volume of orders, especially orders with expedited or same-day shipping, while maintaining accuracy can be one of your biggest headaches. By incorporating scanning into your order processing, you can reduce the time it takes to get orders out the door.   

For example, when barcodes are used along with a pick-to-cart workflow, a worker can quickly pick inventory and let the system validate that the correct item was picked. This is especially effective for a batch of multiple orders. A picker can follow an efficient system-directed walk sequence through the warehouse, eliminating retraced steps. 

Maximize productivity

Using wireless devices in the warehouse maximizes productivity by allowing material handlers to complete their work remotely instead of at a computer. By doing so, workers are more agile; they can quickly move on to the next task at hand, saving on labor time. Scanning devices also allow workers to be more mobile; they can go wherever the inventory is whether it be a loading dock or bulk zone. 

Receive real-time updates  

Once a barcode transaction has posted, data is updated and visible in the WMS immediately. If you’re using barcode scanning for inventory management, inventory levels can be updated on the fly once transactions have posted via a wireless device.

Another benefit is that barcode technology allows the team in the warehouse to track more granular steps in the fulfillment process without affecting throughput. It is quick to record the date, time, and the user who performed each step, including pick, pack, and ship. Without barcode scanning, it is most likely not cost-effective to record each detailed step.

Track employee performance 

By using barcode technology to track more granular steps in the fulfillment process, managers can benefit from:

  • Increased accountability by tracking material handling activity by user, date and time
  • Access to additional data to analyze and evaluate employee performance

Keep customers happy

Your customers will reap the rewards of barcode technology. Meeting SLA’s, getting accurate orders to customers and keeping inventory levels up-to-date will ensure your customers stay with you. 

The bottom line  

While implementing barcode technology requires some upfront work, the return on investment is worth it. Your employees will be happier and more efficient. Happy and efficient employees lead to better accuracy rates with lower operating costs.

Not only will barcode technology help your bottom line today, but it will also help you get ready for new technologies like robotics and AI that continue to mature.

Interested in learning how you implement barcode technology with VeraCore’s WMS? Schedule a demo with one of our fulfillment experts today!