If you sell products for a small business, it’s crucial to manage and organise your inventory properly. Doing so helps you serve customers and maintain stock to earn a profit.

A great way to stay organised is by using a barcode system for your inventory. This approach helps you manage your operations efficiently. But how can you create a barcode system for your business? Don’t worry; we can help.

This guide covers how to implement a barcode system for inventory, including:

  • Choosing a system
  • Creating your barcodes
  • Placing barcodes on your products
  • Checking your system regularly

How can a barcode system help your inventory management?

Though a barcode system may not be mandatory for inventory management, implementing one can streamline your management. Overall, this approach can simplify this piece of your business operations.

Let’s go over some of the key benefits it offers.

Saves time

A barcode system can save you time on inventory management because it takes a lot of the tedious manual admin off your hands. With everything organised through barcodes, all you need to do is scan it to update your system.

This approach helps you know what you have in stock and easily track what you’ve sold, so you don’t waste time on it. Overall, it simplifies your sales analytics and the supply chain process.

Additionally, the process increases your control over your inventory and takes the stress off handling large amounts of stock.

Digitises the process

With barcodes, you can maintain your inventory digitally by connecting your physical products to online management. This way, you can easily track what you sell and check in with the status of your inventory.

If you have everything in one place online, you can efficiently check numbers, analyse data, or calculate things like inventory turnover.

Helps you meet customer needs

With this barcode system organising your inventory management, you can better serve and satisfy your customers.

Since you’ll know when you’re low on products, you can order them in time to continuously meet customer demand. As a result, you won’t lose a sale due to a lack of availability.

On top of knowing when to restock, you can track which products are most popular and sell quickly. This data will show you which products to order more of or market them more effectively to your target audience.

How to implement a barcode system for inventory

Once you understand the tactic’s usefulness, you may wonder how to implement a barcode system for inventory. Let’s go over the main steps to setting it up for your business.

Choose a system

To use a barcode system for your inventory, you’ll first need to find an inventory management system that includes barcode scanning. Doing so gives you a place to store, track, and analyse the barcode information.

There are a few great options to choose from, including:

You’ll also likely need a barcode scanner to help you add these codes to your system. Some management software may supply you with a scanner. Otherwise, you can find options here or choose to use an app on your phone.

Create your barcodes

With your inventory management software ready to go, you’ll need to create barcodes for your products.

Barcodes can either hold an SKU or UPC. SKU is a stock keeping unit that you can create to identify your products. You’ll likely use this if you create products in house.

UPC stands for Universal Product Code, which the Global Standards Organisation sets. You may use these codes if you buy your products from wholesalers.

As you create barcodes for your products, you can use a few different designs, including:

  • 1D barcodes – you'll more commonly find these one-dimensional codes on consumer goods
  • 2D barcodes – these codes incorporate two-dimensional shapes and can hold more information in them

As you create codes, include the proper information on your barcodes, such as the price, size, description, and inventory requirements. You may also want a barcode printer to print out sticker codes that you can add to your products.

Place barcodes on your products

Next, you’ll need to label your products with their corresponding barcodes and scan them into your system.

Labelling is the most tedious step of the implementation process because you’ll need to barcode each product. Though this may feel like a big task, it's easier to maintain and saves you time in the long run.

Once you finish setting up, you’ll just need to update your barcodes when you restock products, which is far more manageable.

Check your system regularly

With your new barcode system in place, you can manage your inventory smoothly. But, be sure to update the information regularly.

Also, check in with your stock numbers each week to make the most of your barcode data. With regular attention, your barcodes will help you stay on top of your products.

Organise your inventory management with barcodes

Now that you know how to implement a barcode system for inventory, you can create one that simplifies and strengthens your inventory management. As a result, you’ll save time and stay on top of your products effectively.

Next, you may want to check out our article on how to do a stock check for your business.

Make the most of your business finances with a clever app

As you organise your inventory by implementing a barcode system, you can increase productivity and earn more for your business. But make sure you also keep your finances organised to make the most of your profits.

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK.

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business.

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