Barcode scanning can improve your warehouse operations

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, manual operations can be inefficient. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve their operations and streamline processes. One area that can greatly benefit from this type of innovation is warehouse management, where countless inventory and logistical challenges often arise daily.

Luckily, there’s a solution that can dramatically improve the efficiency and accuracy of inventory management and order fulfillment: Barcode Scanning. The benefits of barcode scanning are more evident if the barcode scanners integrate with your warehouse management system (WMS) or inventory management system (IMS). 

With the ability to quickly scan and identify items, barcode scanning technology can significantly improve your business’s bottom line. In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of barcode scanning and tell you why SKULabs is the go-to inventory management software if you need to get started with barcode scanning.

Better inventory management

Tracking your inventory in real time is key to running a successful warehouse operation, and barcode scanning allow you to do just that. By scanning barcodes on products, your IMS can quickly and accurately update stock levels, ensuring you always have an up-to-date view of your inventory. This helps with reordering, prevents stock discrepancies, prevents overselling, and eliminates human errors from manual counts.

Barcode scanning systems also enable seamless integration of multi-channel listings, improving real-time inventory control. When you select a stock-keeping unit (SKU) in your WMS, you will see all the inventory locations for the given product and what you are advertising on each channel.

You can then identify which channels or warehouses need restocking. With manual operations, this information could take hours to figure out.

Improved picking accuracy

When it comes to order picking, accuracy is crucial. Customers don’t want to wait days for their incorrect orders, and the cost of replacing them can be detrimental to your bottom line. With barcode scanning, you can eliminate this problem, as a quick scan of the product’s barcode ensures you’re always picking the right item.

Barcode scanning guides pickers to the correct storage location and prompts them to pick the right product before moving on. They can quickly grab the product without any confusion or mistakes common in manual processes. This speeds up the order fulfillment process and gives you the tools you need to accurately hit those estimated delivery dates.

Improved warehouse efficiency

Efficient warehouse operations contribute to faster order processing, shorter lead times, and decreased costs. Barcode scanning can streamline various aspects of your warehouse operations, including receiving, putaway, picking, stock checks, transfers, and dispatch to name a few.

For example, using barcode scanning during the receiving process can quickly identify the product and storage location, enabling warehouse staff to put away items more efficiently. This can also be applied to the picking process, making the task faster and more precise. Ultimately, barcode scanning reduces manual intervention and paperwork, allowing staff to focus on their core functions and drive productivity.

Improved security

Inventory shrinkage is a common problem faced by warehouses and retail stores. When integrated with IMS and warehouse management systems, barcode scanning systems ensure the traceability of all product movements within a warehouse by adding timestamps for each transaction. This enhanced visibility helps you keep track of your products and identify any discrepancies in stock levels. You can identify suspicious activity and missing items and take the necessary measures to prevent common human errors or theft.

Decreased costs

The benefits of barcode scanning go beyond improved efficiency and security. It can also help you save costs in your warehouse management and order fulfillment processes.

For instance, you benefit from reduced clerical costs. Unlike in manual operations, you don’t need warehouse employees to manually enter orders and check them, as barcode scanning automates the process. This can reduce labor costs significantly and help you save on your overhead.

Implementing these systems will also help reduce or eliminate the costs associated with picking errors. Additionally, improved inventory management minimizes overstocking and stockouts, reducing storage and carrying costs.

How to use barcode scanning with SKULabs

SKULabs is one of the warehouse management systems that work well with barcode scanning to automate and optimize your warehouse operations. They connect to just about any Bluetooth or USB-enabled HID scanner. Barcode scanning can be used throughout SKULabs to streamline picking, packing, shipping, warehouse transfers, purchase orders, as well as cycle counting.

For instance, this software allows for barcode-based order verification for more accurate and faster order fulfillment. Line items can be scanned and verified as you are packing to eliminate the common mistake of placing the wrong item in the wrong box that we see too much, which also can lead to customer dissatisfaction and time and money wasted on returns. 

With SKULabs, you can also print and scan individual pick slips. These can be used at the time of picking to ensure the correct items are chosen for each order. Every pick slip printed using SKULabs has a barcode in one corner. Once you scan this barcode, the order will quickly open, allowing you to scan-verify your items while picking and placing them into your order bins.

SKULabs also allows for batch picking and packing, where you select several orders at the same time. Once you select your desired orders, you can print a packing slip for each order and a single pick list for all of them.

Use the pick list to pick the items from the warehouse and set them on a sorting table. When packing, you can select one of the printed packing slips and scan their barcode labels. This way, you will easily pull the order and scan them for verification. After scanning all the items, you can ship the package confidently knowing it contains the correct items for the order.

The great thing is no matter what your picking and packing routines are, SKULabs can accommodate. It is very open ended and does not force you into a set routine that might not be best for your operations!

SKULabs also facilitates the receiving of orders in the warehouse from transfers or purchase orders for more accurate tracking. The platform has a receive tab that allows you to scan the barcodes on the incoming items and quickly add them to the existing inventory.

This warehouse management software also has a great cycle count utility that uses scanning to count inventory in sections.

Cycle counts are small batches of inventory counting tasks for a single location, or a single group of items within a warehouse. Performing cycle counts frequently for smaller portions of your inventory allows you to keep stock levels accurate without interrupting your day-to-day operations and avoiding the dreaded month-end inventory counts.

Cycle counting using barcodes is a breeze with SKULabs, giving you the ability to easily verify how much stock you have on your shelves to prevent overselling or inventory loss. The best thing about SKULabs is that it will synchronize your multi-channel inventory while still giving you fine grained control over how much stock you would like to advertise to each sales channel. The software can track what’s coming in and going out of different sales channels in real time. As a result, it can automatically push the available inventory quantity of a given item to all the listings linked to the item.

Optimize your warehouse operations with SKULabs

Barcode scanning has revolutionized warehouse operations, providing many benefits that cannot be achieved through manual operations. Whether you’re running a large distribution center or a mom-and-pop warehouse, incorporating barcode scanning into your workflow can streamline inventory management and order fulfillment.

SKULabs is an ideal warehouse management software that allows you to use barcode scanning throughout your operations. With this tool, you can improve accuracy and minimize costs while increasing efficiency in order fulfillment. Would you like to learn more about leveraging barcode scanning with SKULabs? Contact us to learn how this software can help you optimize your warehouse operations.