Getting your small business set up with barcoding technologies does not have to be intimidating. If you’re not familiar with the lingo involved with it, it can seem a little overwhelming. This is where a good specialist should be able to help you easily understand the most complex aspects.
From understanding barcode labels to understanding the type of equipment out there, it helps you to understand what you might want to ask for. This section describes what equipment is needed to get you started, such as scanners, printers, labels, and software.
Barcode labels identify products and assets, which is critical to your business. Compliance, brand identity, and effective data/asset management require effective and accurate labeling. The quality of the labeling and printing effects operational efficiency.
Knowing the type of barcode you need will also determine the supporting technology you need (integration systems, printers, scanners, readers). And like with any equipment, repair service and proactive maintenance to keep printers making labels with scannable barcodes is essential.
Scanning and Verifying Barcode Labels
As you start off, you will need scanners that can read the barcodes you are using quickly and efficiently. Using a cheap alternative can lead to misreads and are not designed for longevity. Following is a description of the types of equipment use when incorporating barcodes into your company.
Handheld devices enable data collection while on the move. They’re available in a variety of keypad configurations to accommodate your business needs, and they support several different wireless technologies. Handhelds, manufactured by companies like Zebra Technologies, are commonly used for barcode scanning. The Zebra DS3500 Series and Zebra 3600 Series are some of the best options for handheld scanners.
Using barcode verifiers can make sure barcodes are readable. Verifiers are designed for accuracy and repeatability, checking your barcodes for the highest ANSI or ISO quality using a pass/fail or letter grade. A quick search will find a wide range of models and prices. It’s important to hire a specialist that can get the best fit for your size, your goals, and your budget.
Printing barcode labels from your facility provides 24/7 reliability to eliminate downtime. From large labels to small, you can find a barcode printer that is right for you that can be connected wirelessly or through a standard connection for flexible configuration. The user-friendly designs of barcode printers simplify maintenance and troubleshooting.
Barcode labels come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. There are also the printing supplies like wax, wax/resin, and resin barcode ribbons. Direct thermal fuses ink onto the label material while the thermal transfer method prints images via wax or resin ribbons.
Barcode printing software, such as BarTender® which is outlined in more detail in the next chapter, can help you more effectively create custom labels, asset tags, shipping labels, ID badges, coupons, and other items that can improve your supply chain, asset tracking, and other applications. These solutions also reduce errors by eliminating manual data entry and can automatically generate company-specific serial numbers and other data you need for your labels.
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is meant to have all areas of your business synchronized to improve accuracy and efficiency. Merging barcode label software with your ERP system will make it easy to print labels with the information that’s provided in your ERP system, streamlining the process.
Start With Someone that Understands Your Needs
While all this information can seem overwhelming at first, it helps to find someone that will be able to easily walk you through everything. Getting started with a barcoding system to help your company grow while working with a budget should be a specialist’s priority. Imprint Enterprises even has a remote device management service that can help maintain and manage your devices for you.
Why would you hire someone to help you grow that doesn’t understand where you are and where you’re going? Imprint creates lifelong relationships and will help you every step of the way. Why would you hire someone that is one-and-done? Call the specialists that understand your needs even if you don’t.
As a small business, Imprint can help you to move beyond current deadlines and look towards future possibilities. It all starts with understanding that barcoding technology is not as overwhelming as it may seem. Basic concepts are easily outlined from what a label is, to the equipment needed, to software that more effectively manages tracking barcode information.