Asset management or tracking software, like many tools that are used to increase employee productivity, is often overlooked by small businesses looking to achieve revenue growth.
When it comes to revenue growth, the 2015 State of Small Business Report revealed most small and medium business owners want to focus solely on customer service and retention. Only 20% said they would invest in training or tools to make that growth possible.
“In the environment we have today, barcodes are a very dynamic space, especially with the onset of mobile and what’s happening online,”While improving customer service is a worthy goal, using a tool such as a barcode-based asset tracking solution may be the best way to improve every aspect of your business, including customer service. Barcode technology is necessary for growth.
“In the environment we have today, barcodes are a very dynamic space, especially with the onset of mobile and what’s happening online,” said supply chain information expert Bob Carpenter GS1 U.S. President and CEO.
Check out 10 reasons why your business should adapt and add easy-to-use and efficient barcode asset tracking software to your existing systems.
1. Reduced errors
Barcodes can hold extensive data about the assets they’re attached to and are substantially more efficient and accurate than manual asset tracking. Just compare the error rates. Human data entry can have an error rate of one per 300 characters, whereas, barcode scanners are virtually error free with only one error in 36 trillion characters.
2. Increased speed
If your company has a large warehouse component, scanning barcodes for inventory or fixed assets can shave hours or even weeks off a time you would have spent doing this manually. By the time workers manually and properly itemize and track each asset in the warehouse, several items may have already been moved or shipped out, resulting in out-of-sync inventory counts.
3. Cheap to produce
Unlike other tracking technologies like RFID (radio-frequency identification), barcodes are inexpensive to produce, even in large quantities. All it takes is a small investment in a barcode printer (models include desktop, industrial and mobile printers) to produce labels with barcodes, or you can use existing office equipment like an inkjet or laser printer to create barcodes on plain-paper documents.
As supply chains lengthen and become more global than ever, it’s important to know the exact location, quantity and condition of your inventory, from the time of its production to purchase and beyond. Successful companies, from big to small, use barcodes as much in inventory management as they do in point-of-sale transactions. Additionally, fixed assets, the long-term assets like laptops, vehicles and equipment that often go missing due to employee error or even theft -become tied to your database with a fixed asset management system.
5. Cloud capabilities
Barcodes are showing that they can scale with your business by adapting to increasingly widespread cloud technologies. Barcode solutions are developing cloud-hosted applications that mean “fewer moving parts,” which “translates to better reliability” while reducing total cost of ownership.
Related Article: Asset Tracking Software Traces Equiptment, Lowers Costs
As asset management continues to go mobile, the ability to sync information with a cloud is crucial to real-time, on-the-go management.
6. Seamless integration
Barcode label technology ties in with your existing systems. If your company already has a number of enterprise applications working on the backend, this technology will integrate with your ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems to manage and automate your back office functions. The VDC Research report also touched on this, noting that traceability, regulatory compliance support and proper training are all a part of integrating this technology, so no vendor or end-user is left dissatisfied.
7. Lots of data, quickly
The speed of scanning barcodes to get information has already been established. It’s equally important to note what data is instantly available when you scan a barcode. The square, multi-dotted two-dimensional (2D) barcodes can hold up to 4,000 characters of text, allowing companies to store paragraphs of information, including how much of this item is in stock, what needs to be ordered and what can be held back to avoid overstocking. Even one-dimensional (traditional) barcodes, which only hold about 20 characters, can be stacked in order to provide more information.
8. Leaner inventory
More data means more informed decision-making. When managers know exactly what inventory and assets are on-hand at any given time, they can create a leaner warehouse that avoids out-of-stocks, which leads to more business when customers can get their hands on your inventory faster. It also reduces unnecessary stock levels, which ultimately means fewer storage and other warehouse-related costs. The is the most efficient and cost-effective.
9. Depreciation tracking
Most fixed assets require depreciation tracking, which includes notifications on the asset’s useful life as well as when it requires maintenance and upkeep. Scanning a barcode and being notified that an asset is due for repairs is much better than finding out, in the middle of production, that a broken machine is stopping the supply chain in its tracks. This also eases auditing for accountants, who need to know the status of the assets for tax purposes.
10. Options for asset tags
Asset tags and barcode labels come in literally hundreds of varieties, with choices in size, shape, color and material. Depending on your industry, you may need metalized polyester (for harsh indoor environments) or anodized aluminum foil (for outdoor scanning). This way, no matter what the situation, you have barcodes that can still be linked effectively with your software.
The common thread among all of these reasons is they eventually lead to better operational efficiency and fewer overhead costs for your company. This leads to happier employees and customers, who can receive your products faster, cheaper and with greater tracking capabilities. Considering that is one of the top 10 reasons for small business failure, it would be wise for those without barcode asset tracking software and related systems to make the switch sooner rather than later.
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