E-commerce businesses that cater directly to consumers often face issues with managing SKUs and inventory tracking. Keeping up with how much inventory your warehouse holds can be difficult if you’re relying solely on pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets. If you’re still manually entering your product data and other pertinent information into your database, you’re wasting valuable time. Using a barcode system for inventory is a great way to improve accuracy in inventory and order fulfillment for e-commerce. Here’s why:
1. Increased Agility
Speed is essential to optimizing your e-commerce business. With the help of wireless barcode scanning devices, you can speed up the process of keeping track of your inventory because less manual labor is required. This reduces the time it takes to run your operation.
For example, one study indicates that it takes human data entry operators 12 seconds to generate 12 characters on a keyboard on average, while it only takes barcode technology three seconds to produce the same results. This lets you provide better and faster service to your customers. Choosing inventory management software equipped to handle barcodes is important to cut down time on preparing shipments.
2. Reduced Costs
When your inventory doesn’t move, it takes up valuable space in your warehouse and becomes an unnecessary expense over time. In fact, this slow-moving inventory costs the U.S. retail industry $50 billion annually. Dead inventory is a deadweight on your e-commerce operations if left unhandled, so most businesses do make an effort to correct this problem. However, without the right tools, it can be difficult to pinpoint which inventory is selling and which is not. Being able to monitor inventory levels is a requirement to create reliable forecasts, so that you know what to buy in advance.
3. Enhanced Accuracy
Part of facilitating an e-commerce operation involves shipping your orders out on time and processing returns so that your customers receive an enhanced experience and your bottom line stays healthy. However, when warehouse inventory workers input data, the chances for human error increase. Research indicates that for every 300 characters a proficient data entry operator types, he makes one error.
You can also use a barcode system to tag your warehouse inventory locations. For instance, you can attach the generated barcodes to each individual location where you store products, whether it’s a large shelf or a small bin, so you can easily pinpoint a product’s location later. And rather than using pen and paper to count everything, you can use barcode technology to quickly scan products as they move in and out of each location. This will deliver far better accuracy than keeping an employee tethered to a clipboard, and save time too.
4. Not just for inventory
The uses for barcode technology stretch far beyond inventory tracking. For example, you can scan existing manufacturer serial numbers or lot numbers on products to store additional info, if needed. It also enables automation: With a modern inventory management solution like Zenventory, you can print barcodes on packing slips at the beginning of a fulfillment, and later scan the packing slip to bring up the order’s shipping options.
Keeping track of your inventory and ensuring the data you collect is accurate makes a huge difference when it comes to supporting your e-commerce operation. It’s vital to employ inventory management software that can facilitate your small business inventory management needs and support industry-best practices like barcode scanning.
Zenventory offers support for scanning and printing barcodes so that you can easily identify products, warehouse locations and orders without the need to manually enter data. Request a free personalized demo of Zenventory, and learn more about what it can do to improve efficiency and accuracy in your warehouse.