Benefits of Barcode Systems for Small Business

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Small business owners are constantly looking for tools to run operations as efficiently as possible, curb waste, maximize profit, and keep clients and customers happy. One often under-appreciated tool to help you move closer to all of these goals is the use of barcode asset tracking software— a powerful way to make your business more efficient and effective.

In a joint survey released by Guidant Financial and LendingClub, more than 2,400 current and aspiring small business owners from across the nation shared that 23% of businesses (including profitable ones) reported that one of their top challenges was lack of capital and cash flow. Time management was also listed as a significant challenge for 14% of businesses, alongside administrative work like bookkeeping and payroll. They also found that 22% of small businesses plan to invest in a "third-party or software to help them manage payroll, accounting, or inventory management".

An effective barcode system for small businesses can help improve cash flow by reducing waste and boosting profitability, all while reducing the time invested in administrative work and the managing of your assets.

Here’s everything you need to know about barcode systems for small businesses and how your organization can benefit.

Barcode Systems for Small Businesses

Barcode systems for small businesses, otherwise known as barcode asset tracking software, can help small business owners better manage their time, reduce the frustration and errors associated with manual asset tracking procedures, keep staff productive and focused on other priorities, and ultimately save money.

In order to use barcode asset tracking software, you’ll assign and apply a unique barcode to each of your fixed assets. Barcodes are easy to order or print and are relatively inexpensive. Each barcode holds a wealth of data about the asset that you can access with the use of a handheld scanner or even a scanner built into an app on your smartphone or tablet.

Top Benefits of Barcode Systems for Small Businesses

Here are some of the specific benefits that a barcode scanning system and inventory management app can provide your business.

Increased Productivity

When you and your employees have an efficient way of tracking where assets are, who’s using them, and whether they’re in need of maintenance (as well as dozens of other parameters), the result is that everyone has what they need when they need it. This reduces wasted time and allows your organization to avoid confusion and delay while accomplishing everyday tasks.

Reduced Duplicate Purchases

Tremendous waste occurs in organizations due to the simple fact that they don’t know what assets they already have and which need to be purchased. The result? Companies order things they already have in their possession, which not only wastes resources but also leads to unnecessarily wait times as employees hold off on completing tasks until the new item arrives— an item that they could access instantly if they knew it was already available in your facility.

Better Forecasting

When you can more accurately track your assets and their condition, you’re better equipped to track future costs related to those assets. These include maintenance and repair costs and the costs to replace assets that have outlived their usable lifespan. With a quality barcode system, a quick scan is all it takes to pull up a report on an asset’s maintenance record and determine any upcoming costs associated with that item.

Scalable Asset Management

Barcode asset tracking software is scalable based on the size of your business. Depending on the platform you choose, there is no limit to how many assets you can track using an asset tracking platform with barcode scanning capability. A barcode system for small business could quickly be adapted to fit medium and even large enterprises with multiple locations and facilities.

Accurate Tracking

If you’re accustomed to manually itemizing, tracking and managing every asset you own, you’ll immediately understand how much more accurate and efficient barcode asset tracking software makes this process. The task of manually keying in barcodes is time-consuming and bound to result in a typo, omission or some other error. It’s also difficult to keep up with the whereabouts of assets using a manual process.

Cloud-Enabled Access

Some asset tracking and barcode system products sync with the cloud, reducing your costs and giving you access to real-time data 24 hours a day. That means you can not only check on the status of items from your office, but also from anywhere in your facility or even out in the field— all from your smartphone or other mobile device.

Cost-Effectiveness

Barcodes are easy and inexpensive to order, and many platforms let you use your existing smart devices as scanners, which can significantly lower the costs of setting up an asset tracking system.

Integration with Existing Systems

Some barcode asset tracking software programs are built to be easily integrated with legacy systems and other commonly used software solutions.

Simplified and Intuitive Tracking

The best asset tracking systems for small businesses are simple and intuitive to use, so your employees won’t have to take time from their busy schedules to participate in extensive training.

How do you set up a barcode system?

Let’s say I want to improve inventory and asset management in my facility. How do I set up a barcode system in my warehouse?

The first step is to choose a platform. Apps like Asset Panda are fully integrated tools that provide the full spectrum of features you would need in any sized business.

Next, you’ll need to determine how many assets you want to track. You can always scale up later, but the amount of assets you’ll be applying barcodes to and tracking regularly will determine things like your pricing tier and how many barcodes you need to order and have printed.

The next step is to begin tagging your assets with barcodes, then entering information into your asset tracking system that applies to each barcode. For example, scanning a barcode could bring up an item’s usage history, purchase history, where it should be stored, which department is in charge of it, maintenance information, and much more. Asset Panda lets you customize fields inside of this system, which means that different businesses can determine what information they want to appear when a barcode is scanned based on their unique needs.

Which inventory system is best for small business?

When it comes to small businesses, you want a barcode system that will let you cover all of the assets you need without a massive cost that only large enterprises would be equipped to manage. With that in mind, choose a platform with scalable and flexible pricing that allows you to grow along with it— not one that charges the same high rate for any level of tracking.

How much does a barcode system cost?

Pricing for asset management systems varies, but Asset Panda starts at just $125/month and moves upward from there depending on the number of assets being tracked.

What are the disadvantages of barcodes?

Some of the potential disadvantages of barcodes include the fact that if the barcode tag is damaged, it may be difficult to read. Placement can also sometimes be difficult with smaller items, oddly shaped items, or items that don’t have lots of available unused surface real estate where a tag wouldn’t interfere with their function.

The Complete Lifecycle of an Asset in One Central Location

Once you scan a barcode, you’ll have access to such details as an asset’s exact location, condition and the identity of who has it; along with its value, warranty information, lease/purchase information, complete maintenance history, and more. Depending upon the barcode asset tracking software you choose, you may be able to generate reports, create work orders, set up custom notifications and alerts, require electronic signatures, and/or create a calendar. The best software will allow you to customize features, organize your assets any way you want, easily import and export data, and incorporate new technologies as they become available.

Asset Panda’s free mobile app syncs with the cloud, includes a mobile barcode scanner and offers a powerful, yet incredibly user-friendly approach to your asset tracking needs. To learn more about our barcode asset tracking software, get a demo today!

By:

Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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