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Five Benefits of Using Barcode Readers

In the era of rapid digital advancements, businesses are inundated with many innovative and groundbreaking technological solutions. The implementation of business process automation has evolved from a luxury to an indispensable requirement for companies all over the world. 

It’s no wonder that business process automation is the fastest-growing sector of corporate software, with an astonishing return on investment reaching 400%, according to Venture Beat. 

This exponential rise demonstrates automation’s revolutionary potential and enormous value to organizations in today’s rapidly-evolving global ecosystem.

However, business process automation is more than mere implementation of software. It requires the right technology infrastructure, including local or cloud networks, data storage, backup facilities, and supporting hardware, such as a barcode reader.

The use of barcode readers spans over five decades, yet its effectiveness in streamlining business operations and redefining core business functions continues to revolutionize the business world. 

Continue reading as we unearth the potentials that this compact yet immensely powerful and useful device holds for business, and explore how your business can seize the multitude of benefits it offers. 

What are Barcode Readers?

Barcode readers or scanners are hardware devices that use a laser light beam to detect, read, and decode unique codes represented in white and black lines (also called barcodes). The barcode hardware integrates with the automation software connected to a central server and database. 

The purpose of barcodes is to scan and retrieve product information based on the code printed on the back of each product. This product code can be used for various purposes like entering point-of-sale information, retrieving and upgrading inventory information, tracking products in supply chains, etc.  

Thanks to technological innovation, barcode readers come in various shapes and sizes. They are equipped with added features to increase accuracy, improve workflows, and minimize errors. 

Key Benefits of Using Barcode Readers

Barcode readers are necessary peripherals in the retail and manufacturing industry, healthcare facilities, logistics, transportation companies, order fulfillment businesses, hospitality, and entertainment sectors. 

While you may have seen them mounted at checkout counters, the uses and advantages of barcode readers go well beyond entering POS information. 

The following are some significant advantages of using barcode readers:

  • Universally Accepted Technology

Barcodes have become an intrinsic feature of practically every retail item worldwide, having been adopted globally as a widely acknowledged technology. The capacity of barcode scanners to transcend geographical boundaries makes them so appealing. 

No matter where you are, a barcode reader allows you to comprehend and retrieve product information easily. 

Considering the rapid globalization of the corporate industry, barcodes have practically transformed into the universal language of business, making it easier for companies to incorporate information on international products. 

Instead of generating local identification numbers and putting extra time and effort into entering data, businesses can use globally unique barcodes to read and store product and inventory information. 

  • Reduced Human Errors

Human errors are the primary cause of lost revenues, wasted resources, and major inefficiencies in performing business functions. According to the latest statistics, data errors or bad data alone cost businesses over $1 trillion each year. 

When employees have to punch in records manually into the automation software for each product, there potential for human errors looms large. 

This, in turn, gives rise to a host of inaccuracies that can ripple through the subsequent process flow and impact the efficiency and reliability of the entire business function. 

Implementing barcode readers can dramatically reduce the chances of human errors as they eliminate the cumbersome and unpredictable task of manual data entry. 

Since product information can be captured automatically using these sophisticated devices, businesses can ensure reliable and error-free data processing, improving accuracy and reducing costly human errors. 

This is why using barcode readers has become more pronounced in inventory management, point of sales, and supply chain integration. 

  • Increased Efficiency 

Picture this: Employees are manually entering product codes for each item at the checkout counter while a long line of customers wait with their carts filled. The delays associated with manually entering data can cause frustration in waiting customers; some may even abandon their carts. 

Compare it with express checkout counters, where the products instantly glide past a barcode reader and are scanned within a split second. 

This contrast exemplifies the transformative power of barcode readers, not just in retail stores but across businesses that store and manage inventory. 

Barcode technology has provided a much-needed boost in efficiency and productivity. A task as simple as scanning barcodes can improve the efficiency of inventory tracking, pricing, product identification, product location in warehouses, and real-time product tracking within downstream supply chains

Instead of entering the entire product information, a barcode reader scans the product code, and the software retrieves the relevant and updated product and inventory information from back-end databases. 

This saves businesses valuable time and resources on manually tracking and storing information. 

  • Automate and Streamline Mundane Processes  

Barcode readers are a great tool for simplifying and automating mundane processes when integrated with information systems. 

They help streamline everyday tasks like inventory control, sale processing, and product tracking throughout the supply chain – from material sourcing to manufacturing, logistics, distribution, and product returns

However, using barcode readers is not limited to retail or manufacturing settings. Here’re some common uses of barcode readers in various sectors:

  • Supply chain partners like logistics companies and order fulfillment businesses use barcode readers to track shipments and reduce picking and loading errors.
  • In the entertainment industry, barcode readers scan tickets to retrieve customer information and show details. 
  • Hotels and restaurants use these devices to scan booking details, calculate bill amounts, and maintain inventory stock. 
  • The healthcare industry utilizes barcode readers for medication management, patient identification, and tracking medical equipment.
  • In educational institutions, barcode readers are used for library management, student identification, and tracking assets such as textbooks and equipment.
  • In warehouses and retail outlets that deal with large items like furniture and appliances, barcode scanners are used by both the staff and customers to locate a product. 
  • Customers can use barcode scanners to add a physical product to their virtual cart.
  • Businesses use barcode readers to generate and gather real-time data and utilize data analysis tools and predictive modeling to make informed decisions. 

Final Thoughts

Owing to the versatility and efficacy of barcode readers, these compact yet powerful devices have become an integral tool for streamlining operations and increasing efficiency across a wide range of industries. 

With the integration of AI-powered algorithms, these devices are expected to bring added advantages for businesses and organizations in the near future.

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