The critical cog in these systems invariably involves barcodes. So, why are barcodes such an important part of a company’s success? In order to answer this question, consider the following direct benefits that come from encoding product with readable labels.
Product Expiration Dates
Confectionery and food service companies can’t possibly operate in today’s marketplace without barcodes. In this case, barcodes literally can save lives by helping companies become proactive. Companies can immediately take action if a product is close to or past its expiration date. They can notify customers immediately and help them segregate the bad batch of product.
A product’s shelf life is more of an internal concern relative to how a company manages its inventory. This relates to how companies manage raw materials and consumables. Without a barcode in place, a company could easily pick something from its inventory that’s past its shelf life. That can lead to downtime in manufacturing and lost man hours due to wasted production time and or injuries.
If a product needs to be recalled, having a barcode will mean all products will be segregated and returned. This is a critical tool for today’s companies. They must be able to immediately identify the problem batch, segregate it and have it sent back immediately. In many cases, a company’s speed of response determines whether they’ve successfully managed the recall.
A vendor’s performance is ultimately measured by how quickly they deliver product. Speed of response is essential when looking to make an impression and it’s a vital aspect of winning new business. Barcodes can easily be read by handheld mobile devices, tablets and smartphones, giving instant feedback from the field to the home office. Companies can then easily divert shipments or advise customers of the change in plans. It’s a proactive means of managing shipments and one that customers have come to expect.
Reduced Inventory Cost
A company’s costs of inventory are anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the inventory on hand. A large portion of these costs come from obsolete, damaged and outdated inventory. This is largely due to over purchasing materials and finished goods. In other instances, inventory stock outs cost companies valuable manufacturing time. These incidences can be eliminated when companies decide to barcode inventory and track inventory levels through one system.
It isn’t merely a matter of reconciling inventory and product counts by hand or hoping that the last shipment is as good as the first. It’s really about delivering on time every time and barcodes help make that happen.