All businesses have a lot of overheads to cover and this can be especially difficult for a small business. One way to make themselves more efficient is to turn to automation. This can be cheaper than employing more staff and is less prone to errors or duplicated work. There are many tasks that can be automated and one of them is the pricing of your goods and the tracking of your inventory. Barcode scanning will handle this, and it has many other uses. The biggest problem any business owner faces is finding the right scanner for their needs.
Different Types of Barcode Scanners
Before a business owner can decide which is the best scanner for them, they need to look at all the different types.
- With pen or wand-type scanners, you have to run the tip of the scanner the length of the barcode. This makes them one of the slowest to use and probably explains why they are among the least popular.
- There are three types of handheld scanners. A CCD scanner is very efficient but has quite a short-range. Laser scanners are the most common because they have a longer range. Lineage image scanners work by taking pictures of the barcode and then analyzing them. Many businesses use handheld barcode scanning because of its flexibility.
- Embedded scanners are the type you will often see fixed into a supermarket counter. They tend to be larger and much more expensive, and for a new startup or small business, the cost could be too much. They are extremely efficient and could be something to consider if your business grows.
Wired or Wireless
Wired and wireless scanners both have their pros and cons and you need to decide which will be the best for you.
If you do not need the flexibility of a wireless scanner, wired ones are cheaper and more reliable. Each one will need two cables, one for power and one to connect it to the computer. You have to be prepared to deal with all the cables if you have several wired scanners.
A wireless scanner has the advantage of being more moveable, has no cables and is flexible, but they are run using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If you lose your signal, they could stop working until it returns. It could also be that the user moves too far away from the receiver or the signal is interrupted by too many objects in the way.
Barcode Scanner Software
Whichever type of scanner you decide to use, you will need software for it to operate in the way you want it to. There are packages on the market that will be ready for use or you can have software customized to especially suit your business. Although some scanners will function without it, to get the most from your barcodes in terms of sales made, inventory needed, and much more information, suitable software is desirable.
Once you have your barcode scanning system in place, you will very soon wonder how you managed without it.