The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)


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How to Make a Barcode Inventory System for Your Small Business

As your business grows and products are added to your inventory, bookkeeping by hand becomes more inefficient and error prone. Speed up check outs and inventory management by implementing a barcode system for tracking your goods!

With a barcode inventory system, your inventory is continually updated as new items come in or go out. There’s no need to perform time-consuming inventory checks by hand, and there’s much less room for error and miscalculation.

  1. The first step to making a barcode label system is to assign SKUs and UPCs to your products. SKUs, or Stock Keeping Units, are used in internal warehouse operations to track items, colors, categories, costs, and other info. On the other hand, a UPC is a Universal Product Code registered with the GS1 organization that can be scanned by anyone and identifies the seller and item being sold. SKUs are used internally in a company, while UPCs are used by retailers.
  2. Next, you need to decide on a printer. We recommend using thermal barcode labels, as a thermal printer has a longer lifespan and cheaper recurring costs than an inkjet or laser printer. There are two types of thermal labels: direct thermal and thermal transfer. Learn more about choosing the right thermal barcode label.
  3. You’ll also need to decide on a scanner to use in your warehouse or office. Wired scanners are cheaper but less portable, while wireless scanners are usually battery powered and save data onto a memory card. Wired scanners are a good choice for checking out customers, while wireless scanners are more ideal for warehouse inventory management.

Once you have item identifiers, a barcode printer, and a scanner, set up your equipment with inventory management software and you’re good to go! 

Does Your Ann Arbor Business Need Thermal Barcode Labels?

If your business is scaling up and you’re spending a lot of time entering inventory data, you should consider switching to a barcode inventory system! Barcode scanning is much easier and has less potential for error—once your system is set up it can benefit your company for many years to come!

Michigan Computer Supplies has been providing thermal barcode equipment and supplies to businesses for over 20 years! If your Ann Arbor business needs printers, scanners, paper, and labels, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (734) 213-5400 today.

I have worked with Michigan Computer Supplies for about two and a half years. They supply us with 5-10 toner cartridges each month for about 17 printers, of which some are large volume printers. We use both their refurbished and original manufactured toner depending on the device. I believe the refurbished cartridges work just as good as the originals. We also order Zebra printers and labels, Ethernet cables, bar code scanning devices and more. You name it. They have it. Occasionally we have also purchased printer devices and have had items repaired by them as well. I typically call once a week because we go through so much toner. When I call to let them know that we are getting low on supplies they are very efficient with their response time. Kyle delivers new toner by the next day and removes the old cartridges and recycles them. In addition, Jessica often mentions other cost saving measures such as quantity price breaks or recommends a compatible refurbished cartridge to save money. They try to give their customers the most bang for their buck! They are a great group of people to work with. They are very customer oriented and go above and beyond expectations. We recently had a specialized fax machine stop working that would cost $2,000 to replace. I spoke with Chris and he did some research and within 30 minutes called back with a suggestion of another device that would fit our needs for only $ 400.00! They really care about their customers.

B. Gibson


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