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 MCS for close to six years now. They have been our main provider for printers, ink cartridges, laptops and desktops (plus much more!). I will purchase through them before I will any other supplier because I know the needs of our company are highly regarded by Chris and his crew. I never have to worry about my order. They've got it covered! Plus, and most importantly, I know they will beat any price out there!

Raquel Fournier, Parkwest Gallery


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