3 Critical Questions to Ask About Barcode Technology

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From warehouses to retail stores, and even on our smartphones, we are surrounded by barcode technology. Scanning items is so commonplace that we often take this convenience for granted. This technology offers incredible benefits to businesses; however, not all barcode systems are the same. Scanning items in the warehouse, for example, is only beneficial when you can capture the resulting data and put it to use. Make sure you ask these tough questions when implementing or upgrading barcode technology.

What to Ask Potential Barcode System Vendors

Many manufacturers and distributors rely on barcoding technology because it improves the accuracy of inventory management, it’s faster than manual means, delivers real-time information to business leaders, and has become much more affordable in recent years. While barcoding software may seem like a stand-alone system, it is best integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

With the support of a robust ERP solution, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, barcoding systems can deliver even more insight and control over inventory movement. As discussed in “Hard Questions To Ask Automatic Data Capture Vendors,” when choosing any new add-on solution, it’s best to ask these key questions of your potential vendors:

  1. How stable is the integration? Knowing how the barcoding and ERP systems interact is essential. Integrating two different applications can be difficult and this challenge carries through when each application requires a routine software update. It’s also important to know how databases are created. For example, are they extended from ERP or external, standalone systems? Be sure to ask vendors for examples of successful implementations as well as the not so successful ones. Has the vendor observed cases where a client switched barcode systems or have they helped clients replace systems?
  2. What can you do with what you have? You are running your business with ERP and you likely want to have a single, centralized location for all of your data. Will you be able to leverage the databases that underpin ERP? A seamless integration will synchronize data between the barcode system and ERP, delivering real-time, accurate insight. Avoid instances where data synchronization needs to be manually-triggered or has too long of a delay between updates.
  3. What are the vendor’s specializations? You want to choose a vendor that understands your industry, unique business needs and how barcoding technology works for your specific requirements. Ask what role their barcode products play in their overall sales and implementations. Avoid vendors that don’t spend much time on barcoding technology and choose a vendor that has years of experience with successful implementations.

Barcode technology offers big benefits, but not all technologies or vendors are the same. Make sure you choose a solution that works the way you work, with the ERP system you have in place. Contact Panatrack for guidance with choosing and deploying the right barcode system for your business.

By Panatrack, Inventory and Asset Management for Microsoft Dynamics GP

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