A tool connected to a computer so you can quickly figure products moving in and out of an inventory. Doing this task manually would take a lot more time, a barcode scanner speeds up the process allowing you to get more work done in a day. Even making the process efficient; doing this manually would mean more manpower and also more tallying of documents written by different individuals. The barcode scanner connects to your inventory software, making the work loop tighter.
Pros & Cons
Easy to use
Requires computer system to work
Barcode stickers cost to be printed
How a barcode scanner works
A barcode scanner is an optical scanner that can read printed barcodes, decode the data and send it to a computer. They all include a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating for optical impulses into electrical signals. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry that can analyze the barcode's image data.
What the barcode lines represent
Barcode data is in two forms, there are the Universal Product Codes (UPC) and the Stock Keeping Units (SKU). Both have numeric codes below the barcode, this numeric code also holds all the information the black lines spaced by white hold. But it is just so much easier to scan than type out a number each time. UPC is standardised and would be similar in different shops, the SKU is more specifically set up by individuals at their company level.
Advantages & disadvantages of using a barcode scanner
The edge a barcode scanner provides is by reducing the time it takes to input items in an inventory, doing it manually would mean you are typing out items each time one is moved. Having a barcode on it means you will be able to move an item within the inventory in a second, literally. This is very handy for shops or the queue line at the till would never end, or the amount of time it would take items to be moved from a warehouse would also be too much for it to be efficient in modern times.
The computer does all the calculations like where which product is headed to and how many more units of that specific item are left, making all this a lot more streamlined. The disadvantage with one is that you need a computer system in place and will need to print stickers. These work better for businesses of a certain size and above, so please calculate if this works for your specific business.
Different forms of the same
There are handheld versions and some that sit on the tabletop; with the hand-held one you can hold it up to the barcode and scan it and the desk one means you pass the item in front of it - barcode sticker facing the scanner. The beep lets you know an item has been read and adjusted against the inventory.
The price of a barcode scanner varies depending on the specific kind it is. Starting at the mid-ranges and going on to a higher price.