3 Reasons you should be scanning

The use of bar code technology in an industrial setting can be traced back as far as the 1960s, with some early implementations to identify railroad cars. Common bar codes began appearing on grocery store shelves in the early 1970s as the UPC code to automate the process of identifying grocery items. Today, bar codes are just about everywhere and are used for identification in almost all areas of business. So why should you be using them?

1. Improve accuracy

Even the most well trained employee can make a mistake. The typical error rate for manual human data entry is 1 error per 300 characters. Bar code scanners are much more accurate; the error rate can be as low as 1 error in 36 trillion characters depending on the type of bar code used.

These errors can add up to big costs over time in terms of time spent re-keying information or not noticing the wrong price was entered, possibly shorting the business or customer the proper amounts.

2. Improve efficiency

Scanning is simply faster than manual human data entry. Scanning provides a large leap in efficiency that can produce faster speeds at checkout and reduce labor.

Scanning can be up to 20 times quicker than manual entry. For example, for 12 characters of data (typical UPC length), keyboard entry takes around 6 seconds. Scanning a 12 character bar code takes .3 seconds.

Only keying in prices? Let’s say your average price is 4 characters long. Scanning is still around 10 times faster than manual entry.

3. Easier inventory tracking

Scanning can reduce the amount of time and labor required to perform inventory tracking.

Consider a shipment of 10 cases or units; it can take approximately 2 minutes or more to write down the product codes and serial numbers compared to about 10 to 20 seconds to scan the bar codes using a handheld scanner. This can provide drastic savings in time and labor needed to perform inventory, purchasing and receiving. What used to take a large team of people, can be done in less time with a smaller group.