A barcode is data code represented on a product in such a way that it is readable by optical machine which is connected to a computer. Barcodes are usually represented in lines and spacing of parallel lines. Other forms of representation are also available. A barcode is read from a product by machine called optical scanner which is also called barcode readers.
Automated Checkout Systems
Barcodes are widely used in packaging design, tracking documents, stock control in stores and warehouses, discount coupons by marketers, database records, online ecommerce, etc, etc. The biggest users of barcodes that many people know of are the automated checkout systems in departmental stores and supermarkets. It cost just a very small amount of about $0.0004 to implement a barcode on a product and this means many ordinary people and small businesses should be making use of barcodes than they are currently doing.
Barcodes – Are they Intrusive Surveillance?
When barcodes were first introduced, many people thought of them as unnecessary intrusive surveillance, others considered them to be antichrist, but the truth of the matter is that barcodes are now proving to be a necessity for almost everyone.
Barcode for Small Businesses
In this world there are millions of small businesses who do not make use of barcodes. They stock their stores with hundreds of different merchandises and off they start selling them to their customers. How they are able to determine when to re-stock their stores or how much profits they are making is more of a guesswork. You can not tell that if you do not know the number of different items you have sold and the number of different items that are remaining in the store. And even if you may try to manually count the items sold and items remaining in the store, this is a very tedious work that one should not be doing with the available technology that we have now.
Determine the Exact Profit
The right thing to do is to have a computer record the products that have been added to the store as well as the products that have been sold out. The difference between the two values should help the trader determine the exact profit he/she is making. And how do they take insurance against fire for their businesses when they do not know exactly what is the store? You can now see that with a computer that can read barcodes attached to the products, one can tell the following:
1. One can tell which products are selling faster and reorder accordingly.
2. One can tell which products are not selling and avoid dead stock.
3. Can monitor his products by display his products differently to see if sales will increase
4. One use the historical data that has build up in his database to tell which products sell well at different seasons.
5. One can evaluate quickly those customers that are buying more and offer them special discounts.
Track Assets for Home Inventory
Barcodes are very handy when it comes to tracking your home inventory. One needs to have an inventory of at least some of the major items and assets in a home. When you can track what you own and a thief was to steal some of your assets, you can easily be able to determine what has been stolen and immediately lodge a claim with your insurance company for appropriate compensation. You can now see that with a computer that can read barcodes attached to your household possessions, one can tell the following:
1. One can keep organized record of your assets and possessions.
2. One can tell what was in the home in case of theft or fire
3. one can tell what get lost in transit if one is changing residence
4. One can tell what he owned in case one is making an insurance claim for damage
5. Keep track of your DVDs, computers, laptops, printers, washing machines
6. one can tell the true value of his household possession
Excel Assets Tracking Spreadsheet
ConnectCode Asset Tracking Spreadsheet is a free asset tracking software which one can download and install in the computer that you have. It’s a small file of 105 KB which you can download free here. Once you have the software installed, you will need a barcode scanner which you can buy at Amazon. The price may range from $40 for those that are inexpensive to $200 for those scanners that are expensive - the choice is yours.
To track your home inventory and assets for your small businesses using this excel spreadsheet, you will need to follow instructions as contained in the help worksheet as follows:
1. First customize, and or, modify the records in the AssetData worksheet for all your trackable assets. You may as well do this by clicking the Manage Records button.
2. After you have defined the records, click Generate Barcodes on A4 button to create a printable page of barcodes.
3. Print the barcodes on a laser/inkjet printer on stickers which you stick on your assets.
4. To retrieve the information of a particular asset, set the keyboard focus on the Enter Serial Number (or Scan Barcode) field, and then point the scanner at the barcode that is on the asset.
5. When a barcode is scanned, the serial number will retrieve the details of that asset.
Your Creativity is the Limit
With such kind of information in an excel worksheet, you can the go ahead and add all other calculations that you may need – your creativity is the limit. You may add prices such as buying and selling prices and do all kind of computations that you can think of. Good luck in your barcode assets tracking.
If you have liked this article, and you would want this page to keep up and improved, you can help by purchasing some great items from Amazon by following Amazon links and widgets on this page. A free way to help would be to link back to this webpage from your web page, blog, or discussion forums.
The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average readers make some money as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning elsewhere - details of which you can find in My Page, if you will.
Wana say thanks on October 25, 2010:
Thanks so much for this article, helped me heaps!
jamie on August 25, 2010:
thank you for a simple, straight-forward answer! I just wanted to know if I need anything more than a scanner, downloaded database, printer and stickers to implement a barcode system... and you gave me my affirmative answer. So, thanks!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 03, 2010:
Thank you very much for a helpful and informative hub.