Believe it or not, today barcodes are everywhere – from the books you check out from the library to the detergent you buy in the store and even your driver’s license. While we know there are benefits to it (see last week’s article – read more), and we see these barcodes daily, most of us don’t know how they can help our businesses run more efficiently.

With that, I hope today’s article can be a useful guide so that you can improve your business with the use of barcodes. More importantly, here are some of the ways your business can use barcodes to save both time and money.

1. Barcode your Inventories

Using barcodes to track your inventory can help your business to know how many items you have in stock and where they are located. A basic inventory tracking system comprises a mobile computer or barcode scanner and software. Inventory items usually will have barcode labels so when an item is removed from the stock you can simply scan the barcode to reduce the available count in the inventory tracking software.

2. Add Barcode Tags to your Assets

No matter how small or large a business is it must have fixed assets and IT items. That includes items like laptops, software, PCs, projectors, and tools. Consider implementing a basic asset tracking system to help your IT staff save time. This is a great way to make audits easier and improve accountability.

3. Create a Shadow Book for your Retail Store

Perishable items like vegetables and fruits or small items like nails or screws are not built for barcode labels. Try a barcode scan sheet or a shadow book to keep your checkout line moving fast. It is just a line listing of items and their corresponding barcodes so when a customer brings an apple to the cash register you can easily look it up on the scan sheet and scan the barcode to bring it up.

4. Use Barcodes in Return Mail

If you run an organization that sells products that require registration, consider adding a barcode to the return-mail registration postcard that matches the item’s serial number so you can instantly track the serial numbers that are registered and those that aren’t. This will ensure your customers won’t need to locate and transcribe any lengthy serial numbers.

5. Include Barcode in a Mail Merge

You can add barcodes to an Rsvp card if your company is hosting an event so you can track those who have responded.

6. Add Barcodes to Invoices

When sending out an invoice to your customers, you can add a barcode that represents the customer’s invoice number so when they return it with the payment you can easily locate the customer’s invoice number. This can help to prevent problems encountered when applying the payment to a customer’s invoice.


We all know that barcodes are extremely useful. However, are you maximising the utility of it? Are you fully benefiting from what it can do?

Hope you find this article useful.