What is a barcode? It’s a visual, data-based inventory management system that’s reminiscent of Dewey Decimal systems in libraries. It’s a fast and efficient way to sort and look up products easily and is a great way to generalize your store and sell multiple products at once.

If you have a mid to large-size business, barcodes are game-changers for your inventory management. Barcode data is useful. You’ll have a perpetual inventory system detailing how quickly inventory leaves your store after being stocked. Make sure your MRP software has barcode scanning capabilities to get the best possible overview of your business in real-time, track inventory movements and automate the information flow from sales to the shop floor.

Let’s delve into how to create a barcode! Read on to get scanning.

1. Determine What Kind of Barcode You’ll Use

Determine What Kind of Barcode You'll Use

The expense of barcodes varies dramatically. Microsoft Word and Excel are cheap and only require a little of your time learning how to generate them. For a higher price, you can register your business with GS1 and they will grant you access to universal barcodes.

Different barcodes are popular within different industries! If your products are self-contained within your store and only circulate in your immediate circle, you can create and assign your own barcodes. If your products are being shipped off to be sold elsewhere, we recommend getting them GS1 barcodes.

2. Create a Document With Product Names and Descriptions

The second step in our crash course on how to create a barcode is getting yourself organized. Typical keywords and descriptors include size, color, cost, vendor information, and anything else that’s relevant. Be sure to stay under 800 characters and choose descriptors that won’t change or fluctuate over time!

First, assign shorthand to each of your products. If you’re selling a casual black tank top in a size medium, your code might be CBTNKM. It’s good to have these quick acronyms to translate into numbers later on.

3. Find a Barcode Generator

Find a Barcode Generator

If you’re still going with your own DIY barcodes, there are plenty of barcode generators online that will help you encode your product information for free. Here, you’ll be assigned a number code for each product that has key factors concerning the product’s unique characteristics.

If you’re using GS1 barcodes, they’ll do most of the heavy lifting and give you barcodes that are officially registered under your business name. It’s expensive, but you can pay for and print as many as you want.

4. Buy a Barcode Scanner and Printer

Once you’ve acquired a scanner, your brand new barcode inventory system can begin once you buy a scanner for your personal usage. The scanner will take the numbers and associate them with your system so the computer system knows exactly what you need.

You can even read barcodes with C#! C# PDF OCR library allows you to read any text and barcodes from images and photos. It’s a great program to implement into your barcode data system.

5. Use Your Data to Improve Inventory

Use Your Data to Improve Inventory

The beauty of using a barcode inventory system is the valuable data you’ll get about what comes in and out of your store the fastest. This barcode data can influence what you promote on your social media and even where you place your products on the store floor.

Now You Know How to Create a Barcode

Even if it was difficult to conceptualize at first, now you know the basics of how to create a barcode! It’s a unique system that helps you manage inventory with ease.

For more help on the shop floor, check out our other articles! Implementing barcodes is the first of many steps to a healthy business.

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