Barcoding has proven to reduce errors and improve productivity, which add up to increased profitability. Yet, many food producers have been slow to adopt the technology that can potentially save them millions of dollars.
With barcoding software and food label printers that generate labels in a broad range of sizes and shapes, you can safely and securely label everything from fresh produce to frozen foods. By choosing label media specifically designed to handle conditions like extreme temperatures and moisture, you can create barcodes that remain adhered and readable for the shelf life of the product.
Barcoding technology is readily available to provide farms, manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers with a system that enables them to better manage their inventory. Those tiny lines in a barcode contain a wealth of information that is critical to running an efficient operation—including company prefix, product code, lot or batch number, source, expiration date, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), warehouse location, order and invoice information.
By generating barcodes from food label printers located at key points in your operation, you also minimize time. Data entry man-hours are cut down significantly because rather than manually enter receiving, shipping, and ordering information, the barcodes are scanned and the data is automatically transmitted. Inventory is instantly updated so you are always working with real-time numbers. Bills are processed more quickly because accounting gets an immediate report of the sale—rather than taking the time (usually a day or two later) to sift through the mountains of paperwork and do the necessary data entry.
By using barcodes to better mark your food products, you also reduce the possibility of errors. The Grocery Manufacturers Association conducted a study and discovered that about 36 percent of consumer-packaged goods orders had errors. These mistakes cause a domino effect: inventory counts are wrong, which prompts out-of-stocks, which leads to unhappy customers. You also have the expense of processing the return of the incorrect products and shipping the correct order, basically doubling your shipping costs and wasting employee time to handle each error—talking to the customer, sending the correction to the warehouse, processing the replacement, and advising the accounting department. So, how many people have you paid to handle a mistake that could have been prevented by using food label printers to produce barcodes?
Next, multiply that employee’s time by the hourly wage and you’ll realize that your errors are shipping profits right out the door. And if you’re dealing with fresh produce with a short shelf life, you’re in a time crunch and simply can’t afford this type of mistake! If the cost of your picking errors adds up to $500 per month (which is a conservative figure), and you’re operating at a five percent margin, then you need to increase your monthly revenue by $10,000 just to offset those mistakes.
Conversely, if your employees are not tied up with fixing mistakes and doing manual data entry, they can be involved in activities that actually generate revenue. They could be picking and shipping more orders per shift, processing more invoices, and taking more orders rather than managing complaints.
A quick scan of a barcode label tells the picker he has the right item. Scanning the barcodes off cases and pallets makes both shipping and receiving run faster. There are no manual counts, no sheets of paper that can be lost, no handwritten notes that might be misinterpreted at data entry.
By implementing barcoding and deploying food label printers in your business, you will realize a strong return on investment. Increases in productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction deliver a big pay-off.
If you need help choosing the barcode system that best suits your food business, talk to us at IntelliTech International. We specialize in meeting the unique challenges of your industry. Also check out our ebook about food barcode labeling, The Sweet Taste of Profits.