Since debuting at a Kroger grocery store in 1967, barcodes have become pervasive. With few exceptions, they are found on the products that are consumed by the economies of all industrial nations of the world. They simplify purchasing, selling, and yes, they simplify inventory.
Yet we’re seeing new systems that claim to handle bar inventory, but they ignore all of the info stored in that barcode. In doing so, they embrace the error-riddled and inefficient inventory tracking processes that barcodes were invented to replace.
We at AccuBar have been relying on those handy little barcodes for 15 years now to take a lot of guesswork and errors out of the bar inventory process. They have saved our clients an unimaginable amount of time and expense by eliminating error points and labor from every step of the process. Here are a few ways barcodes make themselves indispensible:
- They can easily tell the difference between a 750 ml bottle and a 1 liter bottle, when the naked eye often can’t.
- Subtle differences between two bottles don’t matter to them. On inventory day, you might miss it when two whiskeys look identical but one is actually cask strength, for instance. The barcode won’t.
- They don’t care if bottles are in a certain order. Some systems insist that you create a template of your bar, then hope everything is in order on inventory day. Doing inventory on Sunday after a full-tilt Saturday night, it is unlikely that bottles will end up in the right order every time. Trust us, scrolling around in an inventory list trying to find an item that isn’t in the right place does not equal efficiency.
- Effective inventory management is more than just inventory. It includes receiving, perpetual inventory, counting empties, and sometimes banquets, transfers and other steps. Barcodes make every step easier and more accurate. Your template system won’t.
- Using the manufacturer’s barcode is the surest way to be accurate in doing inventory. If your inventory system makes you ignore those and print your own barcode labels instead, you’re sure to have some errors getting those on the right items. And the time spent attaching proprietary barcodes to every bottle is better spent on other things.
If you’re serious about managing your inventory effectively and profitably, barcodes are there to make that easy. If you buy into an inventory approach that ignores all they have to offer, you’re settling for a slower, less accurate method.