In order to make sure all goods are accounted for and that warehouse workers do not need to manually track inventory, the United Kingdom-based grocery store chain Tesco recently equipped its employees with mobile data collection devices that are worn around their arms.
All warehouse personnel, including forklift operators, are fitted with wireless barcode scanners so that Tesco can have a more accurate assessment of goods coming into and out of its warehouses, The Independent reported. Previously, employees would mark down inventory manually using pens and paper, and company officials said the system will likely make workers far more efficient throughout their day.
"The devices make it easier for our colleagues to carry out their role as they don't need to carry paperwork around the distribution centre," a Tesco spokesperson said, according to The Telegraph.
Why Barcode Tracking Software is So Effective
Tesco expects to derive significant benefits from the mobile data collection devices. For starters, in comparison to the manual processes the company used to have in place, automated data collection ensure that businesses have a far more accurate assessment of inventory and supplies while also decreasing the workload borne by workers in the warehouse or other parts of the supply chain.
There are many data collection tools available to companies, but barcodes remain the gold standard in the industry because they are a proven and cost effective way to keep tabs on supplies, according to Luke McCathie and Katina Michael of the University of Wollongong.
"Barcode scanning eliminates manual data entry to provide near perfect identification of objects," the duo wrote. "This makes the technology far superior for entering data into a system than manual word processing or manual record keeping with paper forms and pen."
In particular, as greater demand is placed on companies for getting goods and services to market, supply chain management must be more efficient than ever, according to McCathie and Michael. While a number of new technologies have emerged in the marketplace that have the potential to make supply chain management more efficient, these tools do not have the proven track record of barcode tracking and are typically far less cost effective. As a result, business that need a tracking solution they can count on should still turn to barcode tracking software.