If you run any sort of eCommerce business, you must have come across a similar term ‘Shipping Barcode’. It is one of the major elements for any business selling physical goods or products. This is used in the physical stores for purchase and return purposes. In warehouses and fulfillment centers it is used to track packages and inventories. Courier companies use barcodes to track and locate shipments and sometimes barcodes are used on the invoices for accounting purposes.
- What are shipping barcodes?
- When the shipping barcodes are exactly used?
- How shipping barcodes can help in improvising your fulfillment operations?
Barcodes have become an absolute necessity in the order fulfillment processes. It is so essential that logistics and moderns shipping is entirely incomplete without it. They are more prone to defaults without the barcodes embedded in the products. Many 3PL companies completely rely on barcodes while running their warehouse operations efficiently. This helps them to serve their customers better for whom they tend to perform the fulfillment services.
Let us discuss what shipping barcodes are and how it can help for enhancing e-commerce fulfilments.
What are shipping barcodes?
Shipping barcodes are certain patterns of different widths that are parallel. These patterns are printed on products or goods so that they can be read by a machine. These keep the stocks in check. A barcode is often embedded in the shipping labels of a shipment. These barcodes that are printed at the back of the product is very essential and is scanned by a machine from the point of pickup to the point where the product is delivered to the end customer. Barcodes on shipping packages are very informational and with one scan, it can identify the particular order. It can access its details like the kind and category of the product in the package, the particular delivery address where the product has to be delivered, the customer’s details, and even the mode of shipping and the mode of payment of the product.
Barcodes printed on documents like return documents or purchase order documents, can be a great help in retrieving any sort of information and record related to the purchase or return directly from the server.
When the shipping barcodes are exactly used?
Any business that is planning and arranging on shipping online orders or preparing their eCommerce inventory, make use of the shipping barcodes for advanced eCommerce fulfillment and tracking. Let us discuss at what instances the shipping barcodes are used:
While receiving the inventory in the fulfillment centers
When they are receiving the inventory items at the fulfillment centers, experts need to make sure that they have received the right items. They also need to make sure that the inventory they received is from the freight shipments or parcel shipments. For this, they need to scan the barcode that is embedded in the package or the inventory to make sure that the above facts are clear.
While handing out your orders to the courier companies
Once the order that is been placed is completely ready to be shipped after it is picked and packed properly, a shipping barcode will be imprinted on the label pasted on the package. The retail or the eCommerce company will hand out the shipment package to the courier company. Here the carrier will scan the barcode that is imprinted on the label pasted on the package before he leaves the fulfillment center. This is very necessary to keep proper records of the shipments that are being handed over on a day-to-day basis.
While receiving the returned orders from the particular end customers
Different categories of returns are made. However, the returns that involve customers directly shipping the returned item back to third-party logistics need to be scanned by the third-party logistics provider. They thoroughly scan the shipping barcode imprinted on the shipping label before they accept the order. This has to be done to make sure that they have received the right item and this is important because the refund will be initiated accordingly after they received the item.
How shipping barcodes can help in improvising your fulfillment operations?
Barcodes are a major element in the entire process of warehouse management. The barcode technology has become an absolute necessity in the warehouse management systems. It helps to maximize the benefits of the systems. Let us see some of the benefits that the shipping barcodes provide to increase the operational efficiency of your business:
It helps in increasing the speed of the order processing
It is impossible to process a large volume of orders without using any scanning technology. You will be highly prone to mistakes and you cannot avoid the situation. Without the proper technology, it is impossible to jot down the exact number of items that are in every single package, every single product details, and every single customer details who have placed the particular order. Shipping a large number of products daily is next to impossible without proper barcode scanning of the inventories, especially if the business is on the verge of growing every day. Barcodes help in increasing the speed of this large number of order processing and decrease the chance of errors.
It helps in reducing errors
Keying in important inventory data can lead to many errors. After proper integration with the warehouse management system, it was found that barcode technology could reduce manual data entry and bring it down to zero. It can increase the data collection speed during the processes of receiving the orders, picking the orders, the shipment of the orders, and during other inventory management operations. Barcodes provide us information with an utmost accuracy of 99.9 percent.
Helps in increasing efficiency and mobility of the systems
As technological advancement has taken place, scanners don’t necessarily need to be fixed at a single point. This means the warehouse merchants don’t have to stand at a fixed point to scan the orders. Now you can have access to wireless barcode scanners and these increase the efficiency of the warehouse as it cuts down unnecessary walking time. However, this might not be an absolute necessity for the smaller companies, but bigger companies that have more number of order processing per day can benefit from it greatly.
It helps in improving dashboards and inventory management
There is an extreme amount of data that is available in the fulfillment centers. However, most of the data is pen-paper based which makes it difficult to assess. Shipping barcodes does wonders in these cases when integrated with suitable warehouse management systems. Shipping barcodes can provide you with real-time data and information about major functions that take place within the warehouse. This allows the fulfillment directors and line managers to focus on other major facets of their business. Shipping barcodes are very efficient in inventory and warehouse management. They reduce the manual works and this in turn reduces the chances of errors that can occur while dealing with large volumes of orders.
Barcode technology is a new form of business now. Without it, you cannot run your business properly. It is the new form of growth and development of your business. This technology has evolved within the years and now has become an absolute necessity, especially for businesses that are growing every single day.