QuickBooks Point of Sale: Using Barcodes

Barcodes for Everybody

We see it everyday. Millions of retailers are using barcodes and scanners to check out customers and enter inventory. Even small stores find that barcoding is practical because it speeds up checkout, tracks stock, and assures pricing accuracy.

Unfortunately, not everyone uses barcoding technology properly. And they don’t reap as many benefits as they could.

Utilizing barcodes with your POS software will allow you to…

  • Serve customers faster and improve service by quickly scanning barcodes at the point of sale (POS) instead of typing a SKU.
  • Reduce pricing and inventory errors. Scanning barcodes at the POS is much more accurate than typing a SKU. The typical error rate for human data entry is 1 error per 300 characters. Barcode scanners can be as good as 1 error in 36 trillion characters depending on the type of barcode used.
  • Save time and improve efficiency. If all your merchandise is barcoded you can save time by checking out customers faster, instantly implementing mark downs and eliminating the problem of price tag switching.
  • Quickly count your inventory at any time. If you purchase a PDT (portable data terminal) you can count and enter your inventory by scanning each item with a PDT. The PDT will store your inventory count so you can quickly upload it into your POS software.
  • Reduce costs. If you have UPCs on your merchandise then you don’t have to put the price tag on the product itself, which saves time and reduces handling costs.
  • Improve the accuracy of your inventory. One of the biggest cost savings and benefits is maintaining a more accurate inventory. barcoding reduces errors at receiving and at the point of sale so your inventory stays accurate.

Here’s how YOU can start using barcodes and scanners in YOUR store:

First, you’ll need the following items to start using barcoding…

  • POS – Inventory Software that supports barcode scanning at the point of sale. (Buy Here)
  • A barcode scanner that’s compatible with your POS software. (Buy Here)
  • Merchandise that’s properly labeled with barcode symbologies that your POS software and scanners can handle.
  • A barcode printer (if all your merchandise comes with UPC codes you won’t need this). (Buy Here)

Here’s exactly how to get started:

  • Step 1 – Decide if you need a barcode printer. If ALL of your products already have UPC codes then you can probably use those. Otherwise you’ll have to buy a “barcode printer” and create your own barcode labels.
  • Step 2 – Contact your POS – Inventory Software Vendor to find out which scanners and barcode printers they support. You’ll need to purchase a barcode scanner and possibly a barcode printer.
  • Step 3 – Ask your software vendor how to setup your POS – Inventory Software to handle your barcode printer and scanner. Then get your software ready to print labels and scan items at the point of sale.
  • Step 4 – Get ALL of your merchandise barcoded and entered into your POS software. You’ll need to use your POS software to print barcode labels for ALL merchandise that doesn’t have a UPC code. (Once you get everything labeled you can print and label new merchandise at receiving.)
    You’ll also need to make sure that the inventory in your POS software has the appropriate UPC code associated with each item. Some of your suppliers might be able to provide “electronic price files” which can be loaded into your POS software. The price file would include SKUs, prices and UPC numbers. Otherwise you’ll have to manually associate a UPC number with each inventory item. Again, you’ll need to contact your software vendor to learn how to do this.
  • Step 5 – Make sure your POS software has accurate pricing and each inventory item has barcoding configured.
  • Step 6 – Now all you have to do is scan items at the register instead of entering the SKU. The SKU and price should get entered into the POS system automatically.

If used properly, barcoding technology can help you check out customers 20% to 50% faster and lower error rates by almost 4%. Not only does this dramatically improve your customer service but it saves time and lowers your overhead.

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