Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps businesses figure out what kind of barcode software they need to save valuable time and make product tracking more accurate.

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Fishbowl Inventory

Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 61 recommendations

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Agiliron Inventory Management

Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

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SkuVault

SkuVault is a cloud-based inventory management software designed for small and medium-sized omnichannel businesses with a focus in eCommerce. SkuVault features inventory management applications that include multi-warehouse inventory... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Zangerine

Zangerine is a cloud-based distribution management solution for small to midsize e-commerce businesses. Key features include inventory management, order management, quotes, purchasing, customer relationship management (CRM), point... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

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Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

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Systum

Systum is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include marketing, customer relationship management, sales automation, e-commerce, inventory management and quoting and billing. Systum... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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BiznusSoft Inventory Management Suite

BiznusSoft IMS is a cloud-based inventory management solution. Key features include product catalogs, price/rate books, supplier lists, warehouse management, threshold management, and order fulfillment. Our IMS app allows users to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

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TRXio

TRXio by Cairnstack Software is a cloud-based inventory solution that helps businesses of all sizes across various manage their assets, protect their brand and comply with industry standards. Within TRXio users gain access to demand... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS­ Pro)

Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS Pro) is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides users with order management functionalities. It caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals. GOIS Pro allows... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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Odoo

Odoo is a fully integrated and customizable open-source suite of business applications including sales, CRM, project management, manufacturing, inventory, accounting and other business needs in one software solution. Odoo was designed... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Infoplus

Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Finale Inventory

Finale Inventory is a cloud-based inventory and supply chain management solution designed for small and midsize businesses that offers stock management, purchasing, order management and reporting functionalities within a suite. The... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Kn{owl}edge

Kn{owl}edge is a cloud-based inventory management solution for small to midsize businesses in a variety of industries. The solution offers reporting and analytics capabilities for inventories of all sizes. Inventory items can be designated... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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eTurns

eTurns is a cloud-based inventory management solution that helps distributors and their customers automate inventory replenishment at the point-of-use (stockrooms, service trucks, etc.) using smartphones, scanners, RFID and IoT weight... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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MarginPoint Mobile Inventory

Marginpoint Mobile Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides businesses in various industry verticals with tools for the management of warehouses, storerooms and fleets of service vehicles. Key features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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SalesPad

SalesPad offers a cloud-based inventory management solution to helps businesses manage their inventory lifecycle. Key features include point of sale (POS), order processing, purchasing management, payment processing and reporting. SalesPad... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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FlowTrac

FlowTrac is a cloud-based and on-premise warehouse management solution offered by EMS Barcode Solutions that helps companies manage their inventory, assets and warehouse. The solution is suitable for multiple businesses. Users can... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Jazva

Jazva is a cloud-based e-commerce management solution with an array of functionalities for small to midsize B2B and B2C retailers that operate on a variety of online marketplaces and ship their goods from multiple warehouses or fulfillment... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Kechie

Kechie is a cloud-based inventory management suite that caters to small to midsize businesses in all industries. It’s an Adaptable & Easy to Use Solution, without needing any integrations. Kechie streamlines your business needs... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Buyer's guide


Last Updated: March 20, 2019

Here's a question for you: How's your handwriting? As penmanship and legible handwriting lose ground in classrooms to more relevant and widely-used means of communication, such as coding and typing, it stands to reason businesses run by adults would also forego manual processes for more accurate and practical technologies. For tracking inventory, that's where barcoding software comes in.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over all the basics you need to know before you start searching for barcode software to help speed up and improve your inventory management and tracking processes. Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Barcode Software?
Common Features of Barcode Software
Top Benefits of Barcode Software
How Is Barcode Software Sold?
Key Considerations

What Is Barcode Software?

Do you remember QR codes? Those little scannable squares that used to show up on product labels, t-shirts, posters, street signs and pretty much everywhere else? They were basically barcodes that consumers who had downloaded the required iPhone or Android app could scan to access more information about the product, event or business that was advertising.

Barcode software uses the same sort of technology to help warehouses and distribution centers keep track of every inventory item that comes in or goes out their doors.

Barcode systems usually have two components: hardware and software. The hardware covers the physical tools (i.e., scanners, printers, computers) necessary to read the barcodes. The software is a little more involved, though, as it encapsulates technologies that can do things such as create the barcodes (machine-readable codes typically expressed in patterns of parallel lines) and track the items in a designated inventory management system.

Barcoding hardware from Wasp Inventory Control

Barcoding hardware from Wasp Inventory Control

Common Features of Barcode Software

Barcode software functionality will vary according to the vendor and the user's needs, but here are some of the most common features to look for in barcode systems:

Barcode generation Technology that creates unique barcodes that tie to a specific product or products to reduce mistakes with tracking inventory.
Barcode scanning Technology that allows a computer to read barcodes and interpret the information they contain.
Custom label creation Allows users to create labels for products that contain whatever information the user requires, such as colors, sizes, dates etc.
Label templates Precreated labels that users can default to if no specialized information needs to be conveyed in labels.
Receiving labels Can be used to alert warehouses of any pertinent information before workers scan or unpack the product. For example, an easily-breakable product may come with a receiving label that reads “fragile" to ensure it is unpacked with care.
Shipping labels Similar to receiving labels, shipping labels alert transporters and recipients to any special instructions for carrying or unpacking a product.
Inventory management Connection to a system that tracks things such as stock levels, product locations, raw materials etc.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) Small devices that attach to the product and contain identification information that can be retrieved via scanner.
Serial number tracking Allows users to assign specific serial numbers to products and track them.

Label design in EZOfficeInventory Software

Label design in EZOfficeInventory Software

Top Benefits of Barcode Software

When weighing the pros and cons of a barcoding system, it might be helpful to consider the following benefits this type of software can offer:

No more human error. By eliminating manual data entry and automating the inventory tracking process, barcode software can create clearer lines of communication and help ensure no mistakes are made due to things such as illegible handwriting or tired workers.

Time saved training employees. People know how to scan things; we've got self-checkout lanes at Walmart and those ubiquitous QR codes, so it's not unreasonable to expect the average person to know 1) what a barcode scanner is, and 2) how to use it. From there, it's just a matter of learning the software.

More data gets conveyed. The difference between a barcode and a label is pretty substantial. You can only fit so much information in a form label, but barcodes are able to represent so much more data without taking up any space. So you don't have to choose between stock levels, pricing information, expiration dates or item attributes—you can include them all in one barcode.

Everything happens faster. When a barcode is scanned, the information gets translated and entered into inventory systems right away, so data is available much more quickly than it would be if done by hand. This saves users valuable time and minimizes confusion over stock levels.

Making decisions gets easier. When it comes to figuring out what to do, nothing is more useful than hard data. With instantaneous, accurate barcoding systems, decision-makers get to access an abundance of data to help determine the best course of action. For instance, exact inventory tracking can help managers calibrate inventory levels and save money on storage or better meet customer demand.

How Is Barcode Software Sold?

We've already mentioned that barcoding systems typically consist of two elements: hardware and software. When searching for a barcoding solution, you'll want to consider how vendors package their hardware and software and what features you're getting. You can certainly buy the hardware and software separately, but that leaves you with the responsibility of connecting two different products or coding your own software system to match your hardware. A better option for the money would be an integrated system that includes both.

You'll also need to figure out if your business would benefit more from a stand-alone barcoding system or one that is included in a broader enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) or warehouse management product.

Key Considerations

We've already covered the benefits of barcoding software, but there are a few drawbacks that you'll want to keep in mind when researching vendors for your business.

  • RFID integration. It's really important to be aware that barcoding software is not the same thing as radio-frequency identification (RFID) software. While many barcode systems include this feature, you should not assume a product offers RFID without finding out for sure.
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  • Cost. Barcode systems have a wide range when it comes to pricing, and that gets even wider when you throw in ERP or SCM suites with barcoding capabilities. You'll also want to be crystal clear on any hidden fees before committing to a vendor, and it's not a bad idea to budget for software training so you can make sure your employees learn the new system.
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  • Installation. Yes, barcoding software will do wonders for speeding up your processes once it's in place, but you should be prepared to deal with any lag or delays during installation and deployment. It takes a while to generate barcodes for every product, and this is the part where there will be confusion to overcome. Planning for it and being willing and able to make quick adjustments will help a lot.

And of course, if you're still not sure where to begin your research, you can always reach out to our team of expert advisors at (844) 687-6771 for a quick consultation on your business needs.