Supply chain management is the system of managing the entire set of interconnected businesses including the storage and movement of raw materials, inventory and the whole range of finished goods from their starting point to the final point of consumption. Thus, in a typical business, it involves the management of all related activities including sourcing, conversion, procurement of supplies and logistics. It also encompasses activities with intermediate associates, suppliers, service providers and the last customers.
Supply chain management is easily manageable through specialised software, which makes integration of businesses easier. The process becomes even simpler with the aid of barcodes. Barcode technology helps to identify and track products and services since it is a useful identification tool.
Barcodes have been incorporated into supply chain management for decades since they first identify products, trace their movement and sale right till the time they have to be transported to customers. While their usage in the retail realm remains unparalleled, they have also proved to be useful in every other aspect of the business.
The most important aspect of supply chain management is the need for facts and figures. Information is believed to hold the key to a successful business venture, and companies lacking in keeping track of information now find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Barcode technology helps keep track of products and services that they identify and hence provide all the necessary information about them. Every point of the supply chain involves vendors and suppliers who must be able to provide all details when asked. Their inability to do so will mean being left behind and their job assigned to a competitor who has his information ready. The use of barcodes would ensure detailed and correct information, which helps in cutting costs incurred in maintaining high inventory levels for customer products. If barcodes are used then, inventory levels can be retained at low concentrations and replenished only when the need arises. Barcodes provide accuracy and speed that no other system can match, and help in reducing expenses incurred to rectify errors made by manual oversight or faulty data entry.
Barcode systems include mobile devices that can be used at every point due to their ease of use and time-saving advantages. Once a product enters the materials inventory, barcodes help in product identification, its location and tracking its movement. They help in product line applications and newer manufacturing processes. Barcodes facilitate quality control and the handling of complaints, and finally in shipping at the right time to the right place and the right customer. Read more here.