Top 11 Benefits of using Inventory Management Software

Inventory control and planning are actions that are involved in the inventory management process. As with all management processes, planning and controlling are key to successful management. The reason that such a focus is given to inventory is that inventory usually represents the largest cash-flow part of the business. This is both in relation to purchasing inventory and selling inventory. For this reason, management of inventory will, in turn, have a knock-on effect on the finances of the business.
With smart inventory management, your business will enjoy many benefits. Here are the top 11 benefits of good inventory management:

1# Inventory Balance.

Good inventory management helps you figure out exactly how much inventory you need. This makes it easier to prevent product shortages and keep just enough inventory on hand without having too much.

2# Inventory Turnover.

You need to keep a high inventory turnover ratio to ensure your products aren’t spoiling, becoming obsolete or sucking up your working capital. Calculate how many times your inventory sells in a year and see where you can make better use of your resources.

3# Repeat Customers.

Good inventory management leads to what every business owner wants – repeat customers. You want your hard-earned customers to keep coming back to your business to meet their needs. One way to do this is to make sure you have what they’re looking for every time they come.

4# Accurate Planning.

Using smart inventory management, you can stay ahead of the demand curve, keep the right amount of products on hand and plan ahead for seasonal changes. This goes back to keeping your customers happy all year long.

5# Warehouse Organization.

If you know which products are your top sellers and what combinations of products your customers often order together, you can optimize your warehouse setup by putting those products close together and in easily accessible places. This speeds up the picking, packing and shipping processes.

6# Fewer mistakes such as overselling

By synchronising all of your online marketplaces and webstores, you can be sure that your stock levels are adjusted each time you make a sale, in turn reducing the chance of overselling.

7# Inventory Orders.

If you’ve done a good job keeping track of how much inventory you have on hand, you can make smarter decisions about when and what to order. Inventory management software lets you speed up the ordering process. You can simply scan a product barcode and type in some information to place an order and generate an invoice.

8# Inventory Tracking.

If you have multiple locations, then inventory management becomes even more important because you need to coordinate your supplies at each location depending on differences in demand and other factors.

9# Time Saving.

Inventory management is a great time-saving tool. By keeping track of all the products you have on hand and on order, you can save yourself the hassle of doing inventory recounts to make sure your records are accurate. This once again requires inventory management software.

10# Cost Cutting.

When your inventory is humming along efficiently through your facilities, you can bet you’ll save a lot of money. Inventory management helps you avoid wasting money on slow-moving products so you can put it to better use in other areas of your business.

11# Employee Efficiency.

You can empower your employees to help you manage inventory. Training employees to use barcode scanners, inventory management software and other tools help them make better use of their time, and it helps your business make better use of its resources, both human and technological.

Inventory management systems do much more than simply count product. They help businesses improve efficiency by automating many tasks such as collecting sales data, forecasting for future sales, and repricing and reordering product. If you aren’t currently using an inventory management system for your business, or want to improve upon one you have in place, now’s the time to check out for the products offered by EPOSNOW

Your Small Business Retail Checklist

Not every small business is positioned for success, make sure you keep this checklist in mind before you go “all in” on your new business venture. When you’re starting up a small business, there is no shortage of work to be done. It’s definitely a labor of love.

It can be easy to overlook some of the key things you need to do to be successful and make your life easier. Make sure these items are on your checklist to get off to a great start.

Business Structure

Before you even think about opening your doors and selling your products or services, you need to set up a legal structure for your business. That means deciding whether you want to set up shop as a Sole Trader, Limited Company, or Partnership in the UK or as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC (Limited Liability Company), Corporation, or S-Corp in the U.S. There are pros and cons to each type of business depending on your situation.

Permits, Licenses, and Insurance

When it comes to paying taxes, check with the appropriate government agencies for its requirements. You will likely need to register in order to collect and pay the appropriate sales taxes. There may be local jurisdiction taxes or VAT taxes to collect and pay as well.

You will need to protect your assets and yourself in case of natural disasters, omissions and errors, and liability. There may be requirements for particular types of levels of coverage as part of your lease or licenses. General Business Insurance or Business Owner’s Policies vary depending on the type of business, location, and operation. If you have company vehicles, you will need to have them covered as well.

Name and Location

Naming your business is not as easy as it sounds. Because you will need signage and printed material, a website, and collateral, you want to get it right the first time. Mistakes cost money. Make sure you do a trademark and copyright search to avoid problems down the road. You can search the US database here and the UK database here.

Finding a desirable location, negotiating a lease or purchase, and equipping your location will also take time.

Business Plan and Financing

If you haven’t written a business plan, you need to do so. Not only will it help to structure your business and help you keep on track for your strategy, but it is also essential if you want to get a small business loan from the government or a lender.

As part of your business plan, make sure you pay attention to marketing efforts. You’ve got to invite people to your retail establishment or hospitality business if you want them to come!

Hiring

Whether it’s just you, or you are hiring people to help run your business, you may have to register than with the state, obtain Workers Comp Insurance, and/or Unemployment Insurance. Depending on your business category, you may also be subject to hiring requirements, such as EEO regulations or E-verify in the U.S.

Accounting and Record Keeping

You will want to make sure you know the rules on what information you must keep and for how long. Most company documents typically need to be kept on hand for three years.

This includes items like owners’ names and addresses, formation documents, financial statements, and tax filings.

Setting up accounting systems to manage your finances and track key business operations is critical. You need to have a way to keep track of inventory, process orders, pay bills, employees, and taxes. The more you can automate, the better.

Point of Sale (POS) System

A great POS system can help automate many of the time-sucking tasks, such as inventory management, order processing, payment and tax collecting, and reporting and analysis for your retail or hospitality business.

Look for a system that can accommodate all of your business needs:

24/7/365 service and support
Works online in the cloud and offline
Easy to use with training materials available
Can accept multiple forms of payment, including credit and debit cards (and others you may want, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Paypal)
Can integrate with third-party systems such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, Loyalty programs, or email marketing
Can handle multiple locations with individual and roll-up reporting
Allows your online and retail store to “talk to each other”
You want a system that is hardware and platform agnostic (works with anything), will work with any payment gateways and doesn’t load you up with hidden fees. If at all possible, find a provider that doesn’t have long-term, impossible-to-get-out-of, contracts.

Don’t under-estimate the value service and support. If your system burps, it can cripple your business until it’s fixed. Demand 24/7/365 service from in-country reps.

Don’t Wait

Starting up a business is exciting. Make sure you do it right.

Don’t overlook an all-in-one POS solution to set your business up for success. Acting as a hub for your business activity, an integrated system will save you hours of pouring through receipts, trying to balance the books, and making sure the taxes are paid. Not to worry you but messing up the taxes alone can lead to six-figure fines and even jail time.

An all-in-one POS solution helps automate processes and can make the life of a small business owner so much easier. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

Eposnow Restaurant jpeg

Why EposNow is the Best POS For Restaurant

It is another great year of business opportunities particularly for those in the Restaurant/ Hospitality industry. Besides, it is more important than ever to start the year with a solution that will yield and improve your business with a guaranteed 30 days return on investment. Step forward… Eposnow Solutions

Eposnow solution is a cloud based inventory point of sale solutions that manages your entire inventory and all cash transactions in real time which can be accessed with the use of mobile phones, tablet and desktop devices keeping you on the know-how on your business.

It is used by many restaurants in Nigeria with amazing features like Table plan, spilt bills, printer support, recipe costing and stock management.

STOCK MANAGEMENT

Eposnow solutions track all your inventory and helps for effective stock management. For restaurant the software will automatically alert you once you are low in stock and help with your reorder level while using Purchase Order.

TABLE PLAN

Arrangement of tables is very imperative to help manage your sales. Tables are arranged in line of your physical layout. With one look, you are able to see what the current total is for each table, how many covers it has and which tables are unoccupied.

RECEIPE COSTING

For restaurant, the need to measure your inventory down to the last gram, or kilogram gives you access to have an overview of your current stock level. The master product helps you to split all ingredients that make a particular goods or item. For instance, a bottle of vodka is sold in shot but our flexible software measures the Vodka till the last drop.

PRINTER SUPPORT

Eposnow solutions integrate with all POS Hardware devices. However, in most cases, the kitchen, bar makes up the restaurants and once the software synchronises with printers and customer’s starts to pick their orders, docket will automatically be generated at each supposed order section

SPLIT BILLS

Our software can split bills between different customers by choosing which item they would like to pay for. This helps track items that haven’t been paid for.

In the final analysis, with Eposnow comes a solution that has revolutionized inventory management to help support your business growth.

To request for a free demo, please visit us at www. epossolutions.com.ng or call us on 08172313884 and we would be glad to put you through the process

Follow us on all our social media account @eposnigeria

Why now is the right time to invest in EPOS before Christmas


We’re in the midst of one of the warmest summers on record, yet for business owners, it’s already time to start planning ahead for the festive season

Christmas spending topped £78 billion in the UK last year, up 1.4% on 2016. It was a similar story in the U.S, where spend rose 2.1% to $658 billion. 2018 looks set to be even bigger still, and the most successful retail and hospitality businesses will be those that take the right steps to prepare.

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean consumers are starting their Christmas shopping earlier than ever, so it’s vital to think about upgrading your point of sale system in plenty of time. Here are just a few reasons it’s worth investing in EPOS ahead of the Christmas rush.

Train seasonal staff

Longer opening hours and increased footfall see many businesses hiring extra in the run up to Christmas. While they may be temporary, it’s pivotal that every employee is able to deliver the very best customer experience. Epos Now systems boast a remarkably simple interface, with employee training taking as little as 15 minutes. Innovative apps and features further streamline the process, such as the Product Plus app which gives staff access to key product details at the touch of a button.

Our systems also allow you to set up individual staff permissions to prevent unauthorised refunds or discounts. Limit the features that are available to certain staff members while ensuring long-standing employees maintain access to the full system.

Speed up transactions

Long queues are a bugbear for consumers at any time of year, but can be a particularly big problem during the Christmas rush. EPOS technology is just one way to speed up transactions and reduce the amount of time it takes to serve each customer.

Not only will staff be able to generate more revenue in a short space of time, but you’ll satisfy the 89% of UK consumers who have previously turned away from a purchase as a result of excessive queuing.

Keep track of stock

More customers means you’ll be needing more stock, so maintaining a clear view of your inventory is crucial. Routinely conducting manual stocktakes isn’t always feasible for busy business owners however, particularly those that operate in multiple locations or have an ecommerce store.

Epos Now systems facilitate automatic stock tracking in real-time, so you’ll always have an accurate view of what you have and which products need reordering. Integrate your system with your existing e-commerce store and stock levels will be synced across both channels, benefiting customers in-store and online.

Encourage customer loyalty

Getting customers through the door is one thing, but the end goal is to keep them coming back once the festive season is over. Digital loyalty schemes are rapidly gaining popularity within the UK and can be integrated directly with your EPOS system, giving SMEs access to customisable loyalty programs at an affordable price.

74% of UK consumers regularly collect loyalty points, so there’s real value in being able to implement something like this in your own business. Unlike traditional loyalty schemes, going also digital opens the door to a host of additional features, such as the potential to send customers push notifications and email alerts around promotional offers.

Generate reports

Understanding what is and isn’t working for your business is the first step towards making changes that boost your bottom line. Epos Now systems boast a range of advanced reporting features, the likes of which allow you to track sales and accurately forecast footfall.

There’s also the ability to generate reports based on employee performance. This can really help to incentivise staff during busy sales periods, especially if you take the time to reward employees that deliver exceptional service.

Christmas may feel like a lifetime away, but it’s vital businesses are prepared for a potential surge in footfall and ready to convert new visitors into loyal customers. Now is the time to set the wheels in motion if you hope to get your new point of sale system up and running in time for the festive rush.

For more information on how EPOS technology can help your business to run smoothly over Christmas, get in touch with one of our sales advisors today.


Reasons Why you Need Stocktaking in Business

Stocktaking is very important to your business especially when you are into Retail or the Hospitality industries. Many Businesses have been ruined with the lack of proper stocktaking and inability to use seamless software that can manage their inventories. However, with Eposnow solutions you need not to worry anymore and we have totally revolutionized stocktaking for your business with just a click

Indeed before we discussed further, the question that pops to our mind is what Stocking means? Stocktaking or “inventory checking” is the physical verification of the quantities and condition of items held in an inventory or warehouse to keep you on the know-how. Thus, with this in mind, Eposnow solutions is the perfect software that can help you manage all your inventories and can be used on your mobile phones, Tablet or even your desktop.

Are you looking for software to help with inventory and managing all your cash transactions? Look no further as epossolutions is here to stay.

Visit us at www.epossolutions.com.ng to request for a demo or Call us on 09087476161 and our consultant would be glad to put you through the process.

Think of Inventory Management.

Think Eposnow Solutions

 

You can also follow us on all Social media Platform @eposnigeria

5 Ways Your POS Can Increase Your Holiday Sales and Make This Holiday

To make sure you’re maximizing your resources this time of year, here are five ways your POS can increase your holiday sales.

1. It can perfect your inventory strategy.

POS these days are no longer just point-of-sale systems – they’re full-fledged retail management systems. They can run your store from the first moment you come into contact with your inventory, to when you sell that item. They can even manage your customer experience! Basically, your POS should be your best friend.

Given all that, you should check in with your POS and spend some time learning about what items have done really well in sales recently, which ones haven’t moved, and which ones sold out last year. Your POS may even be able to predict which items will sell really well this season.

Once you’ve got that information, you can order your products with a lot more accuracy. You can also use that data to decide how to set your store. You may want to put some of your best-sellers up front to draw people in, and scatter the rest about to encourage people to look through the whole store. You also can put the items that aren’t selling well in more visible locations. Often items can sit on the shelves purely because they’re hidden or in the wrong place. Of course, if it’s a totally hideous, puke-green sweater, that could also be the reason it’s sitting. (If that’s the case, maybe try running it as an ugly Christmas sweater?)

With inventory that’s sitting, you should get a bit creative in how you display it, too. For instance, for clothing items that aren’t selling, you may want to try working them into an outfit on a mannequin so that customers can see the items in their full context. This can liven up basics, and helps people understand how to wear trickier items like statement necklaces.

2. Your POS Can Make Sure You Have the Right Team in Place.

Your POS should either have built in employee scheduling software, or should integrate with your existing scheduling software. Either way, you can use software to schedule your employees. (If, for whatever reason, you’re still doing it by hand, please let me convince you that software is soooo worth it – and you can get it for cheap!)

This scheduling software will be able to identify your highest sellers. It will also be able to predict your peak hours this holiday season based on what your peak hours were last holiday season. (If you’ve got software that’s newer than last holiday season, it can still make very good guesses on your future peak hours using data from the past months.)

With all that information, you can easily ensure your peak hours are staffed by your top sellers, while your down-hours are stocked with your best stock people. Heck, plenty of scheduling software options will even autoschedule all that for you to save you time!

3. Your POS Can Probably Ring People Up Anywhere in the Store.

Most POS software these days not only operates on giant stationary desktop registers, but it also on mobile devices like iPads and Android smartphones.

If you haven’t gotten in on mobile registers yet, now is the time to do it! Mobile registers are insanely helpful for a number of reasons.

  • You can ring customers up anywhere in the store. This means a reduction in boring, slow lines. It also means that customers who love something in the dressing room won’t have to deal with the fateful walk to the register, during which they decide that the item is out of their budget and their husband will hate them for buying it. Better customer experience = better sales, plain and simple.
  • You can take your register anywhere there’s Wi-Fi. Many can even do all the basic sales functions you need without Wi-Fi. Which means you can start hitting the road with your merchandise. When your merchandise appears in more locations, you reach more shoppers. Go to farmer’s markets! Go to festivals! Start a fashion truck! Your sales possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and some laws against selling in certain public locations).
  • Mobile POS gives your sales people access to your CRM anywhere in the store. Before mobile POS, sales people were only able to access your customer relationship management system at the cash-wrap, which typically meant disengaging with the customer, and fighting Bertha the cashier for the chance to just ‘pleeeease’ pop into the system between customers. Not pleasant. Why is this bad? Well, your CRM holds all your information about customers, like past purchases and sizes. This sort of information can be really helpful to your sales people on the floor. With mobile POS, a sales person can quickly check for these details after naturally disengaging with the customer to help inform their suggestive selling without causing any disruptions to their customer, or to Bertha and all her customers.

5. Your POS can take mobile payments.

I know this one kinda sounds like the previous tip, but it’s not, I swear. Mobile payments are services like Apple Pay and Android Pay that allow someone to pay for a purchase by scanning their phone at your register. Many POS software vendors have updated their software to be able to take at least one of these types of payment.

How will it increase your holiday sales this year? Couple things:

  • Mobile payments help reduce time spent at the register. Most people already have their phones out, so mobile payments are typically very swift.
  • Mobile payments are here to stay, but many stores have yet to take them. By getting ahead of the curve, you’ll encourage shoppers who are already using mobile payments to shop with you.

5. Your POS can boost your marketing.

Your POS should integrate with an email marketing or marketing automationprovider. If you don’t already have that set up and an email strategy in place, stop reading this post and go do that. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of nurturing buyers into becoming returning customers.

Once you’ve got your email integration up and running all you have to do is create a holiday campaign, to get customers excited for Christmas shopping with you! Here are a few ideas for emails to send out:

  • Send out emails announcing your promotions as they happen throughout the holiday season.
  • Have a countdown to Christmas. Send out an email every day with the current countdown number. With the number you can either give pictures and descriptions of products, or you could run a daily promotion relating to that number. (Think: ‘7 days ‘til Christmas, get every 7th item free,’ or something similar.)

Conclusion

Your POS really should be your best friend this December. Make sure you optimize the ways you’re using it to increase your holiday sales. You got this. And remember if you need a good POS, try EPOS NOW 

5 Most Common Stock Management Mistakes

Improper stock control can ruin your business. Be aware that we’re all prone to making costly mistakes that can spell the end for your business, Even Nike wasn’t immune. In the early 2000’s, lack of stock control led to the loss of, hold your breath, approximately $100 million in sales. That is a big loss for any company, even a company the calibre of Nike.

After all of the hullabaloo, Nike’s stock price plummeted 20%, It was slapped by several class-action lawsuits, and became the poster child for inefficient implementations. Fortunately, they were able to bounce back by using a better stock control system. If it can happen to one of the biggest companies in the world, it can happen to you too.

We’ve rounded up the top 5 Stock management mistakes businesses make and the possible solutions:

Failure To Accurately Forecast Demand

Nike’s problem, Like most stemmed from inaccurate forecast demand,  Its software had bugs and errors and produced inaccurate forecast, which they used for their manufacturing plan. As a result, They did not have the products that were in demand and had too much of the products that were not selling. A perfect example of exactly what you do not want going wrong with your stock.

Stock control systems, first and foremost, must be free from bugs and data errors. Demand forecasts are critical to producing the right number of items and if the calculations are off, you’re in trouble, especially if you’re running a wholesale business. There are quick and easy ways to avoid this, Use an external Stocktaking company and outsource counting from the business. Alternatively use a cloud based stock management app to keep on top of it all yourself. However above all else a live stock system gives you maximum traceability and would help contribute to lowering shrinkage.

Lack Of Automation

If you’re still tracking inventory with Excel, or with pen and paper, then you could be losing money. Manual tracking of stock in & out takes too much time and won’t get you accurate results. You’re wasting time and valuable resources  that keep you from focusing your energy on other areas that can help grow your business. There’s also the fact that manual tracking means that you’re vulnerable to human error, as well as employee pilferage. And we’re all human!

There are many case studies for companies that have increased revenue through efficient stock control. Tasks can be automated, cutting down on staff hours & thus saving money which can then be put back into the company leading to increased growth.

 

Improper Training

For companies who are using software that’s installed on local computers, issues are common because not everyone knows how to use it correctly. When there’s so much to do and only one person who’s familiar with the system, you can get left behind in orders. Lack of proper training can severely affect your ability to keep up with orders or worse, result in wrong products being sent out, which will cause both customer satisfaction and retention levels to drop.

Cloud based stock management systems are beneficial in so many ways:

  • They have easier learning curves and it shouldn’t take long to train employees properly.
  • Easy access for those who travel a lot and multiple employees can log in remotely at once.
  • No need to have separate people process orders, check stock, or track inventory.

Inefficient System Implemented Inside The Warehouses

It’s not uncommon for warehouse managers to fail in finding more efficient ways to handle business as they are warehouse managers not business owners. Simply rearranging goods so they’re easily taken out for shipment can save you massively on your bottom line. Often times, employees take too much time looking for an item which may be misplaced or if your stock levels are incorrect may not even be there. Always remember that wasted time is money lost.

A simple solution is to figure out which items sell more and place them near the shipping area so they can easily be dispatched. Sales & demand reports should give you a good idea which items to put close to the door. Additionally, don’t randomly put stock where there’s available space just because its free. Allocate each product a specific area based on popularity so they can be easily retrieved.

In order to make sure the flow of goods is optimized and minimize bottlenecks. Efficient time management spent on counting, picking, packing and finally moving each shipment through the handling system. If you can’t figure out how to get the workflow right in order to minimize the amount of time spent here, consider investing in consultants who will be able to advise you on this.

 

Less Frequent Stocktakes

Many companies cease operations for a day to check inventory. This can result to profit loss. It’s worse for huge businesses that have so much inventory; they can end up profitless for weeks.

This is an outdated method and one that’s not productive at all. You’re better off scheduling more frequent regular stocktakes to keep the company from shutting down operations and missing out on sales. In addition to this, even if you do find a discrepancy during your stocktake, it will be difficult to pinpoint the problem when you have the time-frame of an entire financial year or to look back on.

There are many ways to keep on top of your stock. Operating a live stock system and performing more frequent Stocktakes will help eliminate profit losses to an extent. Using live stock and performing regular Stocktakes gives you 100% accuracy and confidence in your numbers. This may even translate into converted sales as sales reps with more visibility and clarity on stock levels will be able to communicate more confidently knowing they have the product the prospective customer wants!

Inventory management can be tedious, However using a streamlined process with the correct tools, will greatly reduce mistakes and improve operations which can lead to more sales and overall better business.

 

Check out our services to see where we can help you with your stocktaking giving you an efficient, professional and accurate valuation.

What is Black Friday all about?

Black Friday has been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition and most certainly continues to impact the way we shop. Since 1952, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. The name refers to the period where retailers begin to be no longer “in the red” and begin seeing profits marked in black.

As retailers realized by offering discounted prices for just one day, they could get existing and potential customers to spend even more money thus more and more retailers begin to offer Black Friday deals and discounts. Some retailers even offered loss leaders – this is when a product is sold so low that they cannot make a profit on it, but if the customer makes other purchases, they would get profit from the other items.

The long U.S. Thanksgiving tradition has now expanded worldwide to Europe, Africa and Asia. In addition, shoppers are moving towards online shopping, which offers various deals by the hours, days or even weeks with fast delivery options. Every year’s Black Friday sales to the previous year, so it is essential to make sure the retail site is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and a fast check out process. Simplifying the ease of shopping online can in term result in higher gross in sales and customer satisfaction!

Find more resourceful content here

How Does Social Media Impact Retailers?

Who doesn’t have some type of social media account, whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram? The majority of people (especially millennials) will have one if not all of these types of accounts. It is important that retailers are on social media in order to connect with past, existing and potential customers.

Many retailers look at social media as just a marketing tool, when in reality, if utilized properly, it can be a way to increase sales, gather analytics as well as engaging with customers, improving brand image and develop their business.

According to the PWC Total Retail Survey where 22,618 shoppers over 25 countries were surveyed:

67% said that either reading or writing social media reviews and comments influenced their online shopping
44% said receiving promotional offers on social media influenced their shopping decisions
16% were happy to purchase products directly from a social media channel

The benefits of using social media as part of their buying journey to the consumer include:

  • Being able to get the latest promotions and additional discounts
  • Getting the latest product information
  • Contact with customer service to get problems dealt with quickly
  • Be able to offer feedback on products and services

So it is a positive to both retailer and customer to maximize usage of social media. For a retail business, it is essential that they evolve with social media or they will get left behind.

For more resourceful insight on how to grow your business, please visit Epos Solutions Blog

Understanding barcode rules

A barcode visually represents numbers, letters (and other characters) using combinations of light and dark bars so scanners can read them quickly and accurately. Black and white bars create the most effective barcode images, although some other combinations can be used.

In retail, barcodes are printed on product packaging or labels for scanning at the point of sale. When the barcode is scanned the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is decoded, identifying the product and providing access to further product information stored on the retailers’ computer systems, such as the product price.
There are different barcodes types for consumer units, cases or pallets. Here is a quick overview of commonly used ones:

Barcode types

Products

Items scanned at a point of sale are usually identified using an 8- or 13-digit GTIN. This is then displayed in a GS1 barcode – also known as an EAN-8 or EAN-13 barcode.

Outer cases

For cases scanned in a warehouse or distribution centre you may use any of the following coding symbols – depending on the type of outer case packaging material or the type of information required by trading partners. These include:

EAN-13

This is for printing on a separate case label OR for direct printing on to high quality casing material.
✓ This barcode will also scan at point of sale.

ITF-14

This is for printing directly on to poor quality case material such as fibreboard and certain types of cardboard.
X This barcode will not scan at point of sale.

GS1-128

This enables you to encode additional information such as best before dates or batch numbers, as well as the GTIN. It can also represent other types of GS1 identification numbers, such as SSCCs.
X This barcode will not scan at point of sale.

Logistics units and pallets

These are identified with an SSCC usually encoded in a GS1-128 barcode – and then printed in a standard GS1 Logistics Label.
Your trading partners will usually tell what type of barcode and label you need to use on your cases and pallets so make sure you ask them.

Barcode image rules

It’s vital that you print barcodes accurately so that they scan as they should at point of sale and point of
delivery. If you don’t, you may face problems such as:

  1. Costly re-packaging
  2. Unnecessary delays at retail stores
  3. Lost sales
  4. Each barcode image must meet guidelines that specify:
  5. Bar height
  6. Barcode position on the label or packaging
  7. Barcode colour and background
  8. Barcode print quality

Your packaging designer or provider will normally be familiar with these rules and will make sure the barcode is compliant. You can either validate your barcodes to check their format accuracy, or verify them for consistency at the point of production.