How to start using barcodes in your business

How to start using barcodes in your business

July 03, 2015

barcodes.pngMany companies want to implement barcoding to improve their inventory management but they do not know how to start. This article will explain what barcodes are and how to set up your HandiFox system for barcoding.

What is a barcode?

A barcode is just a line of digits and/or letters printed using a special, machine-readable font in which characters are represented with sets of bars.

Barcodes for inventory items

So, a barcode is just a line of characters. It cannot be very long, so it is not able to store the full product information (name, SKU, description, unit of measure, etc.) Instead, it stores a reference code that allows the system to find the item. This is why scanning a barcode cannot create a new item in the system. All new product information is entered in QuickBooks, and then synchronized with HandiFox, where it can be assigned a barcode. This is done using the Barcodes List window, available in QuickBooks under File → HandiFox → Barcodes List.

When the item has a barcode value associated with it, this barcode can be scanned for quick item selection when creating a sales order or invoice, counting inventory, etc.

Where to get item codes

There are several options:

1. You can use Universal Product Code (UPC) as a barcode value.
2. If your vendor provides products with barcodes, you can use their barcodes as well.
3. HandiFox can automatically generate random barcodes for inventory items.

How to assign barcodes to products

HandiFox provides several ways of assigning barcodes to the products:

1. Import barcode values from Excel spreadsheet:

  • Prepare the spreadsheet with the following columns: Item fullname, Unit of measure (use ‘NONE’ if you do not track units of measure).
    excel.png
    Note: you can get a ready template to insert barcodes into, if you export the list from the Barcodes List window.
  • Save it in the .xlsx or .csv format
  • In QuickBooks go to File → HandiFox → Export/Import
  • Check ‘Inventory Barcodes’ and click Import
    import barcodes.png
  • Find the folder with saved file.
  • In the appeared window you will see the list of barcodes to be imported. Click Import
    import barcodes1.png

2. Barcodes List window on the desktop.
This window allows editing item codes individually.

  • In QuickBooks go to File → HandiFox → Barcodes List
  • In the appeared window find the desired item, set cursor in the Barcode field and enter a code
  • Click Save
    barcodes list.png

3. Assigning barcodes by scanning them on the mobile device

  • Open HandiFox app on the device
  • Go to Inventory → Item List
  • Highlight the desired item in the list and click Edit
  • On the Barcode tab you will see the field to enter the barcode value. It can be filled by hand or by scanning a barcode label
    item list.pngassign barcode.png

How to create an invoice by scanning item barcodes

When all products are associated with the barcode values, you can scan a barcode label to bring the information about the item in the items list or just to add item quickly to a transaction.

In the mobile app, go to Sales, select a customer and click Invoice button. Scan the barcode label for the item and it will be added to the Invoice. If you scan the same item repeatedly, its invoiced quantity will be incremented.
new invoice.png

Additional: Printing barcode labels

Barcode labels of 2” x 1” size can be printed directly from Barcodes List window. If you want to print labels of other sizes, we have integrated HandiFox with a label printing product from IDAutomation, and there is a free demo available here. When IDAutomation is installed, our software recognizes it and sends label printing requests directly to the IDAutomation printing program. It can be setup to use standard Avery label sheets, printed on a regular office printer.