Barcoding your gear in Current RMS
- tips & tricks
Barcoding inventory is a great way to speed up your time in the warehouse, as well as improving the reliability of your stock picking and prepping processes.
Whether you already barcode your assets or you’re starting from scratch, Current RMS supports barcode scanning throughout the entirety of the system. We’ve answered some common questions about what it takes to get set up with barcoding below!
Barcoding is something that we rely on everyday, whether that’s in the supermarket while checking out, scanning boarding passes at the airport, or accepting online deliveries. Its ubiquity is a testament to just how easy and effective it is to use. While they look pretty simple, each standard barcode is constructed uniquely with 5 parts to ensure you won’t get any errors when scanning; a quiet zone, a start character, data characters, a stop character and another quiet zone. That’s not to mention different types of barcodes you can get, like QR codes and RFID chips, each set up and storing data uniquely.
In your rental business, barcoding your assets means that you can better manage them at different stages of the rental cycle and reduces user error. When using barcodes to track your gear, you can make sure that the right equipment goes out of the door and comes back safely at the end of a job. Current RMS generated barcodes include key information you can easily access at-a-glance, like your company information - perfect if your kit gets lost. Plus, the handy QR code is a quick shortcut to the product page of the item, where you can straight away mark it as damaged, see when it’s next on a job or grab a product manual.
What do I need to get set up?
Very simply - a barcode scanner! The only requirements are to make sure it’s compatible with whatever device you’re using to access Current, and to ensure it operates as a keyboard wedge. You don’t need anything super high-end at all.
If you want to print labels, a barcode printer is your next piece of kit - but this isn’t compulsory. Instead, you could always buy pre-printed asset tags, use any existing labels you’ve got, or have your labels printed professionally. Current RMS can also generate barcode labels for you out-of-the-box - pretty handy if you don’t want to get involved with barcode designer software. If you’ve got kit that’s already barcoded with labels from a different rental management software, it couldn’t be easier to add these into your Current RMS system. Simply enter the barcode number in the asset number field of the stock level for serialized stock, or enter the barcode number by editing the product for bulk or non-stock. This also works for pre-labelled asset tags!
Which assets should I barcode?
Barcoding your products is a completely optional process, so it’s up to you which assets you choose to barcode. As a starting point, we recommend reviewing your warehouse processes and barcoding stock that will help your team get their job done faster.
In Current, it’s possible to barcode both serialized and bulk stock:
Serialized. For products that are serialized, the barcode number is the asset number that’s stored against the stock level. It will have its own barcode label that you can scan during the warehouse process - making it easy to refer back to this product’s information when needed in the future. This is great for singular products like individual lights with particular assets numbers. Track the full history of items with greater accuracy, including viewing which jobs they were previously added to, to get an idea of how much use each one is getting.
Bulk. Barcoding bulk assets, or items you’ve stored as a ‘non-stock’ product, is also possible in Current RMS. An example of bulk products you might barcode could be a box of cables that you don’t want to track individually, but do want to know how many you’ve got. Stick a barcode on the outside of the box and scan it each time you take out a cable, adding them to your Opportunity so you know how many you pulled for a job.
Can I create packages of products and barcode these?
It’s quite common to have gear in racks or cases, such as amp mic kits, bars of PAR lamps, or camera packages. In Current RMS, set these up as Serialized Containers with their own barcodes and tell the system which components are part of that container. Then, when it’s time to prep a job and you scan the serialized container, its components are automatically allocated to the job too. No excuses for forgetting that last rogue lapel mic, it’s added straight to your picking list!
Where in Current can I scan barcodes?
We’ve made it possible to use barcodes in a variety of different areas in Current after our CEO, Chris Branson, visited customers regularly for the first year of them using our software, to get an idea of how Current is used day-to-day. Getting this first hand experience showed us the benefit of scanning a barcode over typing manually in different areas of the system, especially when you’re short on time!
Here are a few areas you can scan in Current RMS:
Product shortcut. Jump to a specific asset just by scanning its barcode on the ‘Find by Asset’ screen on the products page. This will bring up all of the information for a particular asset, including which jobs it’s been on, whether it’s in quarantine, and a whole bunch of other useful info – no clicking or typing required, just a simple scan.
Free Scan. Scanning also works when you need to add last minute kit to a job. Free Scan saves the day, making it easy to grab an item when you’re in an Opportunity and scan it straight to the job you’re drawing up.
Global Check-in. Barcoding also comes in handy at the end of a job. After a busy weekend, you might find yourself stranded in a warehouse full of kit from different jobs that needs checking back in. Current RMS has you covered: in September 2017, we introduced Global Check-in which allows you to scan in gear from different jobs from one screen. Current will recognize which jobs the kit was on and automatically check them back in - another way of restoring zen to your busy warehouse.
You can make the most of the barcode functionality within Current on any device you’re using - be it a tablet, desktop or your smartphone. For mobile and tablet, connect your device with a compatible Bluetooth or WiFi barcode scanner that acts a keyboard wedge and you’ll be good to go. On desktop, you can also use a USB barcode scanner that operates as a keyboard wedge, so long as it’s compatible with your computer.
Can I customize my barcode labels?
Absolutely! Like all documents within Current, your barcode labels can be customized to reflect your company branding and include any additional information. We recommend keeping them clear of clutter and easy to read, so when you’re in the warehouse, spotting them and scanning them in and out is a breeze.
Ready to Get Current?
We hope you found this handy! If you want to get set up and scanning with barcoding, feel free to reach out to our friendly team, who’ll be more than happy to give you a few pointers and can answer any questions you have! We’ve also got a few guides on the topic, which you can find here.