Retail inventory management using barcodes

Wesley Archer on December 07, 2020

Whether its clothing, electricals, food or furniture; we’ll help you keep on top of how many you’ve got, where they are, how long they’ve been in store and whether you need to restock.

shop floor barcode mapping

Using the camera on your smartphone the Orca Scan mobile app makes it easy to capture retail inventory data and then push or pull that data in to your favourite programs such as Excel or Google Sheets. Orca Scan avoids the error-strewn process of typing data into spreadsheets, removes the need for expensive barcode scanners, and allows you to track inventory across multiple locations and stores.

Orca Scan gives you the confidence and data to make sure you’ll always meet your customer demands without overstocking.

What is retail inventory management?

Any successful retailer will tell you that retail inventory management is where stock quantities are tracked as products sell and are replenished in-store, but without stockpiling products through overspending.

Why does retail inventory management matter?

Without an effective retail inventory management system in place, you may find operating a successful business more challenging than it needs to be. Not knowing what is in your inventory means you risk having issues with your supply chain, such as:

  • Over stocking items that do not sell creating a surplus
  • Under stocking of popular items resulting in out of stock issues or backlogs
  • Restocking issues and delays
  • Cash flow problems

Therefore, an effective retail inventory management system, such as Orca Scan, is essential for success within retail.

How do you manage retail inventory using smartphones?

Orca Scan makes it very easy to efficiently manage retail inventory using a smartphone. The free Orca Scan mobile app works on iOS and Android (requires iOS 10 or Android v4.44 (KitKat) and above) and lets your employees use their own devices to:

Orca Scan also allows you to scan barcodes into Excel or Google Sheets in seconds. Scanned barcodes and associated data entered via the Orca Scan mobile app will then be automatically pushed into your Excel or Google Sheet.

For items or products without their own barcodes, you can generate and print barcode labels directly from Orca Scan with a few clicks.

How do you manage retail inventory in multiple stores or locations?

Simply create separate Orca Scan sheets for each store or location, then use our Sheet QR Code to switch locations with a simple scan. Doing so allows you to:

  • Scan in batches with location QR codes
  • Control user permissions by section
  • Analyse data by section, bin or location

You can use Orca Scan to connect all your retail outlets, allowing you to isolate projects by store or region, combine data from multiple stores using Views or integrate with other systems using simple HTTP requests.

multi retail chain inventory tracking

Problems with existing retail inventory management processes

Having an effective retail inventory management process does not need to be complicated, but common problems with existing processes include:

  • Reliance on pen and paper forms makes for a very manual and arduous task
  • Manual entry into Excel or Google Sheets is prone to human error
  • Using existing barcodes to manage inventory is often complicated or expensive
  • Tracking inventory location across multiple stores or locations is difficult or impossible
  • Integrating with other systems or services is technically challenging and complex

Ready to start tracking?