3 Ways Barcodes Limit Your Event Business

Barcodes are a method of tracking and managing rental inventory. Although they’re not used in every industry, they’re common with A/V, lighting, and event production companies that manage large inventory, along with certain other rental sectors.

But for every event production pro we meet who likes their barcoding system, we meet three or four who can’t stand it. They use barcodes not because they like barcodes, but because they’re a “necessary evil.”

But what if we told you they weren’t actually necessary? That there’s another way to accomplish what barcodes accomplish — all while solving the issues barcodes create?

Here are three of the biggest issues with barcoding, along with how Goodshuffle Pro can help you solve them.


1. Barcodes Provide Limited Information

When you scan a barcode after an event, you can confirm that a piece of inventory has been checked in. You can’t confirm who checked it in, what event it came back from, or where it’s supposed to live in your warehouse.

More importantly, when a piece of inventory isn’t checked back in, there’s no documentation on what happened. It’s up to you to figure out whether it went missing, got damaged, or just needs extra cleaning before its next job. It’s also up to you to figure out who knows the answer.

In Goodshuffle Pro, you can solve all of these problems — no barcodes necessary.

  • When a team member checks an item out with Digital Pull Sheets, the Activity Log keeps a record of it.
  • If an item can’t be checked back in due to being lost, damaged, or dirty, a team member can mark it as a Set Aside, which removes it from your available inventory.
    • The team member can add notes explaining why it wasn’t checked back in, and other teammates can see who added the notes if they have questions.
  • If you add a custom Attribute for Warehouse Location, whoever checks an item out knows exactly where to find it, and whoever checks it in knows exactly where to return it.

With more information, teams work more efficiently and with more accountability. This is especially important for businesses with part-time or seasonal crew members, who don’t know standard operating procedures or warehouse locations as well as full-time staff do.


2. Barcodes Make Many Logistics Harder

When people vouch for barcodes, ease is often a selling point. After all, it’s a pretty simple concept. Just point the scanner, press the button, and presto — your item has been tracked.

But to do that, you need to equip your whole crew with scanners, and the crew needs to constantly have those scanners on them. Wouldn’t it be easier if they could “scan” items from their phone: a device they already carry everywhere?

With Goodshuffle Pro’s digital pull sheets, that’s exactly how it works:

There’s also the obvious headache of dealing with lost and damaged barcodes. This is something a digital inventory solution never encounters, since team members check items in and out by tapping phones or tablets.

Lastly, barcodes create headaches because they aren’t built for scale. Many event businesses have some items (such as speakers) that can be barcoded and others (such as glassware) that can’t be. Using barcodes for some items but not others creates major logistical hurdles for your team, and likely requires multiple software solutions.

Even if all of your current inventory can be barcoded, structuring your process around barcodes makes it harder to expand in new directions. They rarely provide enough value to justify that.


3. Barcodes Add Additional Costs

For all those logistical headaches, barcodes actually cost event companies money.

First and foremost, there’s the hard costs: buying the barcode system, buying the guns, replacing the guns when they inevitably break, and so on.

But there’s also the time cost of all the maintenance barcodes require. You have to physically add the barcodes to every item. You have to monitor them like hawks, then replace them when they fall off. You have to train your team on new systems each time barcodes don’t play nice with new technology.

More tools means more things to pay for, and more ways for things to go wrong. This is yet another way that barcodes aren’t built for scale.


Try Goodshuffle Pro for 14 Days, Free

Barcodes aren’t all bad. We just think they’ve been accepted as a necessary evil, when in fact there are other — often better — methods of tracking inventory.

Want to learn more about how those methods work? Book a demo with our team to see them in action, then hop into a free 14-day trial.

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

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