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Baus Systems, LLC of Seattle, WA (makers of: SmartScan Barcode Translator and Label Link)
Baus SmartScan Label Link
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Wasp Barcode Technologies of Plano, TX (makers of: WaspLabeler + 2D Barcode Label Design Software)
Wasp Technologies WaspLabeler+2D
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QuickBooks Enterprise (Advanced Inventory) is the product of Intuit Corporation of Mountain View, CA
QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Inventory Barcode Feature
In this series we are looking at four major categories of Inventory Management products that can be used with QuickBooks, these categories are determined by how those products integrate with QuickBooks and in some cases the feature set that the product categories provide, as in the case of manufacturing specific applications.
In today’s edition, we will look at some of the solutions within the category that I am calling the “Add-on’s”. These programs allow you to supplement QuickBooks with specific inventory-related feature expansions, like the use of Barcodes.
Baus Systems1 has been providing programs that add the power of barcoding to QuickBooks since 2000. The SmartScan line offers a variety of products to incorporate barcode scanning and printing capabilities.
SmartScan Barcode Translator adds the power of bar code scanning to QuickBooks by linking bar codes with the corresponding items in your QuickBooks item list. Existing manufacturer's bar codes can be used or you can create your own internal bar code numbering schema. Once set-up and configured you can scan a product bar code directly into any QuickBooks transaction's item field and have the corresponding item code appear on the transaction.
Let’s look at an example of how this works. If you sell a product with a QuickBooks item name of Green Kryptonite and the manufacturer from Krypton packages the product with a barcode of 080100000801666, you can use the SmartScan Barcode Translator to translate the scanned barcode label number into QuickBooks with your item name of Green Kryptonite. All you need to do is set up a custom field for your QuickBooks Items, and then enter the 080100000801666 in the custom field for Green Kryptonite. This new field for each item in your item list serves as the "map" allowing SmartScan to match the scanned barcode to your QuickBooks items. Baus offers a utility called the Custom Field Manager to help you setup the custom fields and reduce the time needed for entry of barcode numbers.
Barcode Translator allows the cursor to jump to another field instantly after a bar code has been scanned by learning screen patterns for each of your QuickBooks templates, and memorizing what you want the cursor to do. This save you time by reducing keystrokes during your data entry process. Barcode Translator will increase productivity through the speed and accuracy of selecting the correct item from your QuickBooks item list instantly.
SmartScan Label Link gives QuickBooks users the ability to quickly and easily print barcode labels from your item list or transactions. Let’s look at how easy this is.
1. Define where the value for the barcode is located in your QuickBooks data.
2. Decide if there are certain QuickBooks Item Types that you would like to exclude from your list.
3. Select which label format you wish to print by selecting your predefined label from the Label File list.
4. Tell Label Link which of your QuickBooks Items to print labels for.
5. Select the "Add Items From List" button and the list of your QuickBooks Items will appear along with a field for entering the quantity for each label to be printed.
6. Click the "Print" or "Print Preview" button and the labels are printed.
Label Link provides you with a wide range of barcode label format and printing options. These capabilities may however be specific to the label printer you select.
There is another option for printing barcode labels from QuickBooks; that is WaspLabeler +2D Barcode Label Design Software from Wasp Barcode Technologies2. Wasp Barcode Technologies is a barcode manufacturer that has been providing data capture and tracking solutions designed specifically for small business for the last 13 years.
WaspLabeler +2D allows you to design, create, and print barcode labels. You can select from more than 100 pre-designed label templates, build your own custom label using a pre-designed template as the basic design, or start from scratch and completely create your own design. You can either manually input barcode data, or easily connect to QuickBooks obtain your label data from a custom field, and then print your labels to any standard or barcode printer.
WaspLabeler +2D supports more than 25 1D and 2D barcode symbologies. With WaspLabeler +2D’s intuitive interface, you can quickly combine text, company logos, and barcodes to create the barcode based label you need. (See slide 2 headline illustrations.) Generate barcode scan sheets or shadow books so that barcodes for small or difficult to tag items are readily accessible.
Now let’s look at QuickBooks (Enterprise Advanced Inventory – Barcode Feature)3
If you purchase an Advanced Inventory subscription, you turn on barcoding by selecting the Enable barcode scanning option from within the Advanced Inventory Settings of the Items & Inventory Company Preferences. As soon as you turn the feature on a new Advanced Inventory field called Barcode Number is added to the QuickBooks item record; if you disable the Barcode feature, or turn-off Advanced Inventory, or fail to renew your Advanced Inventory subscription, or QuickBooks Enterprise Full Service Plan, this field immediately disappears. The value specified in this Barcode Number field must either be null (none), or be unique for each item in your item list since this field is ‘indexed’ within the database.
The QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Inventory Barcode feature offers a Wizard to help you configure barcodes for your items. (See slide 3 headline illustrations.) This wizard gives you the option to use various fields within the item record including the Name/Number field, the Manufacturer’s Part Number field, the Purchase Description field, or any custom (item) fields you have already created. QuickBooks will use this information to generate a barcode which is then recorded in the Barcode Number field. If you were using some other barcode option, you may already have barcodes in a custom field, which would make conversion to Advanced Inventory fairly easy.
If you don’t have a pre-established source for barcode numbers, you have a few options. You can leave the Barcode Number field blank and then ‘scan’ a barcode into the field using your barcode scanner, you can manually key a barcode number into the field, or you can allow QuickBooks to self-generate an original barcode. Unlike the self-generated barcode number that QuickBooks Point-of-sale produces, the QBES-AI barcode numbers are a unique design incorporating multiple pieces of data, in my opinion this is a definite improvement over QB-POS.
The QBES-AI Barcode feature improves reliability by allowing you to scan barcodes while filling out sales or purchasing forms to speed data entry. While working in a sales or purchasing form, simply scan a barcode, and QuickBooks automatically places the barcode in the correct field on the form.
QBES-Advanced Inventory has limited barcode printing capabilities. While you can print labels, you really have very limited label formats; this capability is not nearly as robust as the barcode/price labels which can be printed from QuickBooks Point-of-sale. I can’t understand why Intuit hasn’t at least adopted the same label formats and barcode printer support within Advanced Inventory as found within QB-POS.
Another deficiency is the inability to print barcodes on QuickBooks forms such as a pick-ticket or packing-list. There are a few reports that you can print barcodes on, such as a version of the item list, I guess this would be helpful if you have items that are too small to use a barcode label, since the list would allow you to scan the barcode from the list for any such items.
While we didn't compare prices of any of the products in this article, I will just say that in my opinion, if all you need is 'barcode' capabilities, QBES-AI is a more expensive product, (especially over the long-term) than the other technologies we have discussed in this article.
1 - Baus Systems, LLC of Seattle, WA (makers of: SmartScan Barcode Translator and Label Link)
2 - Wasp Barcode Technologies of Plano, TX (makers of: WaspLabeler + 2D Barcode Label Design Software)
3 - QuickBooks Enterprise is the product of Intuit Corporation of Mountain View, CA