Barcodes for Inventory & Non Inventory Items - an illustrated example

It depends on what you mean by using barcodes. In terms of printing barcodes for stock items etc … no. However we scan in the barcode data of stock items into the Item Code field under Inventory and once done you can scan in those inventory to invoices, POs, Quote etc by simply scanning the item’s barcode. Works well.

@compuit explain further please

Bar code scanners work a bit like another keyboard so:

  • position the cursor where you want the bar code to go
  • scan the bar code
  • The bar code will enter it into that field (saving typing)

This can be done with any program including Manger, and in any field you need the bar code entered

Thank you

May you please explain this by screen shots if possible? @Barcode option

OK here is an example of how our inventory is entered into Manager. I will point out that the key fields in this process is the data entered into the “Item Code” and “Item Name” fields. Why? The reason for this is that when generating Purchase order, Quote and most importantly Invoices these two fields are used as lookup for the Item you wish to order or input into an Invoice. This is different from using the search in the Inventory which carries out lookup in all fields. So if detail is not entered with careful planning you could potentially find an item easily in the inventory but not when trying to populate you Invoice or purchase order.

We have chosen to use “Item Code” field for the Barcode data as scanned by a scanner.
The “Item Name” field we use to input key information to help us lookup an inventory item. Note that the information inputted in the “Item Name” field does not appear on an Invoice which is great and thus allows us to input the supplier code if desired and not be disclosed to the customer.
The “Description” field appears on the Invoice and here you can decide how much you wish to display to your customer / Client on the Invoice.

Now when you scan the barcode on the item you want to invoice the item is found and can be quickly populated on the line. (You can set you scanner to give an “enter sequence” which will then fully populate the Invoice line in the same way should you have used your keyboard.

Select Item and press enter if not already configured on your scanner. All fields populate.

Create the Invoice by clicking the “Create” button and you have code and description fields presented on the Invoice. Nice and tidy and error free.

Job done…

What manager does not do is generate barcodes but there are plenty of applications that can and some may come with your barcode label printer.


@compuit @Tut there need to be a Guide for this. Must be very detailed to assist even non technical people to set it up.

I don’t think there will be a Guide. Bar codes and bar code readers are not features of Manager. That would be like having a Guide for a keyboard.

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@compuit I am not familiar with using barcodes in the general way, so I wonder if you could explain how it works for you in your business application.

If I take your example of a Dynamix Display port. The bar code that you are scanning - is this the serial number bar code or the product manufacturer and model.

So for example if I buy 100 Dynamic Display Ports is the bar code identical for each unit?

If so, what is the purpose of importing the bar code into Manager? Let’s say you sell 10 Display Ports, you would simply create one line in sales invoice with that same bar code, Item Name etc. But you don’t use your scanner at any point here. So I am not seeing what purpose importing the bar code is? All you are doing is scanning the suppliers bar code, whereas I just type in my own product code which is more meaningful for me.

There are only two areas where I understand the point of importing bar codes.

One - import serial numbers so keep track of which unit you sold to a client - more for warranty purposes etc. I have never implemented this in manager because I have never worked out any way to link serial numbers with clients in a way that I can find that serial number years later.

Two - when you go shopping at the supermarket, I think it would be great to scan the contents of the till slip into Manager to record the apples, milk etc you buy so you don’t have to create the line items manually. But this is not a bar code feature anyway.

I would like to move into scanning my inventory to keep track of it for warranty purposes etc (specifically serial numbers), so would like to better understand the point of scanning the product bar code as well.

We hold stock a little like your example of the supermarket. Customer picks an item/s from the shelf. we scan the item/s and the Invoice is constructed. Customer pays with “Pay Wave,” Credit Card or whatever and they are gone.
In our application we only use the product barcode as generated by the manufacturer. This saves us the effort of deciding what code to use. If there is no barcode on the item from the supplier we create one ourselves and fix the label to the product.
Essentially all the Scanner does is make our life easier at the POS, for stock take and ordering. Another tip is to place a barcode at the shelf / bin location as well so that when the last item is sold you can easily replenish by scanning in the barcode and get the correct product for reorder in the PO.
Now all these functions can be done with the keyboard because as said many times the Scanner is just inputting detail like the keyboard would.
For us the clear advantage is speed and accuracy as some staff have keyboard issues from time to time.

For serial number tracking I would suggest a custom field, so for example you have sold some product with serial numbers … If the serial number does not appear in the “Invoice Header Description” it will not be found. It will also not be found in the Invoice line description. However if in a custom field it will be found. So if a customer returns with a failed device and serial number you could simply go to your search field under Invoices, scan or enter the Serial Number / barcode hit enter and the Invoice associated with the serial number will be revealed. Basically from there you can get and confirm when sold, when purchase from supplier etc and determine if still under warranty. This is a working solution.

Think it through…

Yes the “item name” field in the inventory is what we use as well for this purpose

You will need to determine the naming convention and how it will work for your management process. I have just employed someone to align the inventory and barcoding to achieve this. I think it has been a good result, of course product does change and hence the barcodes will alter as new models and versions come out but that is business.

By the way you can do something similar for non inventory items too…

I will make a correction here.

What I put in the item code is actually the part code for the inventory item. So I can go onto the website and re-order again using that part code. Which is exactly what you do for re-ordering. I just do it with keyboard, you do it with scanner. I suppose if you have a lot of inventory and a high volume of inventory sales, scanning is quicker. For me, I don’t do a lot of inventory sales and purchases and I don’t keep stock. I buy the inventory item and then sell it straight on so essentially only buy and sell when a customer places an order. I have no stock.

I will have another look at serial number tracking as this is something that I have been wanting to implement for years but haven’t due to a lack of a built in serial number functionality within Manager. I originally tried to put it into the notes field, but abandoned that as I had to open each sales invoice to find the relevant one that had that serial number in it. In addition, I could not link it with the supplier that I bought it from!

I will give it another go. Thanks

If I go to your store and I get a till slip from you, could I scan the bar code and get all the items that I bought or do you have to scan the page as it were and extract keywords like apples, oranges?

No, there are no barcodes on my invoices for scanning. However the data results of a scanned barcode (usually a string of numbers) can be found on our invoices see the screenshots provided. More importantly this data is searchable in the invoice, inventory and PO lists. So to repeat … scanning a product’s barcode into the Manager search / Lookup field finds the item / serial number. This works for us.

I will have to get serial numbers setup and in use and then see how well scanning will work for me. My environment is quite different as I don’t have stock. Thanks

It is a lookup function and it works in non inventory items as well. It is important to plan the process and your naming convention. The only concern I have is if Manager decides to change its look up fields in the future.

This technique to use barcode to record and search for sales is really effective in an environment where stock is kept. I will try it. Thanks @compuit for the detailed explanation.

Something else in my view that people in business should be aware of, is it is not good for business in the information age to make it easy for customers to find your supply source from off your invoice.

Ok Bro

@Abeiku wasn’t suggesting that a Guide be created for using barcode scanners - aka your keyboard Guide example. Their suggestion was for a Guide on how users “could” implement barcodes into their Inventory Items management.

What makes barcodes an exclusion from other “Create and manage inventory items” Guide suggestions:
Item code can be anything that helps find, sort, or categorize the item. This could be a stock-keeping unit (SKU) code, a model number, or a simple memory aid. It must be unique and should be short.

WHY can’t barcodes be referenced in that commentary so that it can be fully informative to users of their options. They (barcodes) certainly pass the unique and short test.

Alternately, there could be a guide called “Inventory Items Advanced Features” - using Barcodes, using Images, etc - all aspects that would utilise current Manager features.

Meanwhile, I have renamed this topic so it can act as a de facto Guide.

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Because the barcode itself, if referenced there as an image, would be useless. The program could not interpret it. What the program can interpret is an alphanumeric sequence. A barcode is only a graphical way of representing that sequence to the scanner. The scanner (not the program) interprets the barcode and outputs the sequence just as a keyboard would.

Therefore, the Item code cannot be a barcode. It must be an alphanumeric sequence.

This would consist only of the three steps listed in @Patch’s post #3 above. The method of input—manual typing on a keyboard, copying and pasting with a mouse, scrolling and selecting with cursor keys, swiping with a finger on a tablet, or scanning with a barcode reader—is immaterial to functioning of Manager.

Aah, I always wondered what SKU stood for! You learn something new everyday!