Your first step in establishing a working barcode inventory system is to create a product code using either a Universal Product Code (UPC), a stock keeping unit (SKU) or a United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC).
Getting a UPC is as simple as registering the product with Global Standard 1 to be assigned a unique company code, which can help with the tracking of products all over the world. A UPC helps prevent theft, allows customers to find information about a product online and assists in inventory management.
SKU numbers can be manually created or used in an inventory management software system. SKUs are often unique to a company, and are mainly used in internal operations to keep track of stock, track purchases and monitor inventory.
After the barcode has been created, it’s as easy as printing the barcode using a simple inkjet printer and a label sheet, but thermal printers are recommended for printing the labels—thermal printers have a lower cost than laser printers, they’re easier to maintain and they tend to last longer, which are all important points to consider if you’re going to be printing potentially thousands of barcodes.