The task of updating your barcode systems may feel like both a gift and a curse: a gift because your new barcoding system will cut delivery time by 25%, and a curse because of all the work that goes into system updates. We’re going to focus on the gift part. Here’s how to prepare for your next barcode system update.
What to Keep in Mind When Upgrading Your Barcode Systems
Your team may push back. Some members of your team may resist change and not have an open mind about working with a new barcoding system. Help them see that this update will be a good thing. Get their buy-in beforehand before the big rollout. Round up an internal committee to get your team excited about this change. If you are upgrading to new mobile devices and barcode scanners (i.e. things that users physically hold), let your team test them out offline to get used to the new features.
Plan to do a backup of your data prior to the update–for safety’s sake. Choose your preferred method of data storage, and make sure that the information files will be easily accessible in case you need to do a data restore. Your barcode services provider may be able to assist you with this, too.
Prepare for a little bit of downtime. The slight delay between moving from your old system and your new system may be hard to avoid. But with some problem-solving and collaboration with your barcode system partner, it can be minimized. Work with your partner to make the transition to the upgraded system during off-peak hours. Schedule any major upgrades during your slow season altogether if downtime is a concern. However, keep in mind that a little bit of downtime now may mean greater efficiency soon with a more capable barcoding system.
Your team may need some ramp-up time. Before you pull the trigger on rolling out the new barcoding system you worked so hard to vet, it may be a good idea to give your team a heads up. Let them know when the update is taking place, and provide them with a list of differences between the new and old systems. Communication is the key to making a smooth transition.
Help your team learn what to expect when they get to work with the new barcoding system. Note significant changes in:
- Software or operating system
- Devices or hardware
- User interface
- Functionality and key features
Major changes may create some confusion and inefficiencies short-term, but explain how, overall, the new system will make your team’s job easier. Give them additional training materials and documentation they can refer to after the update.
Appoint a barcoding system subject matter expert (SME). Your team will probably have lots of questions after the update takes place. Announce who will be the point-person internally to answer questions on your new system, as well as the best way to reach them. This person can also field more complex technical questions to your barcode services partner. If you find that many members of your team are asking the same question, consider hosting a few internal training sessions to review their questions together.
Don’t think you’ll have the time to tackle the possible flood of requests that may come in after the update? Not to worry: your barcode partner may be able to provide a higher level of support in the weeks ahead. They can meet with you onsite and work directly with your team.
During your next barcoding system update, remember that your barcode system partner is exactly that: a partner. You do not have to make the transition alone. Contact Bar Code Direct today to make your next update the easiest one yet.