Why a barcode scanner is an inventory tool you can’t live without

Editorial Team

3 min read
retail owner scanning clothing with barcode scanner

Barcodes are one of the most essential pieces of technology for small businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses only use them during checkout or to view product information, not inventory management. That means small businesses are either tracking stock movement manually or through guesswork, both wasting valuable time and increasing stock count errors.

What is a barcode scanner?

A barcode scanner is a piece of technology on a device that scans and reads barcodes. The scanner reads the black lines and white spaces of a barcode to store information such as product details, prices, and inventory levels.

There are two types of scanners: laser and camera-based. The first uses a laser beam to read the barcode. Most handheld, wireless barcode scanners, use this technology. The latter uses a camera to capture and read an image of the barcode. Clover devices with barcode scanners, like the Flex and Mini, are camera-based.

When to use a barcode scanner for inventory management

Barcode scanners are the best way to track inventory from the receiving dock to checkout. They are a simple solution that reduces stockouts, inaccurate inventory levels, and poor order management when used correctly.

Stock Counts

Many businesses put off or don’t complete regular stock counts because of the amount of time it requires from their staff. Not with a barcode scanner though. Eliminate manual counts with a barcode scanner that connects with your inventory management system.

Thrive’s Stock Counts app even integrates with your Clover device for stock counts on the go. Each scan is tied to an employee ID so you can monitor who made changes and implement approvals before submitting updates.

Purchase Orders

Simplify re-ordering and track incoming inventory with a barcode scanner to make ordering at scale easy. Create and receive orders in minutes, while increasing accuracy.


Integrate your barcode scanner with your inventory management system and payment processor. Now you can scan the products you need to add to your next invoice, keeping your records clean with an audit-friendly paper trail.

Internal Transfers

Better manage product movement between locations with a barcode scanner that tracks stock from one store, in transit, and at its new location. That means you never have any gaps in your inventory valuation and reporting.

Thrive’s inventory management app for Clover manages stock counting with barcodes for purchase orders, invoices, and internal transfers in one system. That means you can keep your shelves stocked and make inventory decisions confidently. Don’t waste any more time on manual adjustments or correcting bad inventory levels and get a barcode scanner for your business. Thrive has the barcode scanning capabilities you need whether it’s using our Stock Counts app or their full suite of barcode management tools.

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