Barcode Workflow Tools Of The Trade

This article will give you the lowdown on the physical tools you will need for the barcode workflow
Written by Bradley
Updated 11 months ago

So you signed up with Riverr, and you are ready to start handling your orders and using a new system...but what about the hardware? Good question. Below is a quick guide to guide you through the items you will need to make your system run well.

1. Barcode Scanner

This actually should probably say "scanners," because you will need multiple throughout the workflow.

Before we go any further, please note that the scanners will need to have the ability to read QR codes. Make sure that the ones you purchase has the ability to do so. These are called "2d scanners," as opposed to "1d scanners."

These are cheap and easy to find, and your best bet will probably be amazon. It is up to you if you want a wireless one, and you will need to make sure that the type of connection will work with the computers that you are using. 

Where will you need them? You will need one per printer, one for each quality control person who will be placing items in bins, and one for each person that is packing and shipping orders. If you are a small shop, then the quality control person and the packing/shipping person could be the same at minimum you will need two scanners.

Still want to know exactly what to get or what a good option would be? Here is a link to one of the best selling scanners on Amazon:

2d Barcode Scanner From Amazon

2. Shipping Label Printer

Next, you will need a shipping label printer. You can actually use any printer for this, but we have found that we really like the Rollo brand label printer.

It is a direct thermal printer, so you will not have to buy any ink for this machine, and you can buy 4x6 shipping labels that will allow you to quickly print and place on your packages.

Here is a link to this printer on Amazon:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 71TZnqy6AJL._AC_SL1500_-1024x653.jpg

Rollo Label Printer

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shipping-labels-1024x1024.jpg

Rollo 4x6 Shipping Labels

3. Barcode Label Printer

Here is where it gets a bit more technical, especially if you use a tunnel dryer in your workflow. Although direct thermal printers (Like Rollo) will be able to print the correct size barcode labels, they WILL NOT WORK FOR THIS APPLICATION. Direct thermal printers use heat to apply the image, so as soon as one of these barcodes goes through a tunnel dryer, it will come out completely black...and you will no longer be able to use the barcode.

So then, if direct thermal printers don't work, then what does? You will need to find a "thermal transfer printer." Although these printers still use heat to apply the image to the label, it does so by using transfer paper.

These printers are very high quality, and you can also use them for your shipping labels if you want.

The most popular brand in the industry is "Zebra," and they have a lot of different models to choose from. (Note: They do also sell direct thermal printers, so make sure that the one that you purchase is a "thermal transfer printer.")

Here are links to a specific model that works well, along with the supplies that are compatible. You will need to purchase the printer, the labels, and thermal transfer ribbon for this setup to work.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is zebra-printe-1024x1024.jpg

Zebra GK420t Printer

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is labels.jpg

Roll Of 2.25' x 1.25' Barcode Labels

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is transfer-ribbon-873x1024.jpg

Thermal Transfer Ribbon

4. Bins and shelves!

Now, this is technically optional because there are two ways of fulfilling orders:

1. You can fulfill by order: This is most likely what your current workflow is. In this case, you will not need bins. 

2. Fulfilling by item type:  This is our recommendation because of the increased efficiency and rate of fulfillment, but I am not going to go over the pros and cons in this post. If you want to dive a bit deeper into this, we have a blog post for you!

Anyways, should you choose door...I mean option..number 2, then you will indeed use the bin system and you will need to buy some bins and shelves.  Please feel free to make your setup exactly how you would like. However, if you just want someone to guide you to some cheap bins and some shelving that will work well for you, fear not! Here they are:



Bin Stickers

5. A Good (Windows Based) Computer

You will need a computer with a good processor to complete your setup.

Our image processing application is separate from the cloud based application that you will be using outside of the DTG printing process.

For the printing application, the production images are pulled into the Windows application and automatically processed based on the settings you will have already set up for your DTG printer.

The application will process images extremely fast, but the speed is also dependant upon the power of the processor that your computer is using. We recommend using a Windows computer that has an i5 processor or greater. (Note: this is only for the DTG printer...the computer that you use for picking and for shipping does not need to be windows based and processing power is not as critical.)

Need some help finding a good computer? Below are two options that have great processing power but won't break the bank. You are obviously welcome to find something better than these as well.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nitrolaptop-1024x793.jpg

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 81skV7BufjL._AC_SL1500_-1024x855.jpg

HP 15 Laptop

Along with this laptop, you will need at least one more computer at your shipping station, but there is a good chance that this is already something that you are currently using.

And there you have it! If you have the hardware above, then you are ready to get started with your very own barcode workflow in Riverr.

6. Picking Cart

While many different things can work for a cart used for pulling tees, we think we have put together the ultimate picking cart that works with our barcode labels. Simply purchase the different parts and follow our instruction video on how you can assemble.

1.) (Nut) Hillman 1/4-in x 20 Galvanized Steel Hex Nut

2.) (Bottom Washer) Hillman 1/2-in Zinc-plated Standard Flat Washer

3.) (Top Washer) Hillman 8-mm x 30-mm Zinc-plated Metric Fender Washer

4.) Mobile Heavy-Duty Multipurpose Utility Cart 32" x 18"

5.) SmallRig Selection Camera Desk Mount Table Stand 13"-35" with 1/4" Ball Head

6.) External Rolls Label Holder

Cart Assembly Video

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to me (Brad), at [email protected] and I will be happy to help.

Did this answer your question?