November 7, 2022

Tracking Inventory With Bluetooth: Accurate, Enhanced Inventory Visibility

Warehouse Inventory

Improve Operational Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

There’s a hard truth to tracking inventory with barcode or RFID scanning: no scan, means no data—and no visibility. When an employee misses a label with a barcode scanner or an RFID tag passes through a tunnel without a good read, there’s no record of where that inventory went.

Furthermore, if you use a system that updates based on what should have happened and not what actually happened, inventory data will vary from real life. A truck could arrive at a destination with a shipment that doesn’t match records. Customers may order merchandise that inventory data says is available, but it’s not on the shelves. Or purchasers may order, but there’s still abundant stock in their warehouse bins and excess capital is tied up in overstocks.

An inaccurate method of tracking inventory is an accounting and financial problem. However, it’s also a customer experience and customer satisfaction problem. Inaccurate inventory data results in fulfillment delays, inaccurate or incomplete shipments, and service that doesn’t meet expectations.

Automate inventory visibility for better accuracy

Bluetooth technology offers businesses an effective solution to the problem of knowing exactly what’s in stock or on the move. Bluetooth labels on products throughout a warehouse or distribution center (DC) send signals to a device that captures inventory data. The device can be centrally located, so it can collect data from the entire warehouses or DC at once – and improve inventory tracking to 100% accuracy.


Discover how simple and affordable it is to implement Bluetooth inventory tracking in your warehouse. Get our Demo Kit today!


How Bluetooth Inventory Tracking Solves Industry Challenges

Bluetooth’s features and capabilities enable this technology to address four of enterprises’ most significant pain points related to tracking inventory.

1. Visibility

Barcode scanning and RFID only capture data at specific points within a process, e.g., receiving, putaway, picking, packing, and shipping. The spike in e-commerce since 2020 has complicated processes with more items heading directly to customers and micro-fulfillment centers as well as to retail locations. Furthermore, when e-commerce storefronts rely on inventory data from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) or warehouse management system (WMS), visibility is pivotal to online conversions and customer satisfaction.

Bluetooth technology can take a stock check every 10 seconds, enhancing inventory visibility so that employees know exactly what’s available, even accounting for trunk inventory that field sales reps have within range of devices reading Bluetooth signals. Additionally, enterprises can share data throughout the supply chain so that the warehouse, transportation and logistics, and retailers all have a real-time account of inventory. Within the store, using Bluetooth for tracking inventory also allows store employees to have easy access to data even when they don’t have access to the point of sale (POS) or retail management system and instantly have an accurate count of what’s on the shelves or stored in the back of the house.

2. Time

Manually scanning barcode labels takes time – and so does tracking down lost items and correcting errors. However, warehouses and distribution centers don’t have time to spare. Instawork reports 73% of warehouses can’t find enough labor. That research also shows while the challenge of filling vacant positions increased, so did fulfillment volumes. Furthermore, when fewer people attempt to perform more work, the result can be even more errors and dissatisfied customers.

Bluetooth technology answers the question of how to track inventory automatically. The labels transmit signals to the reader, and the system updates – no human intervention is required. As a result, Bluetooth allows employees to focus on other essential tasks throughout the warehouse, helping to ease the burden of operating while short-staffed.

3. Loss

Because barcode or RFID scanning only occurs during specific processes in the warehouse or DC, there’s no visibility into why changes in inventory levels happen in between. Inventory shrinkage can occur for several reasons, including damage, accidents, human error, or theft. Without a hand count, companies don’t know there’s a discrepancy – and when employees look for inventory that’s supposed to be there, it isn’t.

On the other hand, when scanning doesn’t successfully collect data, it’s possible that there are items on the shelf that aren’t in inventory records. This “dark Inventory” can also result in losses. Because it is never tracked or sold, it can expire or become obsolete while sitting on a shelf.

When warehouses or DCs use Bluetooth technology for tracking inventory, they can immediately see what’s on hand. Furthermore, if a sudden inventory change has occurred, operators take action to correct the problem.

4. Heightened customer expectations

Customer expectations are also putting pressure on warehouses and DCs to perform, and legacy solutions simply don’t allow them to keep up. E-commerce consumers demand instant information on product availability and locations of their shipment. And in-store customers expect sales reps to access real-time inventory data and let them know whether products are available or how soon their orders can be fulfilled.

Bluetooth inventory tracking meets consumers’ expectations for accurate, real-time information by delivering up-to-the-minute data and making it available to employees throughout the supply chain.

It’s Time for a New Solution for Tracking Inventory

Distribution centers, warehouses, and retailers have aspired to deploying systems that enhance inventory visibility, operational efficiency, and customer experiences. Now, practical, cost-effective Bluetooth labeling makes it all possible.

Interested to learn more about the most reliable, accurate method for tracking inventory? Contact Reelables today!