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We need some help. We are starting to speak to markets that require bar codes to be on their shelves. We use Macs and would like to stay with them if possible. Seems most products, like Wasp, are PC based only.

Does anyone have anything they use that they like. We have a netbook that we were given but I don't know if it will have enough power to run a program.

Any info would help. Thank you!

Corey

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Corey -

There's a lot more to inventory management than just bar codes. Are there any other features you are looking for?

There are several cloud-based solutions (run in a browser) that can do things like track ingredient costs across purchases so know exactly how much a particular recipe costs.

Clay,

We dont really know what we want. We know a bunch of store require bar codes. We would like to get the most bang for the buck. If there are features we don't need yet, eventually we hope we will. We are looking to track our inventory, both finished products and ingredients.

Most of the scanners are PC based, like Wasp. We will use it to sync with Quickbooks, which we are looking to purchase as well. The simpler the better since my wife and I are not accountants. My head spun the first time I saw Quickbooks but it is something we have to bite the bullet and learn. Need it for accounting, payroll and inventory as well.

Thank you for any input. We are very confused. Why can't we just make delicious treats? ;)

Corey

Corey -

These are separate things.

You can purchase UPC codes from brokers and then just print them directly on your labels or print UPS labels and stick them on your packaging. You don't need inventory management software to do that.

I am not exactly sure why you are focused on scanners that connect to a PC. You certainly don't need a barcode scanner to track ingredients for recipes. What you do want is lot traceability and the ability to calculate the cost of a recipe based on what is spent for a particular batch of ingredients, not what you last paid.

I was recently introduced to a service from a company called Mobia Solutions (www.mobiasolutions.com). I would check them out to see if they can do what you need. There are also some really helpful resources under the Links tab on food safety, labeling, and more.

BTW, you probably qualify for a small-business exemption to the FDA nutrition labeling laws - but you do need to apply for it if you haven't already.

Hello Clay.  As usual, excellent information.  I wasn't aware of the labeling laws exemptions.  Do you know how I go about applying for that exemption?  Also, do you think batch / lot tracking requirements are close to fruition for small shops?  Thanks again. John

Here's the link to the FDA page on the small business nutrition labeling exemption.

The batch/lot tracking is a form of insurance if/when it ever comes to having to recall product. Though it does cost money, you may actually lower the cost of the liability premium if you can show your insurer that you have these procedures in place.

Thanks for the link, Clay.  One line says: " If a person is not an importer, and has fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees, that person does not have to file a notice for any food product with annual sales of fewer than 10,000 total units."  Would you interpret that as not needing the exemption if those qualifications are met?   Also,  I'll check with my insurance agent to see what the savings would be like if I use a batch tracking system.  Thanks again for the help.

That's my interpretation.

One thing to note is that if you sell (for example) a one-ounce bar and an eight-ounce bar of the exact same chocolate then the eight-ounce bar counts as eight units towards the 10,000 limit.

However, if you use the same chocolate, and make bars with different inclusions or flavorings, then each recipe counts as a unique product, each with its own 10,000 unit limit.

Thanks Clay.  Much appreciated.

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