Demystifying Barcoding

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When we talk about barcoding the discussion encompasses any and all of the following:

types of barcodes

These are all barcodes. Some just happen to be 2 dimensional (often called QR codes) and some one. In retail these mythical beasts, mostly of the striped variety, have been uniquely identifying products for 50 years and somehow in the process have remained largely ununderstood.

There are regulatory complexities in this space that create a divide and of course there are technical considerations and implementation nuances that have an impact not only on the cost and effectiveness of the barcode solution but also on the consumers ability to grasp the technology. But why should the consumer care? The technology works and makes life easier. And I agree, until that same consumer needs to streamline processes within her own business. The divide then creates an unnecessary barrier to a world of cost effective automation.

In the B2B space and in the realm of overcoming internal business process challenges, the regulatory concerns like registering with the barcode authority and applying for a unique band of barcodes for your organisation, falls away. Similarly, much of the technical complexity necessary in retail/consumer solutions like barcode symbologies (Continuous vs. discrete, Two-width vs. many-width, Code 128, Code 39 etc), which standard the barcodes need to align to; EAN (13 digit), UPC (12 digit), UPC E, EAN 8 etc. and the amount of white space required, are not necessary considerations. All this terminology, when it is inevitably presented to a business owner, confuses and actually distracts from the primary reason of investigating barcoding as an option for enterprise level process automation solutions. Here is all you need to know when considering barcoding and its benefits for your organisation:

Modern Business Barcoding

  • You can scan barcodes with you smartphone or tablet – no need to purchase additional and expensive barcode scanning hardware.
  • There is cost effective online software available that will allow you to upload a stock list, an asset register or any data set of “things” (even people) that you would like to barcode and track. This software will then automatically create PDF templates populated with barcodes for you that can be printed onto standard sticky labels and applied.
  • There is also online software available that will receive your scanned data from your smartphone or tablet, live in realtime, and allow you to download the electronic data or integrate directly with your existing systems and accounting packages.
  • Some of this software has even advanced to the point of analysing the data for you and presenting you with business intelligence that you can use to dynamically manage your operations.

Implementing an enterprise barcode solution does not need to be scary or expensive and it will streamline your processes, automate mundane tasks and eliminate human error.

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