When you purchase an item from any store, you will notice a label with thin black lines across it along with a series of numbers. When this label is scanned by the cashier, the description of the item and cost appears on the screen. This black and white lined label is called a ‘barcode’ and it is used to read data simply by scanning those lines. The barcode has many uses although most of us might think they are used exclusive for grocery or department store items. Barcodes are becoming more and more common in every consumer and producer’s life. It is important to understand why these barcodes are getting increasingly popular.
What Are Barcodes?
A barcode is a square or rectangular image that consists of a series of black lines with white spacings of different widths that can be read by a scanner. A barcode is a visual, machine-readable representation of data that usually describes something about the object it is present on. Barcodes are applied to products for quick identification. They can be used in retail stores as a part of the purchasing process, in warehouses to track inventory, on invoices for accounting, as wrist bands on hospital patients to help identify them and get information about them instantly.
How Do Barcodes Work?
A barcode is a really simple idea, you give every item that you want to classify its own unique number and then print it on the item so that an electronic scanner can read it. Each digit in the product number is given the same amount of horizontal space. Then, to represent any numbers from one to nine, they are simply coloured with different patterns of black and white stripes. Each number is given 7 units to be represented. Barcode scanners are able to read the black and white lines on the products extremely quickly and feed information to a computer which can immediately identify the product using a product database.
Types Of Barcodes
There are many types of barcode and each type brings unique opportunities. With a range of options to choose from, it can be tough to determine which barcode will best suit your products or inventory. To come to this decision it is important to understand the basic types of barcodes available to you. There are two main basic types of barcodes.
- One-dimensional barcode represents data by varying the widths and spacing of the parallel lines. These include some of the more traditional barcodes such as UPC and EAN codes.
- Two-dimensional barcode represents data using two-dimensional symbol and shapes. They are similar to a linear one-dimensional barcode but can represent more data. 2D barcodes include newer barcodes such as QR codes.
Who Can Use Barcodes?
Almost every single business today uses barcodes for a lot of different reasons. You can keep track of important equipment within your company or keep a constant tally of all the stock you currently have and the prices of the products. They are widely used in healthcare as well, ranging from patient identification to creating and helping with medication management. Retail chain membership cards use barcodes to uniquely identify consumers, allowing for customized marketing and a greater understanding of individual consumer shopping patterns. They can also be used to keep track of objects and people; they are used to keep track of rental cars, airline luggage, registered mail, express mail and parcels. Barcoded tickets allow the holder to enter sports arenas, cinemas, theatres, fair-grounds, and avail various modes of transportation, They are also used to record the arrival and departure of vehicles from rental facilities etc.
What Are The Advantages Of Barcodes?
It is important to understand the benefits of barcodes and how it can be applied to help your business grow. These are some of the benefits of barcodes:
- Barcodes eliminate the possibility of human error. The occurrence of errors for manually entering data is higher than data entered by barcodes and scanning machines. A barcode scanner is a more reliable and less time-consuming option than to enter data by hand.
- Using barcode systems reduces the time spent in training the employees. It only takes a few minutes to learn and understand how a barcode scanner works for reading barcodes compared to the hours spent training employees.
- Barcodes are inexpensive to design and print. Generally, they cost very less, regardless of their purpose or where they will be placed. Also, they can be customized in a variety of finishes and materials.
- Barcode usage is extremely varied. They can be used for any kind of data collection necessary. This could include pricing or inventory information.
- Barcodes improve inventory control. Since barcodes make it possible to track inventory so precisely, excess inventory levels can be reduced. Additionally, the location of inventory can be tracked, reducing the time spent searching for it.
- Barcodes provide better data. Since one barcode can be used for both inventory and pricing information, it is possible to obtain data for a wide variety of products.
- Data obtained through barcodes is available quickly. Since the information is scanned directly into a computer, it is ready and accessible instantly. This ensures that time will not be wasted on data entry or retrieval.
- Barcodes promote better decision making. Since the data is obtained rapidly, it is possible to make more informed decisions that ultimately helps saves money and time.
How To Get A Barcode?
The right procedure needs to be followed for the process of barcode registration. The steps involved in this process include:
- Deciding on the type and number. The barcode is of various types and it can be taken in different lot sizes. The process begins with the identification of a requirement by the applicant.
- Arrange documents. For barcode application, there are various documents like the balance sheet of the company’s bank account to prove the turnover of the company, etc. that need to be annexed.
- Government fee. The Government fee is paid in the form of a demand draft after determining the lot size and the validity period of the barcode to be acquired.
Over 2 million companies globally use barcodes, making it the default standard for the retail industry worldwide. Barcodes are a very efficient way to categorize and sell your products, therefore, it is important to register for your barcode. This will allow your barcode to be unique and not get it confused with other barcodes. If you are still wondering about the process of barcoding, contact deAsra, as they provide you with assistance and guidance for barcode registration and any queries related to it or to the business in general.