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Barcodes have made significant advancements in the world of technology.

These barcodes have been seen from a punch card system that was used to speed up the purchasing process to the modern bar-and-space barcodes on a variety of consumer goods. After a decade, barcodes came into the picture as punch cards were expensive. A small barcode holds significant data of the product by which processing and inventory maintenance would prove to be more efficient.

Barcodes are used in many aspects of business, like:

  • Rental car businesses use barcodes on the car bumpers to keep a track of their vehicles.
  • Airlines put barcodes on passenger luggage to avoid their personal belongings from getting lost.
  • Researchers stick barcodes to bees and other living creatures to track their mating and migration habits.

You can even find these barcodes on human beings. Fashion models are for example stamped with a barcode to make sure that they are well organized for shows and fitted with the proper attire. However, the barcodes are mostly used for consumer goods. The U.S. grocery industry in the 1970s also used the Universal Product Code (UPC) to match the demand of an expedient grocery checkout process.

Having a barcoding system has helped businesses in many ways, such as, provide value-added services to customers, improve inventory accuracy, and making employees more productive. But, for making the investment worthwhile, the benefits you get should exceed the price you’ll get by implementing the solution, in terms of both time and money. 

Benefits of a barcoding system in businesses

Find out the benefits of barcoding that can evaluate its worth –

Value-added services for customers

Product distributors are apply barcode labels to material shipped to customers. A distributor must have a barcode compatible printer and the computer software to produce labels required by the customer. This service was considerably expensive, not only to the equipment and software, but also the labor to affix labels. This service was generally offered only to high-volume, high-profit accounts.

Barcodes help in preparing your warehouse for automated physical inventory counts while considering the account’s profitability.

Improve physical inventory counting speed and accuracy

Counting your inventory physically is like-a boring, tedious and a time-consuming task that is  actually subjected to many errors.

A barcode label is fixed on each product available in the warehouse to be visible for physical barcode inventory. During the inventory counting process, people make use of a Handheld Barcode Scanner that can scan the label, and then enter the counted quantity using the numeric keypad. The product counts will automatically reflect into the computer system as the scanner is integrated with a point-of-sale system of the company. This process reduces labor cost that can be easily be avoided by simply implementing a barcode.

Shipping and Receiving

Integrating a barcode system usually is a cost-effective practice that assists in the physical count of your inventory. Adaptation of barcoding to other inventory-related transactions will help you to build a completely automated warehouse.

Just imagine the time you’ll be saving when your workforce could just scan products at the same time they were received, instead of manually checking each of them. You can picture the improvement in accuracy of the workforce when they just not need to verify the products with a pen and paper that was actually a time-consuming process.

Evolution of barcodes – a summary

History of the barcode has evolved in most significant and prolonged economic recession in the modern world history, popularly called The Great Depression.

The barcode was first introduced in a punch card system that is designed to speed up the purchasing process, and soon it took shape in the simplest form because punch cards were too pricey. Using Morse Code, the barcode was transmitted from dots to extended parallel lines in black and white, and are being used to date.

The original method used for scanning the barcode was through high wattage light bulbs, specifically 500 watts to start with, and in conjunction with a film industry photomultiplier. This process increased the intensity of the light and made the scanning process easier — however, the technology was becoming outdates and needed change, to make the system feasible as companies were looking for cost effective solutions that for better management of inventory.

Ideas and innovations were developed and implemented. After a while, the barcode with parallel lines was not the only form of identification. These barcodes are categorized into 2D or a matrix code. These codes were represented in patterns of dots, circles, and a variety of geometric shapes. Linear barcodes or 1D barcodes were being used for more complex codes even if they contained more data in contrast to the linear barcodes. Linear barcodes or 1D barcodes can be found in mobile applications such as encoding URLs and images and even purchasing ticket for movies and sporting events.

Barcodes were assisting companies, large and small, more efficiently and accurately to identify, track and maintain inventory of a variety of products, assets and supplies, for more than four decades.

Let’s have a glimpse into the history of the barcode, we all know today –

1932: Grocery stores and supermarkets were looking for an easier way to track products to reconcile inventories. In the same line of thought, Wallace Flint, a Harvard business student, proposed a punch-card system that was similar to the one developed for the 1890 U.S. Census but this idea was never executed as the system was expensive.

1948: The president of a major food company and a dean were discussing research on automatically collecting product information at the supermarket checkout. Bernard Silverheard, a graduate student at Drexel Institute, Bernard Silver overheard this conversation and thought of it as a great idea. After a while, Silver imparted the knowledge to his friend and classmate, Norman Joseph Woodland. Fascinated with the idea, both the friends started their research to make something substantial out of a mere conversation.

1949: With borrowed elements from Morse code and movie soundtrack technologies, Woodland and Silver filed for a patent describing both the linear and bulls-eye barcode systems.

1952: When Woodland and Silver built the first barcode reader, the patent for the barcode system was granted.

1962: Philco purchased the patent which later on sold to RCA.

1967: Association of American Railroads began using barcodes to ID railroad cars. This railroad system was comprised of blue and red reflective stripes that were attached to the side of the cars, encoding a six-digit company identifier and a four-digit car number.

1969: Computer Identics Corporation installed the first true barcode systems at General Motors and General Trading Company facilities.

1970: The National Association of Food Chains (NAFC) established the Ad-Hoc Committee for U.S. Supermarkets on a Uniform Grocery-Product Code to set barcode development guidelines.

1972: RCA began an 18-month test of a bulls-eye barcode system in a Kroger store in Cincinnati.

1973: The Universal Product Code (UPC) was introduced, and set the stage for barcodes to take off.

1974: At a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum was the first retail product sold using a barcode scanner.

1984: After the evolution of barcode scanners, 33 percent of grocery stores were equipped with barcode scanners.

1994: QR Codes were created by Toyota subsidiary, Denso Wave, to assist in more quickly tracking vehicles and their parts.

2004: 80 to 90 percent of the top 500 companies in the United States started using barcodes, according to a Fortune magazine.

Barcode scanner – progressing barcoding technologies making sense of barcodes

Nowadays, a barcode scanner reads the barcode printed on most products sold in stores. The emergence of barcode scanners made the job easier for the people behind the cash counter who were manually keeping the record of each and every transaction in their stores.

Barcode Scanners help products scanning easier at the time of check-out and for maintaining inventory.  Their are four different types of barcode scanners and each of them have their different design and capabilities. The same type of technology has been used in most scanners but varies from the use of photosensor to take graphic images.

Pen-type scanners: Also known as barcode wands as it consists of a LED light and a photodiode at the tip. When this scanner slid over the barcode, the LED illuminates the black and white bars. The data has been captured and later converted into digital information.

Laser barcode scanners: The most popular type of barcode scanners that are widely used in retail. In this type of scanner, a laser beam of light is shot at a mirror within the actual unit. This mirror then moves within so that the laser sweeps across the barcode in a straight line. A standard laser barcode scanner can read from 6 to 24 inches distance, while a long-range can read from 2 to 8 feet distance.

CCD barcode scanners (Charge Coupled Device): These scanners are expensive ones among the family of barcode scanners. However, they provide accurate results and also called as LED scanners. With hundreds of tiny LED lights that are arranged in a row within the unit is directly shot at the barcode, and the voltage of the ambient light is measured. CCD barcode scanners are widely popular in point-of-sale applications.

Imager barcode scanner: These scanners function more like a video camera rather than a scanner. The unit has an in-built video camera that takes a picture of the barcode which is analysed using a sophisticated digital decoding techniques. Imager scanners are capable of reading the barcodes no matter how they are placed in front of the barcode, which in turn, increase the speed of multi-scanning.

 

Benefits of barcode scanners that could benefit your business applications

A barcode scanner helps in streamlining your business applications and make the entire processes easier. Additionally, the scanner saves you time and money while increasing productivity and efficiency of the company. Here are the eight benefits of barcode scanners that could be beneficial for your business –

Easy to Implement: Barcode scanners are operated with a simple driver and little programming that you can do in a single day.

Wireless Capabilities: Wireless barcode scanners are easy-to-operate which you can take anywhere in the store to scan items.

Removes Human Error: Using a barcode scanner helps in reducing human error that is most likely to happen in manual.

Saves Time: Operating a barcode scanner in business applications help you save time as it is faster than typing in data manually into the database.

Faster Inventory Management: Barcode scanners allow you to access a vast amount of information. These scanners also provide real-time control over inventory systems.

Quicker Transactions: By using barcode scanners, you can improve check-out times. cashiers can simply scan the barcode of a product using the scanners, reducing the checkout time.

Saves Resources: Use of barcode scanners eliminate the need for tracking products manually. The details will all be saved digitally.

Change Prices Easily: When you need to quickly adjust your product prices during the sale time, just change the price electronically with barcode scanners.

Updates in Real-Time: Barcode scanners speed up your accuracy and updates the data immediately.

Rich Data History: The barcoding system provides you access to your inventory history whenever you want that help you to know the stock level.

Conclusion

Now you know, Barcode scanners are cost-effective tools that help your business to grow and improve its overall operations. Wish A POS has a range of barcode scanners from many brands, such as, Datalogic, Motorola, KOAMTAC KDC-400, and many more that allow you to do more tasks in a less amount of time and less involvement of people.

Utilization of barcode scanners can help you with strategic decision-making involving cash flow and inventory management since the information you scan is accurate. Please feel free to speak to our customer care executive to learn more about barcode scanners or deliver across Australia.

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