Five Uses of Barcodes
Barcodes can be used in a number of different ways across multiple industries. It may seem as though they are mainly used in retail, since it’s the use of barcodes that we are most familiar with. However, companies such as Shopify sell barcode systems to not just retail-based suppliers but to such wide ranging clients as business offices and corporate security. Anyone who has done research on barcode systems knows that barcodes are a technology that is both versatile and effective at securely transmitting information across long distances and disparate departments. Even so, you might not know that some of these industries utilize barcodes.
1) Corporate or Business Offices
Internal asset tracking across multiple different departments can be a hassle for corporate offices. Using barcodes combined with a simple inventory management software suite, a business or corporate office can follow how its assets move around the company and can even see which department uses a particular resource the most. This is most important when it comes to ensuring that company property isn’t taken by employees for personal use or for sale. It also allows management to make decisions as to the acquisition of new equipment. If a particular item is in high demand, it would make sense for management to invest money in acquiring more of that item so as not to cause a bottleneck of work flow.
2) Inventory and Logistics Management
People involved in a business such as this don’t have a lot of room for error. Logistics supply managers deal with tracking of items across a wide geographical area. Using barcode systems to keep track of items grants a unique benefit: that of real-time information as the item gets to a checkpoint. This ensures that the items in transit aren’t lost mid-way. It also allows the transmission of real-time information so that the check-ins for multiple different items can be easily monitored to know where they are what their expected time of arrival would be.
3) Security Purposes
Barcodes have been used alongside picture ID’s for a long time now to maintain a secure perimeter in the case of some highly sensitive locations. The barcodes are printed to be bundled with an ID card with a picture ID for verification. The barcode contains a specifically developed symbology that is unique to the business, stopping the chance that someone could produce similar barcodes based on the design. They have been so effective that private firms have started issuing their own security teams with the ability to produce these barcoded ID cards.
4) Order Processing and Delivery
Scanning barcodes for items is far more efficient than depending on human entry. As a result, including custom barcodes on products makes it easier for companies that deal with orders to be more efficient in their processing and delivery. Human error can cost a company like this as much as thousands of dollars every year in spoilt orders and mistaken delivery. This doesn’t even begin to describe the impact it has on the company’s reputation. Incorporating a barcode system removes the margin of error for the scanning in of items. The price of each item is included on the barcode and all the data entry operator has to do at this point is scan it in.
Probably the most well-known use of the barcode system is in retail. This combines a number of different functions into one single seamless system that deals with stock count, price of items, and efficiency at check-out. The retail industry has slowly warmed to the idea of a custom barcode being good for business as more and more companies have moved away from traditional cashing methods to the well-known bar code reader systems that we see installed in retail outlets today.
Regardless of which company decides to incorporate barcodes into their operation, the end result is a series of enhancements that leads to better productivity and overall efficiency of the company. Combined with the low cost to install and maintain a barcode system and its ease of use in a number of different scenarios, there is very little excuse a company can make for not investing in technology like this. As is obvious from the abovementioned industries, barcode technology is so widespread that little by little it will become introduced in innovative ways to other industries that haven’t had the benefit of its presence as yet. However, using barcode systems on the whole is a matter of determining what your company needs and how best the barcode system fulfils that need. Not very business type can benefit from a barcode system, but there are far more than can than those that can’t. Increased efficiency and productivity are good reasons and at the cost that barcode systems make them available, investing in one would be a serious mistake.