Using a bar code system helps ensure you have the right merchandise in the right place at the right price at the right time.
Bar coding is the perfect solution for many day-to-
day business problems, including:
Tracking lost shipments
Resolving receipts vs. invoice discrepancies
Determining where your goods are located
at any point in time
Tracking out-of-stock items
Speeding returned goods to the selling floor
Reducing long lines at the checkout counter
Eliminating time-consuming paperwork
Helping to keep your employees focused on
customers rather than tasks
Bar Code Basics
A bar code is a series of black bars and spaces
that are used to encode a series of characters.
The bars and spaces can
represent numbers or letters
of the alphabet or both.
Differing “symbologies” have
different structures and
capabilities. For example,
the UPC bar code has only
numbers in it. Code 39 bar
codes have both numbers and letters.
The various widths and spaces of the parallel bars
stand for a particular character, so the spaces are
just as important as the bars.
Key Benefits of Bar Code Technology
Fast and Reliable Data Collection: Bar code
scanning is 5 to 7 times faster than manual
data entry and is 10,000 times more accurate!
Consider this: Keyboard data entry creates an
average of 1 error in 300 keystrokes. Bar code
data entry has an error rate of 1 in 3 million!
Printer Systems Division
Reduced Cost: Bar code labeling
increases productivity to such a level (it’s 5 to
7 times faster than manual methos) that labor
savings alone can often pay for the cost of
the data collection system. In addition, you
can reap the financial benefits of reduced
revenue loss due to data collection errors and
maintaining a more accurate inventory level.
Improved Management: You
have better information for
better decision making! More
information. Timely information.
Benefits for Retailers
Merchandising: Improved data
integrity allows decisions to be
made with real time, accurate data, improving
product and category management decisions.
Bar code technology facilitates the use of
automated replenishment or vendor managed
inventory so the right product is always at the
right store at the right time.
Retail Distribution Centers: Using bar code
technology means fewer order and invoice
discrepancies, saving you money. It also
speeds product flow to stores, increasing
inventory turns and reducing out-of-stock
Stores: Faster receiving of goods and accurate
back room inventories improve product
movement to the floor, increasing sales. Hot
products are more often in stock, on the selling
floor, directly leading to improved customer
satisfaction and higher sales. Slow moving
items are identified and taken out of rotation.
With bar code labels, you have faster
check-out, shorter lines and happier customers.
You can also eliminate the entry of incorrect SKU’s
or the use of department numbers, streamlining
your processing and increasing productivity.
Printer Systems Division
Streamlining your process also allows your
employees to spend more time helping customers
and less time performing tasks.
Benefits for Manufacturing Operations
There are many benefits to the manufacturer
when bar code technology is used, including:
Facilitating electronic transactions via
EDI (electronic data interchange). EDI
streamlines your ordering process and
reduces errors caused by manual order
Improved product flow – helps you get
your products to your customers when
they need it where they need it.
Reduces inaccurate shipments, saving
you time, money and increases customer
Reduces operating costs and improves
Benefits for Shipping and Receiving
Bar coding is considered a cost-effective
investment for assisting in the physical count
of your inventory. Why not adapt bar coding
to your other inventory-related transaction and
have a completely automated warehouse?
Receiving clerks save time by scanning
products as they are received, rather than
manually checking each item with paper
By scanning bar codes printed on both
the pick ticket and pin, shipping clerks
increase accuracy by immediately
verifying the right product was pulled to fill
Radio frequency (RF) bar code units can
electronically transmit customer orders
to warehouse personnel, avoiding the
need for printed picking documents and
resulting in paperless warehouses!
Kris Thrasher, marketing communications director at Avery Dennison, is the author of this article about bar code labeling, and inventory labels. Avery Dennison helps businesses move products through the supply chain efficiently. Weve designed process improvement programs for retail stores, distribution centers, and manufacturers.