Barcoding, a form of keyless data entry facilitating automatic identification and data collection (commonly referred to as auto-ID), originated in grocery stores and has since extended to use in doctors’ offices, law firms, post offices, retail stores, security applications, car rental returns and countless others. Barcoding and related technologies have been used in manufacturing companies for shipping and receiving operations for more than 40 years. But even in these more traditional settings, barcode applications have spread throughout the enterprise to include warehousing, accounting and customer service functions, time and attendance, and package delivery, as well as the assembly line operation itself.
The widespread acceptance of barcoding over the past four decades has led to the development of numerous industry standards by major industry groups, such as AIAG (automotive), EIA (electronics), HIBCC (healthcare) and HAZMAT (chemical) to name a few. Such standards ensure universal compliance and easy identification of product shipments among trading partners in the supply chain as well as ensure that product (such as hazardous chemicals) is handled properly to prevent injury or loss of life.
Besides the cost of the equipment, including the printer, scanner and media, the cost justification of an auto-ID system can be a tricky computation and is dependent on a company’s commitment to widespread implementation and acceptance of the barcoding technology. Barcoding only generates a profit when supported by improved processes. When considering barcode implementation, every possible process improvement should be evaluated. There are some obvious improvements that can be achieved by implementing auto-ID systems, such as placing barcodes on retail goods to spare employees from manually entering each product’s price or serial number. There are also several new capabilities and controls that appear from the improved data management achieved by implementing a barcoding system, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), wireless networking options and radio frequency identification (RFID) smart labels (adhesive label embedded with an ultra-thin RFID tag “inlay” in which digital data is encoded and then captured by a reader using radio waves).
MSA Systems is the perfect resource to help integrate barcoding sytems and technology to your business systems. Connect with us today to get your Label Design Software installed and labels created and configured.