Barcodes have undoubtedly made things easier than ever for sellers. Yes, most places followed a similar structure even before barcodes. But everything was manual then. And this increased the number of errors. There was no guarantee of accuracy then.
But we have come a long way since then. And if you want to make sure everything goes smoothly for your business and there are no glaring errors, getting barcodes for your products is beneficial. But first, you have to learn more about them.
How Barcodes for Products Were Invented
Interestingly, barcodes have been around for quite a while. They were introduced back in 1948 by Bernard Silver and Normal Joseph Woodland. The purpose was pretty simple. They wanted to make it easier to read product information during checkout. And reduce the errors too.
The prototype initially used Ultraviolet ink, but this did not work out all that well. But like all other successful entrepreneurs and visionaries, they, too, did not let this discourage them. They tried again and used the structure of morose code to make the barcode.
An incandescent light bulb was shown over the pattern to read it through paper. This is because the black lines featured on the code absorb the light while the white parts shone through and hence got detected.
The Evolution of Barcodes: How They Work Now
Naturally, barcodes have evolved since then. And things have changed quite a bit. Now, scanners are available to read these codes. The pattern is detected via a laser sent by the scanner. Some light from this laser is absorbed, and some are reflected, which enables the scanner to read the barcode.
If you want to get barcodes for your products, you have to understand what the numbers mean. How do brand owners come up with these codes?
It’s actually pretty simple. Usually, barcodes comprise twelve-digit numbers. These are printed underneath the product to make things easier for everyone. Here’s how the numbers represent a particular product.
- The first number is the product type and is usually identified by 0,1,6,7 or 8.
- The next 5 numbers indicate the manufacturers’ code. It’s a unique code meant to identify the distributor or manufacturer of the product.
- The following five numbers are the product code that is unique to each product.
- And the final number is the computer check digit designed to ensure that the barcode is indeed correctly drafted.
The Purpose of a Barcode
Keep in mind that there are many types of barcodes, with UPC being the most commonly used. Most brands prefer using barcodes as it makes it easier to encode information visually which can be read by the scanner. Hence, it saves valuable time. Think about it. How much time would it take to put in numerical data? Managing inventory is quite a humongous task. Luckily, barcodes make it easier.
The two primary types of barcodes include
1-Dimensional (1D) Barcodes
These barcodes, seen in a series of black and white bars, carry a lot of information about a brand. You can know about a product type, color, and size via this code. This code is present at the top of the product’s packaging and proves to be highly beneficial in helping track packages during delivery.
2-Dimensional (2D) Barcodes
This one’s a tad bit complicated. And that’s because it carries more information. It tells about the inventory levels of the product along with the price. Indeed, it can even show you a product image.
How Having Barcodes for Your Products Can Be Beneficial
There’s a reason that most companies these days have barcodes. It makes it easier to ship and track items. Additionally, managing stocks also becomes more convenient due to these codes. You can maintain a clear and accurate record of the number of products you have in storage via barcodes.
Interestingly, a variety of industries use the barcode, including grocery retailers, clothing, and even health care. It’s impossible now to even imagine how troublesome shopping would be if it weren’t for barcodes. Want to know more about its benefits? Take a look!
A barcode makes it easier to process the product’s data. If a sales associate enters all this data manually, not only will he take more time, but he will also be at risk of making errors. This isn’t something you have to worry about with barcodes. Everything’s digital so there will be no errors.
Real-Time Data Within Your Reach
As we have already explained, barcodes help process information at incredible speed. Hence, you won’t have to wait for a long time to get data about your sales or inventory levels. All the information will be accessible to you in no time.
No Training Required
The best thing about introducing barcodes for your products is that you won’t have to waste time teaching your employees how to use them. The scanner does not need any complicated steps. All they have to do is point and click on the code. Yes, it’s that simple!
Manage Your Inventory Better
The increased accuracy of data will help you keep tabs on your inventory and sales better. This will also enable you to pre-order items if required timely.
Barcodes don’t really cost you a lot. They are quick to generate. Hence, you will be able to increase your company’s efficiency without increasing your budget excessively. And the increased accuracy and data will definitely help you manage your operations better!