a Bar Code?
of how bar codes are used
The following are
just a few of the many ways bar codes are being used to improve
the profitability and efficiency of a variety of company types.
- Point of Sale
- Point of sale is one of the
most common segments of the bar code market. Everyone is
familiar with the scanners in grocery and department
stores. Benefits of bar coding in point-of-sale systems
is the most obvious benefit. A medium-to-large store can
save enough checker time to significantly reduce payroll.
You also save direct labor costs through less time spent
taking inventories and ordering product.
Satisfaction: A proper bar code system will speed customer
checkout. This will improve customer satisfaction enough
to directly increase revenue over time.
Inventory Costs: Immediate access to inventory information on
a real-time basis can be used to reduce inventory levels.
This will reduce costs for a company in a number of ways,
including interest, labor for handling excess inventory,
and facility overhead.
Reordering: Accurate stock levels allow for automated
replenishment of low inventory.
Decision Making: With bar code data-collection you can tell
not only what the customers are buying, but when they are
buying it and in what combinations. This can improve
business management by suggesting better locations for
goods in the store and identifying advertising targets.
Point-of-sale systems can be used in any retail setting. The
grocery industry is the best organized setting, but most vendors
in that area are concentrating on high-end scanner/mainframe
systems. There are abundant opportunities for PC-based systems in
small to medium-sized businesses, such as video stores,
convenience markets, and clothing stores.
- Work In Progress
- Many manufacturing and other
industries have work that must go through several steps
to completion. Bar code systems can track material through each
step of the work and keep detailed records on each piece
or batch. When a problem occurs in the output,
supervisors and managers can track the work back and
quickly resolve the issue.
- This is one of the best ways
to improve both quality and yield in virtually any
- Inventory Control
- Tracking inventory manually
is a laborious process. With bar codes applied to each item in inventory, portable scanners can be used to track shipping and receiving
and quickly take physical inventory. The data from
portable scanners can be uploaded to a central computer
system at regular intervals or portables can update
inventory in real-time, depending on the system you
Bar code inventory
control provides accurate, real-time inventory updates. This
allows a company the opportunity to reduce stock levels and
thereby reduce carrying costs. It also reduces the time taken to
collect data for purposes such as annual inventories. With
improved efficiency, operating costs are lower. Data ID
markets IntelliTrack inventory management software. Different modules of the software target different
applications of inventory control, including fixed asset tracking, inventory management, check-in and check-out
tracking, and stockroom management..
- Secured Access
- A secured access system
provides door and gate security by controlling access
using encoded employee identification badges. Bar code
badge scanners or magnetic stripe readers are mounted at
doors and gate entrances, and authorization is provided
from a central computer.
- Time and Attendance
- A time and attendance system
uses encoded employee identification badges that are
scanned when employees start and stop work. This allows
automatic tracking for payroll and eliminates paper time
sheets and time clocks.
- Quality Control
- Bar code systems in quality
control can be used to tell a person which test to
perform for a given part and where to send it if it
fails. Bar code systems can also create permanent records
for tracking component and subassembly failures.
- For packaging, a bar code printer is used to generate a label to identify
part numbers, serial numbers, and shipping information.
This labeling can be used to automatically sort packages
for shipment, automate receiving, and greatly enhance package tracking.
- Collection of Data from
- Businesses such as medical
and dental practices rely on complex patient forms. Using
bar codes, detailed information can be quickly entered in
the computer. Bar codes printed by check boxes on a form
allow fast accurate data entry by simply scanning the
codes by the check boxes. This makes an easy task of
gathering large amounts of information for a client.
Reduced data collection costs and better service are the
- Productivity Measurement
- Productivity measurement is a
practice that can drastically reduce labor costs in
manufacturing, warehousing, and most other types of
business. A well-managed system will allow supervisors to
isolate the problems that may come up so that they can
take steps to solve them. Within an organization,
departments may have different types of activities,
making it difficult for supervisors to keep track of what
everyone is doing. Productivity-measurement systems
automatically track what work is being done and compare
the work to expected output. When the results do not
measure up, supervisors can take corrective action.
- This type of informed
supervision and management can typically cut department
costs by 15 to 20 percent.
- These are just a few examples
to get you started thinking about what you can do with
bar codes. Bar code systems routinely save companies
money while improving quality, on-time performance, and
other key business factors.
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modified: March 21, 2006