Barcodes play an essential role in efficiently managing businesses and sales all over the world. They provide a flexible means to capture and share data electronically. Every character in a barcode is articulated as a series of narrow and wide bars. They have unique start and stop codes that can be scanned forward and backward with the help of barcode scanners. The barcode scanner sends a signal to the computer so that the barcode information is decoded. A diversity of barcodes exists for a wide range of applications.
• Numeric-only Barcodes – Numeric-only barcodes can encode only numbers, therefore, their name. It includes the Universal Product Code (UPC) and is commonly used in United States and Canada. Numeric-only barcodes asset tags are used for self checking and error correction. They are usually used in retail stores, library systems and telecommunication equipment.
• Alpha-numeric Barcodes – As the same indicate, these barcodes encode both numbers and letters. Logistics Applications of Automated Marking and Reading Symbols (LOGMARS) meet the US Government specifications for tracking and data collection. It is all purpose barcode which is used worldwide. It can include a large quantity of information and is used for error reduction. Alpha-numeric barcodes are used widely in healthcare industry.
• Two-dimensional Barcodes – It is created by Universal Parcel Service in its automated package sorting system. Two-dimensional barcodes are used for material control and order confirmation. The information is stored both horizontally and vertically in the code. As they have two-dimensional information, they are often misread than traditional one-dimensional codes that store horizontal information only. To avoid misreads, 2D codes contain check words to make sure correct data transmission. They are generally used for encoding a large amount of information.
• Industry-standard Barcodes – Industry-universal barcode system is created by different industries. Own barcode system is used by many industries for example, International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique eight-digit number and is used to identify an electronic periodical publication.
A lot of time is saved with the barcode tracking system. But the problem arises with all these options available, which barcode is the best way out. Today, barcode scanning has become so convenient that you can do it with the click of your phone. No complicated scanners are necessary.
The barcode quality is enormously important too. Few rules will help in barcode selection:
• For domestic and in-house tracking system, such as inventories of equipment, a numeric-only barcode is good enough.
• When a large amount of data is included in the barcode, a two-dimensional barcode is the best.
• When a product is sold internationally, it should be labeled with a numeric-only barcode.
• Some products will require an industry-specific barcode, so research will help to determine whether specific barcode exits for a given product.
In supplement to time saved in tracking down of products, barcodes provides an excellent chance to improve operations and increase income over time. With manifold layouts, barcodes can be perfect for internal and external use of any industry.