The Very Real Return On Investment of a Barcode Verifier
A common and undeniable objection to barcode verifiers is that they are expensive. Compared to a scanner, a verifier is indeed pricey, but the comparison is flawed. One could argue that a scanner is a tool for making money, like a hammer or a drill, and in the hands of a worker, it will generate incremental income. The cost of quality control is often viewed as overhead, but a verifier will generate many times its initial value in savings from prevented chargebacks and other liabilities from inaccurate or incorrect barcodes. An intangible but important benefit of verification is the confidence and loyalty good barcodes bring to trading partners in a supply chain. The return on investment for a verifier may seem imagined, but it is authentic. Here are some very real examples.
- A vendor to a big box retailer was getting chargebacks for bad GTIN14 barcodes on their outer cartons. They acquired an Axicon 7015 verifier for about $4500 and it saved them $5000 in the first week.
- Fines of $20,000 to $30,000 are charged to an Asian garment manufacturer for relabeling over bad barcodes on sea freight bound for a major US department store. Axicon verifiers at point-of-departure have eliminated all chargebacks and pay for themselves repeatedly every week.
- In the first 12 months of ownership, an East Coast soft goods distributor saved $50,000 in chargeback prevention with (2) Axicon verifiers.
Chargebacks are only one way verifiers pay for themselves. Here are some other cases:
- A manufacturer of medical supplies used a verifier to find a more reliable way to print barcodes on their infusion bag products.
- A major medical device company used their ISO compliant Axicon verifier to prove that the alleged problem with their barcodes was the fault of the user’s scanners and not the barcodes. The user was chagrined, grateful for the news and impressed with the diligence of the vendor.
- Pick list barcodes at a Midwest manufacturer were increasingly longer and difficult to scan. The user suspected the 1D barcodes were too long and was getting quotes on a large quantity of new scanners. A verifier pinpointed the problem as poor quality barcodes; the expense of needlessly replacing hundreds of scanners was avoided.
Keeping poor quality barcodes from escaping does not completely eliminate cost and waste. Even if a chargeback is averted, the bad barcodes must still be replaced. The idea place for barcode verification is where—and when—the barcodes are printed. Bad barcodes detected during printing can be corrected with minimal wasted time and material.
Axicon 1D verifiers can be used as a reflectance densitometer, to test the viability of color combinations for the barcode and its background—even before the barcode has been printed. When the customer insists on a questionable barcode color scheme, a sign-off can save the printer from later regret—and save the account if the customer can be convinced to heed the savvy printer’s warning. That’s the work of a great vendor, and it is often rewarded with loyalty.