Barcode Quality Part II

 In 101

This article is based on a presentation by Greg Hutchins of Quality Plus Engineering, a Department of Homeland Security certified firm in Oregon. Q + E conducts critical infrastructure protection (CIP) forensics, assurance and analytics; they are a certified enterprise risk manager (CERM) and a cyber security identity theft protection consultancy. Clients include the FAA, DHS, Post of Seattle, Microsoft, Boeing and Coca-Cola.

In part I we introduced the idea that the future of quality has evolved into risk management. This is because of profound changes that have occurred in our world—a world referred to as VUCA land. This is a world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

Barcode quality is more important than ever–because the world has changed

Those of us concerned with barcode quality can readily identify with each of these in our daily experience. Volatility is the way in which the status quo which existed just a few years ago is gone. Uncertainty is the way in which old, reliable processes no longer protect us not only from risk associated with mistakes our processes may not prevent, but also from defects in incoming resources including information and raw materials. Complexity is the way in which the business environment, the ecological environment, the risk environment and a host of other environments must now be considered. Ambiguity now pervades virtually every aspect of our lives, from who we can trust to the meaning of what is communicated to us. Ambiguity is the new norm—we can no longer allow ourselves to be uncomfortable with it because it is the new reality.

Barcode quality is the second most important enterprise risk

Especially pertinent to us, in a 2010 CFO Research Services study, the top two enterprise risks were Financial Exposure and Supply Chain Disruption. Professionals in the barcode industry recognize that both of these risks are linked to barcode performance—and they are the top 2 enterprise risks. Others include Harm to Reputation, Technology Failure, Security Breach, Natural Disaster and Physical Assets Failure.

Barcode Quality Management and Risk Management are closely linked. The barcode is so integral to the functioning of the supply chain, to logistics, to inventory management, item tracing and tracking, security—to human relationships at virtually all levels, quality assurance is now business assurance in the new reality.

Barcode Quality assurance has become business assurance

In the barcode industry it is no longer legitimate for a label printer, a graphics designer, a contract package printer or anyone involved with the barcode to claim that because they have never had a barcode problem, therefore they never will.

This is not all bad news—for the proactive, the broad thinkers, those focused on predicting and preventing, it is a great opportunity.

How great an opportunity? They will own the future.


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