Barcode Seminar: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do To Avoid Barcode Disaster
OK, that title is a bit dramatic—especially from me. But there is more truth than hyperbole in that statement. There is a “…most important thing you can do…”, a thing that is more important than anything else you can do to identify and manage barcode-related risk and liability.
Verification is important but a barcode seminar is even more important
A Barcode seminar is the single most important thing you can do to avoid barcode disaster—get educated about what can go wrong with a barcode. Get informed about how to correctly assign your product or item numbers; get familiar with the standards and specifications in your business sector. Add to this a most important proviso: this should not be a generic, 10,000 foot view of “barcode technology” unless that’s what you most want and need. Your barcode seminar should be concise and customized.
One size fits none. A high value seminar barcode seminar should be about your specific situation, your company and your trading partners, the symbology(ies) you use, the standards to which you must comply, the printing method(s) you employ, the vendors who supply your packaging and labels—and anybody else with who touches or uses your barcodes.
One size fits none: a effective barcode seminar must be highly customized to your needs
It is often said that the most important thing for barcode quality is to verify; verification is very important, but it is not the most important thing. Verifiers are eyeballs: they give you the ability to see; a good barcode seminar gives you the ability to perceive and understand your business landscape, to make wise decisions and lead your team toward a shared, agreed-upon goal.
How can you tell a high value barcode seminar from an average one—before the fact? How do you know you’re not just paying for somebody to come out and try to sell you something more?
Expect to be questioned in great detail about what you need and why. If the disclosures are sensitive or even confidential, ask about a non-disclosure agreement. Experienced barcode seminar presenters provide one as standard operating procedure.
A good barcode seminar takes planning: expect to spend some time with your consultant just getting prepared
Expect to spend some time getting the barcode seminar presenter up to speed: a good presenter will know a lot about barcode standards and specifications, but not necessarily so much about your particular operating environment. The more time you spend in preparation, the more efficient, cost justified, on-point and immediately applicable your seminar experience will be.
Concerned that the barcode seminar provider might be getting you to pay them so they can come in and try to sell you verifiers? Ask for a written covenant promising not to use the seminar as a marketing tool.
Still not sure about the barcode seminar provider you are interviewing? Ask for referrals!
Expect to pay a reasonable fee for an on-site barcode seminar. Webinars have their place but if you want to engage a team, it is important to build trust with a credible presenter. A good education will not be free—but it should also be justifiable; you should feel excited and positive before your barcode seminar, and after it, you should feel vindicated in your decision and confident in what you have learned.