Total Cost of Ownership of a Barcode Verifier: A Use Case

 In 201

Barcode verifiers are expensive. Sticker shock is not uncommon. The price is high.

Price is a simple number. Cost is another matter. How much does it cost to own a verifier? There are several contributors:

  • Ongoing maintenance
    • Annual re-certification to ISO compliance
    • Regular recalibration for reflectivity
  • Repairs
    • Replacing scratched or damaged scanner glass
    • Replacing damaged or worn USB cables
    • Repairing or replacing broken buttons, handles or other critical parts
  • Replacement of an old, obsolete or unrepairable verifier

What is the Total Cost of Ownership of a Barcode Verifier?

Together with the initial purchase price, these aggregate into the total cost of ownership or TCO.

Like your house or car, there are things you can do to control the TCO of a barcode verifier. Here is what we do in our barcode test lab:

  1. Re-certify the verifier using a Performance Qualification (PQ) Test kit. This is an option available from some verifier manufacturers. It contains a set of precision images of barcodes with engineered, calibrated errors. Scan them with your verifier and confirm that the verifier detects and measures the errors within the stated tolerances. If it does, you can re-certify your verifier as ISO compliant. This keeps your ISO auditor and your CFO happy.

This also saves the time and cost of shipping the verifier back to the manufacturer, and keeps your verifier on-site and available for use. One PQ test kit can re-certify many verifiers—you do not need multiple copies.

  1. Some verifiers come with a reflectance calibration card. Users routinely recalibrate their devices using this card—there is no cost unless the card is lost, damaged or faded by exposure to bright light. We store our reflectance re-cal cards carefully, handle them carefully and replace them as needed. They have a 2 year shelf life.
  2. We have limited experience with repairs: our verifiers are carefully handled and seldom break. They are also very well built, attested to by their 2 year factory warranty. Factory repairs are available, as are renewable annual maintenance contracts.

Verifiers Turn the Total Cost of Ownership On Its Head

Our use-case as a test lab is somewhat unique but our experience with these devices can be replicated anywhere. In more typical situations where verifiers are (or should be) used, there is a much neglected element that turns the Total Cost of Ownership conversation on its head. Verifiers pay for themselves.

While the CFO is amortizing the capital investment in a verifier, it is quietly, stealthily and literally saving the company uncounted amounts of money in wasted resources prevented by:


  • Detecting a developing barcode problem before it grows into a full blown failure
  • Averting the chargebacks that would have ensued
  • making customer loyalty possible and providing essential ongoing support for it

How many times in its operational life has a verifier been this quiet safeguard?  The lack of drama guards the secret.

What is the Total Cost of Ownership of a barcode verifier? It is just a question of how many times it will save a trading partner relationship, your reputation and your future business—and much you value a good night’s sleep.

#barcode #verifier #cost #ownership

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