Barcode Quality: It’s Important
Why is barcode quality important? The best response is to discuss where barcodes are used. Hint: they are EVERYWHERE. Let’s start with your everyday life.
Everything in a grocery store, auto parts store, clothing store, electronics store, whether a big box store or mom-and-pop neighborhood store, is barcoded. Barcodes identify what is sold, replenish the inventory, track what’s popular, and prevent up to 96% of data entry errors.*
Furthermore, barcodes got those commodities delivered safely, accurately and time. Supply chains run on barcodes.
When barcodes don’t work right, it’s an inconvenience to the consumer. It’s also an expense to the retailer and a possible disaster. If the barcode fails to scan it also fails to identify what was sold. If it scans but mis-identifies the product, it could be a financial loss to the retailer, and it could be life-threatening to the buyer. What if the barcode does not identify the sold product as something that contains peanuts or some other allergen? The consequences would be dire.
Barcodes not only mark a product. Often parts and subassemblies in the product are also barcoded. They aid in the manufacturing process, ensuring a made-to-order product has all of its correct parts. No big deal if the product is a computer or radio. It just won’t work right. But what the end product is a pharmaceutical product? Barcodes mark the raw ingredients in a drug formulary. They ensure the right products are used, from the specified source and batch.
Recently the FDA recalled a popular medical device, manufactured by a well-known company. The device is a heart assist pump. A defect causes the devices to overheat, or to erroneously think it is overheating—and shut down. At the time of the recall, dozens of people were injured, hundreds inconvenienced and one has died. The barcode enabled the manufacturer to identify where, when and to whom those devices were sold. Further injuries and deaths prevented.
Medical implants such as replacement joints and bones are also barcoded. The barcode is scanned in the surgical theater at installation. If that hip or knees is found to have a fault, the barcode is what linked it to the manufacturer, the hospital, the procedure and the patient.
Security and Access Control
Every major sports and entertainment event now uses barcoded tickets. Airline boarding basses and luggage tags are also barcoded. Barcodes link the ticket to the attendee and log them in, preventing entrance by imposters.
Questions or comments are welcome. Contact us or book a free consultation here.
*Statistic from medical administration records and represents drug dispensing errors, cited from Scientific Research Publishing, Inc.
John helps companies resolve current barcode problems and avoid future barcode problems to stabilize and secure their supply chain and strengthen their trading partner relationships.