Barcode Quality Use Cases

 In Barcode Advice

Yes, actual use cases, not something we made up. These are real use cases with recently purchased barcode verifiers. For reasons everyone can understand, identities and specific circumstances are confidential.

Good barcodes support restful sleep

A leading manufacturer of bedding fabrics, mattresses and related products was getting chargebacks on bad barcodes from their label printers. They installed Axicon 7025-S inline verifiers on their Zebra printers and the chargebacks were eliminated. The verifiers automatically pause the printer when a bad barcode is detected. The verifiers have been in place for less than a year and have already paid for themselves.

Bad but could be worse

A major US consumer goods retailer assessed a chargeback to an Asian supplier. This amount was deducted from the supplier’s invoice.  The charge-back covered the cost of over-labeling a sea freight container of seasonal clothing. The market for seasonal clothing is too short to permit return shipment to correct low quality source-marked barcodes. The charge-back included the cost of printing labels and the labor to affix them to thousands of articles.

The damage? Over $40,000. It could have been worse. The retainer caught the problem before breaking down the container into shipments to their distribution centers. The future will be better. The supplier now verifiers their labels before shipping new product to their US retailer.

Bad Medicine

A global drug company uses barcoded labels on reagent cartridges to track blood test samples. The barcodes are small and laminated. Instances of low first read rates increased to a point where the pharma company sent a quality alert to the supplier. Everyone including the supplier assumed the barcodes were at fault, but could not find a cause. Their verifier confirmed that the barcodes were within specified tolerances. That set off an investigation of the scanners in the reagent testing devices. They were out of specification. The verifier not only saved the supplier, but identified the real problem.

A no risk no-brainer

Realizing the need to verifier their barcodes, a Midwest corrugated convertor asked to demonstrate a verifier for large GTIN-14 barcodes before committing to a purchase. During the trial period, the verifier alerted them to three quality incidents. The damages would have cost them in excess of $25,000. They purchased several verifiers—one for each print station.

Verifiers are undeniably expensive if all you consider is cost. But when the potential risk of a bad barcode getting into your—or your customer’s—supply chain, the cost of a verifier is just a number. It is really about value. Verifiers can signal a problem. They can pinpoint to exact problem and point to the solution. Verifiers can confirm that a scanning problem is not the fault of the barcode. What is the value of protecting your product and your reputation?

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