Barcode Quality: To What End?
We have beaten the drum of barcode quality for the better part of 40 years. It may only be a slight exaggeration to say that we have made every possible argument for why barcode quality is important. I believe that every one of them is valid today. Here are some of those points.
…maintains important item databases.
In retail, barcodes are the most accurate data carrier that credits the sale and debits the inventory for replenishment. Barcodes were the brainchild of retail—grocery to be specific.
…supports manufacturing operations.
Barcodes ensure accuracy in complex operations involving ingredients, subassemblies and parts. From pharmaceutical formulation to aerospace manufacturing, barcodes ensure that it goes right. Barcodes make sure the correct resources are used, and that they are always available.
…enables the supply chain.
Without a functioning barcode, it is difficult if not impossible to track product movement from point to point. From the manufactured end product to its final destination, and at every interim stage; from aggregation into a pallet, into a sea freight container or rail car, in transit to a point of entry or bulk breaking operation. Through a cross-dock or distribution center and off to point of sale.
Barcodes are the backbone of our postal system. They are the basis for logistics-driven businesses: Amazon and the couriers that serve them could not exist without barcodes. That birthday gift or Hallowe’en costume will arrive at your door on time thanks for barcodes.
…keeps us safe.
Barcoded passenger boarding passes make sure we get on the right transport. Whether Eurostar from London to Paris and airliners from Albuquerque to New Zealand, barcodes secure entry to buildings, concerts and sports events. They make sure the right medication is administered to children in schools and patients in hospitals. And they ensure that liquor stores do not sell alcohol to underage people. Barcodes that work right make this possible.
It is not overstated to declare that barcodes drive the economy. Apart from war and ethnic oppression, economic failure is what motivates most of the global migration. It is what brought my ancestors to the United States. Barcodes keep cultures stable, relevant and functioning.
Barcode Quality—to What End?
If there is one penultimate thing that barcodes do, what would that be? What single attribute is the ingredient that covers everything discussed above? Barcode quality—to what end?
Properly working barcodes help us keep promises.
Not everybody likes hazelnut butter over chocolate, and barcodes ensure that whatever we like will be there and taste like what we expect. Some people prefer a Ford truck, others like Chevrolet. They are different, and barcodes keep them both good—and different.
You do not believe that barcode quality is important? Maybe it is time to think again. Comments are welcome. Contact us here.
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.