Barcode Quality Training—Why?

 In Barcode Quality Training

Photo by Jana Sabeth

You have years, maybe decades of barcode experience. Maybe you have been printing barcodes on packaging for hundreds of customers. Or maybe you manage the barcodes for your brand, on dozens of products. Never had a problem. You could probably teach a course on barcode quality. Why would you ever need barcode training?

Two very different types of people would answer this question.  There is the person with years of barcode experience, who also had a barcode verifier.  There is the person with years of barcode experience without a verifier. Both types need barcode quality training, and for the same reason.

Two Kinds of People

The most important underlying reason for barcode quality training is liability. Bad barcodes do damage. Financial damage in the form of chargebacks and penalties. Reputation damage to the vendor who produces bad barcodes. Lost confidence of trading partners. Supply chain damage done by barcodes that fail to perform.  The person without a verifier has no idea how many times and how close they have come to these liabilities. No idea. Maybe never very close at all. Maybe on the brink innumerable times.

Those with barcode verifiers are less likely to be living in the cloud of unearned overconfidence, but not immune to risk. Barcode quality training keeps you current with changes. Barcodes standards are constantly evolving. Unless you keep up to date on our own (who really does that?), you fall behind. You do not even know it. Periodic training by an outside expert keeps you up to speed.

Technology is Nothing without Teamwork

There is a context around barcode technology. Getting a glimpse at the long history of barcodes, how they have evolved. It teaches the importance of barcodes. How much we rely on them. How important it is for them to work right.

Photo by Josh Calabrese

Barcode quality is important because not everybody takes it seriously. Weird? Ironic! A company diligent about barcode quality will probably be less likely to incur financial setbacks and more likely to have a loyal customer base willing to pay a bit more for a better product. Less quality-focused companies are more likely to struggle, losing customers and looking for new ones. Guess where the lost customers go.

Barcode quality training is about learning. People who love to learn take their jobs and their lives seriously. It gives them a sense of doing something worthwhile, something important. Quality is more than just saving money

and protecting a reputation. Quality is an act of caring. Quality is not free, but it is generous.

Teamwork is Nothing without Caring

Recently I presented a barcode quality seminar to a group in a packaging company. A mix of people with years of experience and newbies, clean-handed front office types and ink-stained production floor people. Even the maintenance team. After all the slides about the history and future of barcodes; after the fine detail about check digits and quiet zones, I finished by suggesting that good quality barcodes made them a better vendor. It made their jobs more important. It helped their company stay healthy—and probably made their jobs more secure.

You could have heard a pin drop. Nobody snickered or rolled their eyes. People spoke their minds in the post-survey. They hadn’t realized how important barcodes were, how important barcode quality is, what a difference they could make. That was not a cheerleader job. I just told them how it is.

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