Inline or Offline Barcode Verification? A Third Choice.

 In Barcode Testing

Inline barcode verification is getting a hard sell these days, but it is not the best solution for everyone. The same can be said for offline or spot-checking verification, although it is better than not verifying at all. And both verification methods have pro’s and con’s. Isn’t there another way?

Pro’s and Con’s

Consider using a barcode testing service. There is no initial investment with a testing bureau like Barcode Test LLC. You pay only for generating the verification reports and a small fee for interpreting the results. Here are some of the other pro’s:

  • Benchmark the barcode print quality
  • Benchmark the compliance of barcode data structure
  • Identify specific ways to improve barcode quality
  • Familiarize yourself with verification report
  • Learn what verifier is best for your samples, in case you plan to eventually buy one

…and accomplish all of this without buying a verifier, hiring and training a verifier operator.

Barcode Testing Service

As with any solution, there are also con’s to using a barcode testing service:

  • There is time and expense to shipping barcode samples to a testing service
  • Some testing services do not respond quickly, although Barcode Test LLC always responds within hours of receiving test samples
  • It can feel risky to release sensitive barcode samples to an unknown vendor, although reputable testing services willingly sign NDA’s and will return or destroy test samples as instructed

Verifying an email-attached file partially eliminates the first con but leaves significant aspects of the barcode untested. Only the structure of the barcode can be verified; none the ISO print quality attributes can be verified since it is the testing service’s local printer that generates the image.

Verify a PDF?

Verification of a PDF or other file is significantly less meaningful than testing a live barcode on you label or package.

What is the right verification method for you? The one that best fits your near-term needs and your current budget. Your budget should be based on your risk profile. How many barcoded-related liabilities have you had in the past year? How much did they cost in real dollars and potential lost future business?

One more budget consideration. If you have had no barcode mistakes, do you know how close you have come to a barcode quality problem? Scanning barcodes with your smartphone or scanner does not assure you that your customer’s scanner will scan identically.  Only a verifier can predict barcode scanning performance for all types of scanners, based on international standards.

Questions? Comments? Contact us here. Schedule a free 15 minute meeting here.


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