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Barcode Superstore


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This handy guide explains what a barcode is, how it works and how it can be used. It outlines the benefits of using a barcoding system, particularly when compared with manual data input or auditing. The slideshow gives some examples of barcode applications and which type of products are used for certain industries.

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Barcode Superstore

  1. 1. A Guide to Barcoding
  2. 2. Barcoding systems save time and effort when it comes to retail and industrial operations. It provides a way of quickly entering and collecting data without the need for manual input. Studies have shown that if data is entered manually a mistake will be made once every 300 characters entered compared to a barcode which will make an error once every 3 million characters. Barcoding was originally taken up by transport industries for vehicle identification but is now used in many applications including: - Electronics – Food – Government – Packing – Printing – Quality control - Manufacturing
  3. 3. A barcode is a way of encoding data that can be read by a machine. The bar code normally contains a unique number that correlates to a document containing readable information for people. Reading the bar code employs an optical technique because information is scanned using light that reflects from the bars and spaces within the symbol. Each industry is represented by different barcode symbologies.
  4. 4. Barcoding systems are an investment because you may need a variety of components including a scanner, label printer, label design software and PDAs. Although you need some hardware and software, generally barcoding systems pay for themselves within a year because they save so much time and therefore money too. Barcoding ensures very fast data input for inventories and pricing; this leads to greater productivity. They can also be used to manage stock levels and help organise stores. Whatever the business system, a bar code solution can be added to: • Improve service levels • Improve working environment • Improve margin.
  5. 5. The vast majority of shops have barcode systems installed; from independent gift shops to massive supermarkets. Supermarkets have mounted projection scanners on their checkouts and also upward projecting scanners on self-service tills. Smaller shops may opt for hand held scanners or wireless ones to enable them to create inventories. Supermarkets have an online database of stock which gets automatically updated as stock is sold. In most supermarkets barcode shelf-edge labels are also used. These are often used to provide pricing information to the customer.
  6. 6. Barcode systems are frequently used in warehouses to record the delivery and despatch of items, as well as stock levels of products. Using electronic data collection is far more accurate than paper-based inventory methods, as if mistakes are made customers could end up receiving the wrong products. Codes conform to an industry standard so that they can be read at different points along the delivery journey by different scanners and they will always reveal the same information. Electronic data capture greatly saves time compared to manual data entry.
  7. 7. Barcodes can be used to record the attendance and time lengths of work for employees. These are normally implemented through the use of ID cards which have unique barcodes printed on them and these are swiped or scanned by wall mounted machines which are connected to computers. This is useful for freelance workers who record their working hours, to record attendance at university lectures, or can even be used for clubs and institutions.
  8. 8. If you have any further queries about how barcode systems can benefit your business, or you want to discuss which products are right for you, please feel free to contact us. Address: GSM Printer & Label Systems Ltd Park House, Parkside Drive Houghton Regis Bedfordshire LU5 5QN Phone: 0845 269 6689 Email: Website: