Bar codes - a symbol of modern business
What are the benefits of using bar codes and how can they be used in modern business?
A bar code is a graphic representation of information in the form of a combination of dark and light elements, according to the rules describing its structure. A bar code is an information carrier designed to automatically display content with the use of electronic readers.
HISTORY AND TYPES OF BAR CODES
The beginnings of work on the creation of a system for the automatic reading of information about products started in the first half of the twentieth century, but the commercial use of such solutions in the industry dates back to the late 1960s. Currently, there are many categories and types of bar codes.
The most popular one-dimensional (1D) codes are:
- EAN-13 - consists of 12 digits of data and one check digit. It is used in packaging of large dimensions
- EAN-8 - has 7 digits of data and one check digit, it is better for smaller goods
- Code 39 – this code is more user friendly because almost every scanner can read it. Due to the low data density, it is not recommended for small products.
- Code 128 - Consists of 11 black and white lines. The advantage of the code is that it allows a large amount of information to be placed in a relatively small area.
- ITF-14 - used to encode the Global Trade Item Number, it is used in the marking of overpacks.
Two-dimensional (2D) codes have a significant advantage over traditional one-dimensional codes. These are images composed of black and white squares, allowing to save much more information while keeping the size of the code itself much smaller. This solution also allows to save more complicated graphics or even sound. Among the two-dimensional 2D codes, the following can be mentioned:
- DataMatrix - a matrix bar code developed by International Data Matrix. It uses square modules, arranged inside a search pattern. The great advantage of this type of code is its fast and reliable scanning, even in the case of significant damage.
- QR code - developed in Japan in the 1990s. It is one of the best recognized and most used 2D codes in the world. QR allows you to encode characters from various alphabets, so it can be used in countries where the Latin alphabet does not apply.
- Aztec Code - a square surface in the center of which is the core (black dot), surrounded by a white frame. This white frame is surrounded by a black frame. The name of this code is a reference to the Aztec temple which, when viewed from above, closely resembles the core of the code.
BENEFITS OF USING BAR CODES
Regardless of the coding method chosen, bar codes are undoubtedly one of the best and cheapest methods of speeding up work and minimizing the risk of mistakes. This form of information recording and automatic identification can now be found on almost all items, materials, goods, semi-finished and finished products from ordinary goods on a store shelf to car registration certificates.
The main benefits of using bar codes include:
As we can see, the use of bar codes brings a number of advantages and greatly facilitates the functioning of the entire business. However, in order to implement such solutions, you need the right equipment matching the desired application and the characteristics of the company. It is necessary to have a specialized, thermal transfer barcode printer, a supply of self-adhesive paper or foil labels and a suitable scanner for reading. But most of all, it is essential to have the right software that will handle the entire process successfully.
BAR CODES WITH INTENSE PLATFORM
INTENSE Platform is a modern and multifunctional tool that can also be used when working with bar codes. The system enables printing and reading of labels. You can indicate a number of practical applications of the software in this area:
Printing a barcode for a document will help you find that specific document in the system by scanning it. This applies to the secretarial area, where a bar code with a system number is placed on incoming and outgoing letters. Scanning such a code allows you to easily locate a given document in the system. According to the same mechanism (based on the scanned code), you can also load the data of the item, which significantly improves the warehouse processes of receipt and disposal of materials, as well as inventory and stock reviews.
Bar codes significantly accelerate the inventory of materials, tools and fixed assets, as well as improve and automate the service of the tool room and equipment rental. They are also helpful in the case of periodic inspections and control cards, being used in technical documentation. The use of two-dimensional codes (e.g. popular QR codes) can also make marketing and sales processes much more attractive. The code can, for example, include a link to a website or product description. It is also possible to print business cards with a code related to the company’s portfolio. We can say that the use of ingenious methods of 2D codes is limited only by our imagination.
Due to the numerous benefits and the multitude of possible applications, it can be concluded that bar codes are a symbol of modern business. Properly used, they can contribute to the optimization and automation of many areas of the company's operation, from document records, through warehouse and service management, to marketing and promotional activities. Therefore, it is worth considering what processes can be improved in your own business with the use of bar codes. Our consultants will be happy to help you find the answer to this question and tell you about the possibilities that INTENSE Platform offers in the area of barcode use.