Why does barcode quality matter?

There are many important reasons why you need your barcodes to meet industry quality standards or specifications.  In a nutshell…

Barcodes serve to uniquely identify:

• Products
• Trade items
• Logistic units
• Locations
• Assets
• Relationships

Your code will need to scan properly throughout the supply chain to effectively accomplish automatic data transfer….a primary reason for using barcodes.  The time to verify your barcodes' quality is before you have a problem.  You might think it improbable that a problem will occur, and it is true that you might skate by …never having an issue.  But if a problem does occur, it can be catastrophic for any business.

Incorrect or non-conforming barcodes can lead to mistakes or increased processing time for shipping, identification and tracking of individual items, pricing, inventory and distribution.  Additionally, retailers or channel partners may impose fines and penalties, or ACR (automated cost recovery) fees for each barcode that does not function properly.

Quality - conforming to industry standards (GS1, AIM, ISO/ANSI) - barcode use reduces potential costs or liabilities in terms of penalty fees or reimbursements to channel/distribution partners for expenses they incurred.  It lets users avoid manual, time consuming entry of data, and allows for smooth, easy processing and tracking.  And not least….employees and customers will be happier if barcode data properly scans.

Barcode quality should be addressed in every stage of production

• Choose the correct type of barcode/symbology (UPC, ISBN, GS1 128, etc.)
• Ensure that accurate data is encoded into the barcode symbology
• Use flawless / conforming digital files or artwork
• Printing - adjust (size/magnification, BWA - bar width adjustment, etc.) according to substrate (material to be printed), print process, ink, and color so that images meet defined quality standards as verified by an ISO/ANSI inspection instrument

If you produce and use your barcodes according to industry standards, they will be an indispensable tool in the automated data transfer process….a key to efficient and economical procedures and successful, profitable operations.