Barcode printing and reading for speed and precision

Standard bar codes first came into real commercial use in 1970 with the first UGPIC codification system for supermarket inventory. The UPC or Uniform Product Code, the current standard, was invented in 1973. The first barcode scanners were installed in a supermarket in 1974.

Since they first appeared, standard product codes have vastly increased the efficiency of inventory control, customer service, retail operations, and security functions. The codes and associated readers and printers have opened a whole new generation of self-serve operations and immensely speeded and reduced the error rate at check outs.

Standard UPC codes originate with a non-profit corporation called GS1 (previously known as the Uniform Code Council). GS1 registers all commercial, retail or industrial users of UPC codes and keeps an inventory of standard UPC codes for all product names and quantities sold. That means the UPC code printed on any product in the United States will be readable in any location where it is scanned. Each user of the UPC code links that code to the user's own inventory and pricing data through its own computer database.

If a company needs to add new products or listings to its inventory, the GS1 list of standard UPC codes is consulted and the listed entry is added. Any products or innovations need to be officially added to the GS1 list. Fees are charged for the GS1 services. The UPC code system is analogous to the ISBN system of book listings that covers every published book. In that case an author will buy any number of available ISBN numbers and then inform the ISBN issuing agency (in the United States it's the privately held company, R.R. Bowker). All ISBN numbers are assigned a unique UPC code as well.

Establishing and maintaining a complete UPC based inventory control system will bring about major cost and efficiency savings to any manufacturing, retail or warehousing operation. However an initial investment in barcoding IT support, the hardware, computer applications and training will probably be required to  implement the system.

Please contact us for more information.

Yes! I want to track and move materials more efficiently

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