Posts Tagged ‘bar coding’

A recent article from the December 2010 issue of Business Solutions Magazine (a magazine devoted to “Growth Strategies for the IT Channel”) informs resellers about the latest trends in bar code technology.  A few highlights of interest to those who use bar coding in the warehouse, on the sales floor, or anywhere in between…

Bar code printers have long played a large part in providing cost-effective business controls and improved efficiencies.  Current trends continue to include bar coding as a key technology, driven by customer requirements, 2-D bar code technology and alternate uses of the technology.

Many users have found that direct thermal printers have provided advantages for printing bar code labels over laser and ribbon-based printers, in terms of saving time and money from ribbons, label jams and the like.

Today’s applications often include the need for more variable data being placed into the bar code itself, the ability to encrypt data, and the need for the bar code to last for a longer period of time in some environments and applications. 

One leading label printer manufacturer we often recommend to our clients, Zebra Technologies, sees a trend towards item-level tagging using what is called closed loop RFID applications.  Matching what was ordered to what was received is critical to planning inventory management, but the real benefit they note is the combination of inventory accuracy with item availability on the retail floor. 

As Mike Terzich, Sr. VP of Global Sales for Zebra, notes… “Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) and RFID have always been about ROI… anytime you see new opportunities for efficiency gains through better asset tracking, you’ll have a nice emerging trend.”

He notes that bar coding has traditionally seen sold on the improvement of inventory management and, by result, cost improvement.  But the ancillary benefit he notes is “the sales lift that stock visibility brings to retailers.  If a customer can’t find the item they’re looking for quickly, that customer will often leave and take that potential sale with them.  This equates to hidden lost revenue.”  RFID and bar coding technologies that allow staff to locate items quickly can prevent this.

Finally, the article notes that bar code printers are becoming ever more versatile with more communications options, simpler user interfaces and easy daily usage.  Programming involving these printers is more interactive than ever, allowing for greater throughput, flexibility and more robust operation and recovery.

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