Did you know that barcode was invented in the United States by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph in 1952?
The technology took more than 20 years before commercial application, and the first Universal Product Code was used in 1974.
Fast forward to today, barcode technology has evolved to become an indispensable technology. They help businesses owners to minimize human error, cut costs, reduce employees’ training time, and keep a watchful eye on the inventory.
But despite the growing popularity of barcodes, many business owners don’t know how to choose the right barcode scanner system for their businesses.
In this piece, we’ll look at what to consider when choosing a barcode scanning system. Read on!
1. Pay Attention to Your Product Line
When selecting a barcode scanning system, you should ensure it’ll work well for your type of business.
If you manufacture or handle small products, you should select a barcode system that prints 2D codes such as Datamatrix codes and QR codes, which can pack lots of data into a small space. The system should also have 2D barcode scanners that can read small, damaged, or poorly printed barcodes.
If you deal with large products, you can select any scanning system as long as its components are efficient and easy to use.
2. Consider Your Barcoding Needs
Many manufacturers today are incorporating barcodes into their packaging, and this has eliminated the need for retailers and wholesalers to print new barcode labels.
However, if you want to print your barcode tags or labels as a retailer, you can find reliable barcode scanning systems that can help you do that. However, you have to be a certified member of the GS1 US to use these systems if you’re in the US.
GS1 US, formerly known as the Uniform Code Council, is a non-profit organization that assigns Universal Product Code (UPC) to the US companies.
After identifying your barcoding needs, you’ll need to thinks of how to incorporate the new barcode scanning system into your organization without hurting its business model.
3. The Components of the Barcode Scanner System
Every barcode system comprises of two parts: hardware and software.
The hardware includes barcode printers, label applicators, data terminals, and barcode scanners. The software is the program that creates and collects all data about the product and the barcode.
Make sure you understand how these components work. That way, you’ll be able to tell if a particular system will meet your business needs or not.
You’ll also figure out which components must be in your barcode system and which ones you can do without.
4. Industry Specialization
What barcode systems do businesses in your industry use?
Asking this essential question will let you know which system will best suit your company.
You can contact Idezi Group and seek recommendations or look at the systems that your competitors use. They can help you to choose a reputable barcode system that is reliable and efficient.
5. Type of Barcode Scanners
The barcode scanner is probably the essential component of a barcode system. Therefore, you need to ensure that your system has a reliable barcode scanner.
Here are the four main types of barcode scanners.
Wand or Pen Barcode Scanners
Pen barcode scanners have a LED light and a photodiode at their tips.
How do they work?
When this scanner is slid over a code, the light is reflected from the black and white bars to the photodiode, which converts the light into digital information. This type of scanner is the least expensive of them all.
The only problem with these scanners is that they are slow and a human error can lead to inaccuracy in the information obtained.
Laser Barcode Scanners
Laser barcode scanners are the most popular in the business world. They can either be mounted or handheld.
How do they work?
Laser barcode scanners work just like the wand type but are more accurate and fast.
A standard-range laser scanner can read a barcode that is six to 24-inches away. The long-range laser scanners can read codes from 30 feet away.
Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Barcode Scanners
CCD scanners, also called LED scanners, are more expensive than most other units, but they are fast and more accurate. They have hundreds of LED lights that can read and convert codes into readable data.
These scanners are mainly used in Point of Sale (POS) applications.
The problem with CCD scanners is that they can’t decode barcodes that are longer than their scanning faces. The other problem is that they should be held not less than three inches from the code.
Camera-Based Barcode Scanners (Imager Scanners)
These scanners feature a video camera that takes a picture of the code, which is then converted into digital information using sophisticated decoding techniques.
The main advantage of investing in an imager scanner is that it’s fast and can decode regardless of how the code is placed.
Corded Vs. Cordless Scanners
Based on the type of connectivity, there are two types of scanners: corded and cordless.
If you don’t have a big business or many items, you can go for a corded scanner.
Cordless units are best suited for the busy and big factories or warehouses, where a corded unit could restrict movement. Cordless units are also the right choice in environments where a cord could be damaged.
You may also need to learn a few inventory management best practices to increase efficiency in your warehouse.
Another important factor you need to consider is the cost. Make sure that the system you choose will not ruin your budget.
However, you should avoid cheap barcode systems because most of them are made of low-quality materials and may give inaccurate results.
Choose a barcode system that will help to increase profitability and improve your customer experience.
With the constant emergence of new barcode systems, choosing the right one may be challenging. But this shouldn’t scare you. All you need is to follow this guide.
If you apply the tips we’ve highlighted, you’ll undoubtedly find a barcode scanner system that matches your needs.
Remember to check out our business resources page for more business tips and other helpful articles.