Barcodes have seamlessly blended into our lives. What can be barcoded gets barcoded to give us the speed today’s fast-paced world requires. We’ve had quite a few customers wondering if HandiFox could process GS1 barcodes and what it would mean for their inventory management processes. Let’s get into the weeds of barcodes and drill down on the GS1 DataBar type and why it stands out.
The origin and anatomy of GS1 barcodes
Generally, there are two types of barcodes - 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional. The linear or 1D barcodes feature a group of barcode types which vary in the use of different symbology. UPC, EAN, Code128, Code39 are the most widely-recognized 1D barcodes. A good example of a 2-dimensional barcode would be a QR-code, by looking at which you can tell it’s so different from 1D barcodes graphically. Where do GS1 barcodes fall into and what sets them apart?
GS1 is a not-for-profit organization which develops standards for, controls and manages the use of particular types of barcodes, both 1D and 2D (see the list here). GS1 DataBar barcodes are known to be advanced 1D barcodes with embedded data. Unlike other 1D barcodes, which pretty much only have a product’s name encoded within, GS1 DataBar barcodes hold a lot more information about an item. These data embedded barcodes can tell you what the product’s lot number, serial number, expiry date, quantity, weight, company code and more.
Who uses GS1 DataBar?
The short answer would be retailers. Scanning GS1 DataBar reduces checkout time as through only one scan the computer knows so much about the product leaving the store. So, if you want your product to be sold elsewhere, at other stores, you will have to license a company prefix with GS1 and purchase GS1 certified barcodes for your inventoried items. However, the use of these barcodes is not confined to retail.
Some of our non-retail clients need to receive products with GS1 DataBar barcodes from their vendors and check them into their warehouses. The manual input of all associated data, like lot number, weight, quantity, etc is obviously out of the question - there’ll be simply no time left to do anything else. HandiFox Desktop is totally up to the job. The software can read and record the information embedded in this barcode. It also can help you customize associated barcode labels and print them (contact us for details on customizable labels).
Business benefits of using GS1 DataBar barcodes
If you intend to sell to retail companies, GS1 barcodes will get your foot in the door by making your products compliant with a global standard.
If you have no intention of getting your products on the shelves of a retail store but there are GS1 barcoded items in your stock - all the more reason to take advantage of these barcodes. Whenever you are doing a cycle count, or an inventory transfer or scanning an item in on a sales order or invoice, you are saving so much time by not filling all these fields manually. Not so say anything of how much more accurate all these processes become.
We are pleased to see so many companies to be quick on the uptake of barcoding technologies. If you have trouble getting the hang of barcodes, book a demo with us.