Barcode labeling is a must-do for manufacturing and distribution companies, and offers a substantial opportunity for operational efficiency gains. Historically, an employee would receive material, drop it to a certain location, and then go to their workstation and manually submit a barcode number to enter it into the supply chain. This was inefficient, as there was never a clear picture of the full inventory because of potential lag time between receiving and entering the shipment data into the system, along with the potential for error in entering the barcode incorrectly.
Current scanner barcode technology reduces the number of data elements. With just one click or scan, information enters the ERP immediately, eliminating the gap between receiving and entering by hand.
1D barcoding tracks one element through the supply chain. With 2D barcoding, a single scan follows multiple line-items: purchase order, weight, size, color, etc.
Clients use this technology to automate their supply chains. Suppliers print labels, and receive and route data to different queues.
Aim for high resolution black artwork (minimum 200 dpi) on a white background. Laser scanners generally perform at higher levels than do smartphones. High contrast is ideal for increasing scanner readability.
Consider the end user when defining best practice for placement. How will employees be moving for optimal job efficiency? Maximize recognition speed by uniform barcode placement on the package. Ensure the barcode is somewhere it will not be damaged, ideally on a smooth surface. Creating an operational standard for the area or quadrant where the barcode should always be placed is best practice for highest efficiency.
Establish a padding of white space on either side of the barcode. An ⅛” is the standard minimum requirement for 1D barcodes. This tells the barcode scanner where the barcode begins and ends. A common reason barcodes fail is due to the lack of a quiet zone. 2D barcode quiet zones are calculated differently and a white space 4x the size of the module is recommended.
Error correction level:
Misshapen or malformed barcodes have historically slowed down scanner functionality, but a high error correction level algorithm allows for a correct reading of damaged barcodes.
For 1D barcodes, scan distance can also slow efficiency. Laser scanners generally perform at higher levels than smartphones for 1D scanning. Consult barcode reader’s technical specifications before installing a permanent device.
OneSCM’s Gemini solution offers label printing and single scan receiving, supporting different requests in real time and eliminating costly choke points. Want to learn more? Click here.