Utilizing Barcodes for Efficiency

Barcodes are an older technology which have been used in many different industries for a very long time. The most well recognized type of barcode is a series of vertical lines of varying degrees of thickness. They can be scanned to provide a computer or other device a set of information, which can then be acted upon.

There are many different types of barcodes and related technologies, including the QR code, that work in very similar ways. While the information contained in the barcode itself is relatively limited, programs that take that data can be extremely useful. Many companies use barcodes for many different reasons, including improving efficiency.

Internal Barcode System

Barcodes are seen all around us with billions of them being produced each day. This is made possible because each company can have their own unique barcode system. Scanning the same barcode from within two separate companies can trigger entirely separate actions. Creating an internal barcode system is as simple as having the software to run it, which is widely available.

Once the software itself is set up, you can have barcodes scanned and produce a wide variety of different types of information that can be used in many different ways. Learning about some of the ways that barcodes can be used for efficiency within a workplace will help to give you ideas on how you can benefit your facility.

Using Barcodes to Improve Efficiency

There are many ways that you can use barcodes to improve efficiency within your organization. The following are some of the different proven options:

  • Improving Organization – When something is brought into the facility it can be assigned a barcode and that barcode will include information about what the item is and where it is being stored.
  • Locating Items – When a part or other item is needed the barcode can be scanned and the computer system will identify exactly where it currently is so it can be quickly found.
  • Reducing Theft & Loss – Since each item within the facility will have its own barcode, it is much easier to keep track of things. This will reduce the risk of having items lost or stolen.
  • Package Handling – Major shipping companies like UPS and FedEx use barcode technology to identify and sort packages. Any facility that receives or sends large number of items can benefit from a similar setup.

Of course, there are many other ways that a good barcode system can be used to improve efficiency within the facility.

How to Create Barcodes

Since barcodes are a simple technology it is not at all difficult to create new barcodes to be used within a system. When a new barcode is generated, it can be scanned once to enter into the system and then it will be available until it is removed. You can use barcode generators to create free barcodes that can be scanned, then printed off onto paper, labels, or other items so that they can be applied to various items within your facility.

Choosing Barcode Technology

When starting to use barcodes for your facility one of the most important things you need to do is decide which barcode technology you want to use. The specific type you choose will impact the type of barcodes that are generated. Some of the most common types of barcode technologies are:

  • Code 128 – This is one of the most common barcode technologies and is often used for packaging and shipping.
  • EAN – Commonly used in libraries and universities, the European Article Numbering system, is very popular.
  • UPC – This was originally made for grocery store barcodes, but it can also be used for many other environments.
  • Code 39 – This is one of the oldest barcode technologies that are still used.

One great thing about barcode technologies is that they can be local to your own facility. This means that even if a particular barcode technology is traditionally used for one type of thing, you can still use it for anything you would like in your own facility.

Easy and Affordable

Barcode technologies are easy to implement and extremely affordable. In most situations, the only real ongoing expense is going to be with printing off new UPS labels to be used within the facility. Another great thing about this technology is that it is very easy to train employees on how to use it to get the maximum efficiency possible.

Additional Resources