Barcodes for Inventory
By Richard Romando
Barcodes for inventory purposes are used to identify and list inventories in businesses dealing with a large number of goods. Barcodes are efficient tools for maintaining large inventory records; they save time and manpower because the procedure is systemized and standardized. Above all, barcodes are very specific to the product.
The information encoded in barcodes cannot be read using human eyes, and making the copies of them requires specialized pieces of equipment, which are costly. Therefore, barcodes are free from duplications.
Barcodes for inventory are made up of paper, vinyl, plastic, or metal; they are self-adhesive and can be easily affixed to the product. These barcode labels are designed by computers using specific barcode software programs and are printed using either laser printers or special standalone printers made expressly for printing barcodes. The techniques used for creating barcodes for inventory purposes are reflective printing and photocomposition.
Barcodes for inventory use are either line bars or two-dimensional encoding bars. In line bars, information is coded as a sequence of vertical lines. In two-dimensional encoding, the information is coded as a pattern of dots of varying thickness. Most barcodes for inventory usage are designed by companies themselves, customizing the barcodes as per their needs. Some companies order customized barcodes from barcode manufacturing companies, who supply barcodes in bulk quantities.
Barcodes for inventory usage have many more digits than normal barcodes. Most companies usually follow the standard twelve-digit number system. These digits give information about the company, product, category number, and date of dispatch of the product. Once the articles are tagged with barcode labels, information is indexed to the database of the company by using scanners.
Barcodes for inventory purposes are virtually error-free. It takes only a few seconds for the entire process of printing, scanning, and decoding the label, and it requires minimal human work. Barcode software can also be linked with other database programs. Often, computers of retailers are linked to the manufacturer's computers and can provide online information regarding current status of business.