What is a barcode?

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached.

Why use barcode?

Scanning a barcode is more accurate and faster than keying it in.

Human error reduction.

Increase efficiency.

How does a barcode work?

A barcode scanner is utilized to read a barcode and send it into a computer where there will be records associated with the barcode and finally derived it to information such as price, number of item or other similar information.

1D barcode

1D barcode also known as linear barcode is the first generation barcode that is made up of lines and spaces of various widths into a specific pattern.

2D barcode

2D barcode also known as matrix barcode is the 2 dimensional representation of the linear barcode and they can carry more information per unit area.

Barcode types

Benefit of barcode

Fast-selling items can be identified quickly and automatically reordered.

Slow-selling items can be identified, preventing inventory build-up.

The effects of merchandising changes can be monitored, allowing fast-moving, more profitable items to occupy the best space.

Historical data can be used to predict seasonal fluctuations very accurately.

Items may be repriced on the shelf to reflect both sale prices and price increases.

This technology also enables the profiling of individual consumers, typically through a voluntary registration of discount cards. While pitched as a benefit to the consumer, this practice is considered to be potentially dangerous by privacy advocates.

When a manufacturer packs a box for shipment, a Unique Identifying Number (UID) can be assigned to the box.

A database can link the UID to relevant information about the box; such as order number, items packed, quantity packed, destination, etc.

The information can be transmitted through a communication system such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) so the retailer has the information about a shipment before it arrives.

Shipments that are sent to a Distribution Center (DC) are tracked before forwarding. When the shipment reaches its final destination, the UID gets scanned, so the store knows the shipment's source, contents, and cost.