The Role Of Barcode In Warehouse Information Technology Essay

A barcode can be described as an optical Morse code. Series of black bars and white space of varying widths are printed on labels to uniquely identify items. The barcode labels are read with a scanner, which measures reflected light and interprets the code into numbers and letters that are passed on to a computer.

One of the main requirements of the production and manufacturing processes is the link between the information and the flow of materials, which increasing requires the implementation of Automatic Identification systems. Using barcodes, printed data can be easily and automatically read by means of reliable low-cost reading devices and barcode applications can be found in all fields of industry, retail, in the public sector and in every day life.

The information encoded in a barcode can be read automatically, using a barcode scanner or barcode reader, allowing for significant increases in the speed and accuracy of data transfer. The surrounding conditions can influence the reading and therefore the correct identification of the code.  It is therefore important to specify barcode reading equipment appropriate to the conditions

Barcodes can be found on moving objects, delivery notes, warehouse schedules, labels, etc., and wherever used it is essential the barcode is legible, and that the data within the barcode is correct.  Package Coding Management is the discipline for complete accuracy from design and data management to deployment and barcode validation.

Among other functions, barcodes let you track the what, who and when for all warehouse activities within the four walls. As a result, potential savings can occur.

Benefits of Bar-coding: 

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Barcode data collection systems provide enormous benefits for just about any business. With a barcode data collection solution, capturing data is faster and more accurate, costs are lower, mistakes are minimized, and managing inventory is much easier. 

The following are some of the benefits of barcode pertaining to warehouse management:

Fast and Reliable Data Collection: 

Faster Data Entry: A barcode scanner typically can record data five to seven time as fast as a skilled typist.

10,000 Times better Accuracy: 

Keyboard data entry creates an average of one error in 300 keystrokes. Barcode data entry has an error rate of about 1 in 3 million.

Reduced Labor Costs: 

This is the most obvious benefit of barcode data collection. In many cases, this cost savings pays for the entire data-collection system. Do not put all of your attention on this benefit, however. Even though this is the most apparent benefit, it is often overshadowed by even greater savings from other areas.

Necessary Inventory Levels: 

Using barcodes are one of the best ways to reduce inventory levels and save on capital costs. Keeping a tight handle on inventory can save significant amounts of money.

Improved Management and Better Decision Making: 

Although hard to measure, this is an important benefit. In many cases, improved management due to automated data collection technology could be the best benefit of a barcode system. A barcode system can easily gather information that would be difficult or impossible to gather in other ways. This allows managers to make fully informed decisions that can affect the direction of a department or company.

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Faster Access to Information:

This benefit goes hand in hand with better decision-making. With better information, you can gain opportunities and get the jump on the competition.

Work In Progress: 

Many manufacturing and other industries have work that must go through several steps to completion. Barcode systems can track material through each step of the work and keep detailed records on each piece or batch. When a problem occurs in the output, supervisors and managers can track the work back and quickly resolve the issue. This is one of the best ways to improve both quality and yield in virtually any multi-step process.

Inventory Control: 

Tracking inventory manually is a laborious process. With barcodes applied to each item in inventory, portable scanners can be used to track shipping and receiving and quickly take physical inventory. The data from portable scanners can be uploaded to a central computer system at regular intervals or portables can update inventory in real-time, depending on the system you choose. Barcode inventory control provides accurate, real-time inventory updates. This allows a company the opportunity to reduce stock levels and thereby reduce carrying costs. It also reduces the time taken to collect data for purposes such as annual inventories. With improved efficiency, operating costs are lower.

Productivity Measurement Systems: 

Productivity measurement is a practice that can drastically reduce labor costs in manufacturing, warehousing and most other types of business. A well-managed system will allow supervisors to isolate the problems that may come up so that they can take steps to solve them. Within an organization, departments may have different types of activities, making it difficult for supervisors to keep track of what everyone is doing. Productivity-measurement systems automatically track what work is being done and compare the work to expected output. When the results do not measure up, supervisors can take corrective action. This type of informed supervision and management can typically cut department costs by 15 to 20 percent.

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Reduced Inventory Costs: 

Immediate access to inventory information on a real-time basis can be used to reduce inventory levels. This will reduce costs for a company in a number of ways, including interest, labor for handling excess inventory, and facility overhead.


These are just a few examples to get you started thinking about what you can do with bar codes. Barcode systems routinely save companies money while improving quality, on-time performance, and other key business factors.

We can use barcodes in warehouse paperwork (purchase orders, pick tickets, etc.); for individual employee identification to track who did what; on individual products; and on cartons or pallets to identify the contents and track activities. Each warehouse location can have a unique barcode that facilitates inventory moves.

Many of the warehouses we work with have applied barcode technology to areas such as receiving, put away, replenishment, picking, packing, shipping/manifesting, returns, and cycle counts, value-add functions and labor tracking.

These are just a few examples to get you started thinking about what you can do with bar codes. Barcode systems routinely save companies money while improving quality, on-time performance, and other key business factors.

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