Barcode - Benefits

Benefits

In point-of-sale management, barcode systems can provide detailed up-to-date information on the business, accelerating decisions and with more confidence. For example:

  • 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.

Besides sales and inventory tracking, barcodes are very useful in logistics.

  • 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, qty 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.

Barcode scanners are relatively low cost and extremely accurate compared to key-entry, with only about 1 substitution error in 15,000 to 36 trillion characters entered. The exact error rate depends on the type of barcode.

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