With industrialisation, the increase in the number of products has made identification a tedious task, and hence there was a need for devising a system that would help in easy identification. And therefore in the year 1970, George J Laurer invented the system of the Universal Bar Code in the USA.
Barcode is a machine-readable image that is characterised by parallel lines varying in width and spacing between them and digits. Barcode is used to encode product details such as product numbers, serial numbers and batch numbers instantly.
It is used for product identification and used widely in supermarkets, clothing stores, malls, etc. and has inherent benefits like the elimination of errors, cost-effectiveness, time-saving and ease of managing inventory. This global identification system assists all the parties in the supply chain like manufacturers, logistics and wholesalers to identify the products easily.
How Do Businesses Use Barcodes?
Barcodes are used to provide a unique symbol, often parallel lines and a number, that can be read by the scanner to populate all the information of the product from the database. Business houses use the barcodes for the following:
- Inventory database – Large departmental stores with thousands of products manage their inventory through the barcode system. All the phases of the product cycle from manufacture to sale are tracked through the code.
- Asset tracking – All businesses today hold a large chunk of IT assets, and hence the barcode system is used for tagging and tracking the assets in the asset software.
- Tracking returns – The barcode system can be used for tracking returns, especially so in the online shopping world. Barcodes can also be attached to invoices so as to ease the tracking of payments from customers.
Types of Barcode
- EAN -13 – International Article Number which is now called the European Article Number is a 13-digit number used for barcodes in Europe, India, and other nations.
- UPC- A – Universal Product Code or UPC – A is a 12 – digit barcode generally used in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Databar barcodes – These barcodes are generally used for fresh food products and contain additional information like a batch number or expiry date and weight of the product.
- 1D barcodes – The GS1 128 and ITF – 14 are highly versatile 1D barcodes through which items of the global supply chains can be tracked. The GS1 128 barcodes can carry any of the ID keys and additional information like serial number, expiration dates, etc. The ITF-14 holds the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and is ideal for being applied to corrugated materials.
- 2D barcodes – These barcodes have gained popularity with online payment wallets coming into the picture. These can hold a lot of information and are widely used by businesses to even share websites and videos. It can hold around 7000 digits or 4000 characters. It can also be used to integrate data with programs like MS Office, MS SQL, Servers, and other database files.
Process For Obtaining Barcode Registration
The process for Barcode Registration is completely online. In India, the authority for registering Barcodes is GS1 India. The registration application can be made online on their website – https://www.gs1india.org.
The steps involved are:
Step 1 – Fill the application
Step 2 – Upload all the relevant documents
Step 3 – Choose the type and number of barcodes required
Step 4 – Confirm all the details
Step 5- Pay the applicable fees
Step 6- Track the status
Documents For Barcode Registration
- Letter requesting allotment of barcode
- PAN card of the entity
- Copy of audited balance sheet
- GST/VAT registration certificate
- Certificate of incorporation/partnership deed
- Memorandum of Association/Articles of Association
- Copy of cancelled cheque
Fees For Barcode Registration
The fees for barcode registration is dependent on the following:
- Turnover of the company
- Number of barcodes required
- Subscription period
Depending on all these factors, the fees vary from around Rs. 44,000 to Rs. 2,20,000.
Advantages of Barcode
- Reduces error – Since the information on the barcode is all automated, the chances of errors are reduced since there is no manual intervention in the form of data entry.
- Cost-effective and convenient – Barcodes are easy to obtain, cost-effective, and convenient to print, and it can also be customised.
- Detailed information – Barcodes have the information related to the product like product numbers, serial numbers, batch numbers, and hence ensures the genuineness of the products.
- Optimised inventory – The movement of the products becomes smooth due to all information of the products being captured in the barcode and makes the movement through the supply chain hassle-free.
- Time saving – Registering a barcode saves a lot of time. Using a barcode reader, the code can be scanned, and the details can be obtained.
- Accurate and faster billing – The information linked to the barcode is all automated and accurate and helps in good and efficient decision making.
- Unique and global identification – The barcoding system facilitates unique identification that is globally recognised, and hence there will be no two products that will have the same code.
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