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What are barcodes and what are they used for?

Barcodes store machine-readable information and this information is read with the help of barcode readers, also called barcode scanners. The most common barcodes south africa store less information than most of us would think, but their use saves businesses tremendous amounts of money and time. Typically, the primary purposes of the common, 1D barcode is to store a “code” that identifies specific product; in retail stores if buy barcodes weren’t used, each product’s information would have to be typed in manually at the register, which takes on average three times longer.


However, this is only one side of the process – when the product’s label is scanned by the barcode reader, not only the price of the product is obtained and added to the customer’s bill, but the item is deducted from the inventory’s list. In case when the inventory system is fully computerized, as soon as the stock of this item goes below certain level, either automatic order will be placed with the supplier, or the item will be added to a database of low-stock items and a manager will decide if more quantities need to be ordered.


Barcode and barcode readers are also widely used because they are inexpensive; of course, large industrial barcode readers can cost thousands of dollars, but they process enormous amount of barcode labels in a single day, so in the long run they are likely to save an organization hundreds of thousands. Large, omni-directional scanners are used in the postal offices for processing packages and at the airports for the same purpose – these scanners can read barcode labels that are wrinkled and even damaged, and are often used in conjunction with other sorting equipment in order to establish the parcel’s weight, origin, and destination.


Barcodes are also error-free! Well, almost – barcode scanning produces less than one error per one million characters, while manual writing and typing leads to one error per 300 characters. Barcode scanning is also much quicker – even with a handheld scanner, a label can be read in a matter of seconds.


Barcodes also allow information to be stored in a way that is tailored to a specific industry, which is possible by using different symbologies. Typically, the bar codes are used with database-driven software applications, and when specific types of barcode symbology become standard for an industry, this ensures smooth processing of goods and documentation.

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