Category Archives: Barcode Equipment

For a business just setting out on an endeavor to improve the efficiency of its inventory processes, there are a variety of factors to consider. Chief among these concerns, however, is implementing an effective barcode system. A barcode system is about more than just the barcodes themselves, although of course those barcodes are necessary. A barcode system that tracks inventory effectively is able to seamlessly integrate the barcodes with barcode hardware like a barcode scanner or a barcode reader, as well as with the latest barcode software. Today, there are more barcode software options than ever before, many of which are specifically designed to track inventory.


The options provided by the latest inventory tracking software are numerous. Businesses are now able to grant inventory database access to all of their employees, allowing for significantly improved synergy, workflow and productivity between employees and departments. The increased interconnectedness provided by greater access to inventory tracking software also increases efficiencies from business to business. Inventory fluctuations can now be communicated in real time to the manufacturing and shipping sectors, allowing for optimizations to be made throughout the supply chain. There has never been more real-time data available than there currently is thanks to cloud-based software and other recent innovations in the world of inventory tracking software. With all of these benefits, many of which require a complex process of implementation and systemization before they are fully realized, it can be easy for businesses to jump the gun and neglect the basics. Before a business or organization considers inventory tracking software, it needs to consider the unique nature of its inventory. This begins by determining whether it is a periodic inventory or a perpetual inventory.




Periodic Inventory


In a periodic inventory, updates to the inventory are made on a regular or “periodic” basis. In these cases, a business or organization makes decisions about its inventory through the framework of a fixed period of time. Many assess their inventory on an annual basis, a biannual basis or by financial quarter. Businesses that take a periodic inventory, at the end of each fiscal year for example, often require only a very basic version of inventory tracking software. Though the software needed for periodic inventory may be simple by industry standards, it is important for businesses to identify a comprehensive set of functions that the software needs to be able to perform and ensure that any prospective software program can perform these functions. Periodic inventory software is usually able to intake barcode scans and allow users to input quantity numbers. Other fields that this basic software is able to collect include location, bin, room and other item descriptions. The software can also synch with a database and allow users to look up information on an item based on its attributes like price or color.


Perpetual Inventory

Perpetual inventories require software that allows users to track inventory on an ongoing or continual basis. The major feature of this software is its ability to allow users to make real-time adjustments to an inventory. This ability to adjust inventory as items are received and shipped is a major advantage for businesses. Perpetual inventory tracking software also uses to conduct audits that compare the inventory data with the actual inventory. Perpetual inventory requires software that allows for more factors to be analyzed and adjusted by users, including things like Item Code, SKU number, minimum/maximum quantity allowed and quantity on hand. Whatever an organization’s type of inventory, there is a software program to help manage it

Barcode scanners are useful across a diverse spectrum of industries. The tools are so ubiquitous, in fact, that the particular industry that one associates with barcodes and barcode scanners usually has a lot to with the particular industry that one works in or is most familiar with. Anyone who has worked at a grocery store is intimately familiar with the usefulness of a barcode scanner in quickly scanning food items at the supermarket checkout counter. Anyone who has worked in the manufacturing sector understands the usefulness of barcodes in tracking inventory and tracking various warehouse processes—identifying any efficiencies in these areas or anywhere along the supply chain can lead to significant advantages for a business in the manufacturing sector.


The examples of the grocery store and the warehouse illustrate the diverse applications of barcode scanners. Those aforementioned examples also reveal the diversity of the barcode scanners themselves. Barcode readers in a supermarket are usually operated by a single person, and while this is sometimes true in a warehouse as well, the latter environment often utilizes a system of mounting several scanners on one piece of automated equipment to allow for more items to be scanned more quickly. A wide variety of types of scanners and readers for different purposes are available from top brands like Honeywell and Intermec.




Outside of these examples, however, is one industry that also relies on the barcode scanner is the retail industry. Barcode scanners have such a longstanding tradition of use in the retail industry that it can be all too easy for a retail business to rest on its laurels and refuse to optimize its use of a barcode scanner. While many shy away from examining business practices out of fear that increased investment will be required—a brand new, high-tech barcode scanner may be needed, for example—a review of a retail barcode reader system often reveals many areas in which money can be saved as well. Here are some tips for using barcode readers effectively in a retail setting.


Customized Barcode Labels


Many retail stores utilize customized barcode labels for the purpose of aligning the store’s inventory with its barcode readers and barcode software system. Retail stores who have never considered this practice may want to look into the possibility that it is the right choice for their situation. Other retailers, however, may want to consider dropping the practice if they are doing so currently and instead finding barcode readers and a barcode software system that fits with the existing barcode labels that come with the items. Which is the best option is dependent on a number of factors unique to the individual business. Money may be saved either way.


Other Money-Saving Tips


Many barcode software companies offer used and/or refurbished barcode scanners. These scanners can be purchased at a discounted rate and are often still able to perform well in a retail environment. Companies also offer barcode reader rentals that allow a store to try out a new model or a new style of barcode reader on a temporary basis to assess whether it is the right option for a particular retail business before a more significant investment is made. A final tip is to make sure that there is a system in place to ensure the care and maintenance of barcode readers; this saves money by avoiding the purchase of new equipment and costly repair bills.



Barcodes serve as a link between people and information; the barcode has proven to be such an important innovation because it serves as a highly-useful physical tool that, when scanned, grants people access to the more abstract world of data. For businesses, this abstract data is so important because it provides real information about how a product or service moves through the physical world.


With the exciting recent advances in the world of data science, advancements that have skyrocketed the value of data to new heights, most discussion of the importance of barcodes today is focused on the data they can provide. And this focus is certainly understandable. After all, this data can help identify inefficiencies, streamline operations and fine-tune procedures to a very particular degree. Even small improvements in any of these areas can give businesses in a wide variety of industries a slight competitive edge that can be the difference between success and failure, especially for small businesses. For these reasons, the data from barcodes, and the barcode software programs that utilize them, receive more attention and investment than ever before.


But what about the physical barcodes themselves? More importantly, what about the barcode scanners that allow users to scan the barcodes and transfer the barcode data onto computers and software programs that can most effectively harvest their value? It can be all too easy to lose track of the importance of barcode scanners as a business ventures into the world of improving its barcode processes. There are several different types of barcode scanners, and each one may be best suited to a particular business or a particular industry.




Pen Barcode Readers


Pen barcode readers look like a small pen (sometimes referred to as a stick or a wand). The user moves the pen over the barcode to scan the code. These scanners are effective but may take some time for the user to get the hang of using quickly.


Laser Barcode Readers


These advanced barcode readers use a laser to achieve highly accurate readings relative to other types of barcode readers. Laser barcode readers have the added advantage of being able to be mounted in a unit that allows for multiple barcodes to be scanned at one time, rather than one at a time as in other types. Laser readers and scanners are available from many top brands including Honeywell and Intermec.


LED Barcode Reader


An LED barcode reader is also called a charged coupled device (CCD). They beam LED lights at a barcode and then read the light’s reflection. These readers are also highly accurate, though they can be expensive relative to other types.


2D Camera Barcode Readers


Certain types of barcodes require special 2D camera barcode readers to scan and decode their information. These readers work with special software that is capable of receiving the information from the camera reader and turning it into usable data.


Choosing The Right Reader


Ultimately, the best type of barcode reader depends on a number of factors unique to a personal or business situation. The cost of the reader is one such factor, but it’s also important to consider the type of barcode it will be scanning, who or what will be doing the scanning and the environment in which the scanning will take place.

There are many uses for barcode scanners and related technology. One of the more popular uses, and one that – unfortunately – many people are unfamiliar with, is badge scanning. Badge scanning allows you to track attendance, along with other data, for employees and attendees. There are actually several very important functions that you can perform with a badge scanner—in a variety of settings. If you are curious to know more about the uses of a badge scanner, and how they can best be utilized, read further. This article will serve as a handy guide to all things related to badge scanners.


Using Badge Scanners At Tradeshows




There is often a huge need for badge scanners at tradeshows. A tradeshow badge scanner is able to collect useful data on who actually attended your tradeshow! This data-collection method relies on sophisticated software that would be programmed by the barcode vendor. While badge scanners can be used to track overall tradeshow attendance, they can also serve a more specified function: they allow individual exhibitors to scan badges and collect leads. These leads can then be downloaded onto a computer, so that the exhibitor can easily follow up on them. For this reason, it is recommended that you acquire multiple badge scanners for your tradeshow.


Using Badge Scanners To Track Employee Attendance


Companies (large and small) often use badge scanners as well. Badge scanners allow companies to track employee attendance, taking the place of the outdated “punch card.” Badge scanners are able to record employee clock in/clock out time with accuracy and precision, so that nothing is left for debate. On top of that, data that the scanner records is automatically loaded into a database, so that management can easily track employee attendance. Companies that have switched from manual time clocks to automated badge scanners have found the latter to be much more accurate and convenient.


Badge Scanner Software


As mentioned before, this automated method of data collection is possible thanks to some very sophisticated software. Badge scanner software is provided by the vendor itself, and is often included in the pricing package. Many vendors will give you the option of buying standard, pre-packaged software, or customizing that software to meet your specific needs. If you are looking to use your badge scanners in a unique and creative way, then the customizable option is likely the one for you. When buying a barcode scanner, look for a vendor that provides this option, and be sure to ask the vendor what customization would best suit your purposes.


To Buy Or To Rent


In most cases, renting a badge scanner is an option. In fact, it is an especially useful option if you are only using your badge scanner for a short period of time (as with tradeshows).  In order to determine if you should buy or rent, think about how long you would need your badge scanner for, how often you would need to rent it, and what the cost comparison between buying and renting would be.

Do you have a pressing need for barcode equipment? Perhaps you only need a barcode for a short period of time, coinciding with an event or exhibition? If this is the case, then you might not need to actually purchase barcode equipment: renting barcode equipment is likely the solution for you. Barcode rental equipment can be found online, and renting is a great way to get the equipment you need, when you need it, without having to pay full-price for a purchase. If this solution sounds like one that might work for you, read further. This article will highlight some things that you should know when renting barcode equipment.




Situations Where You Would Likely Want To Rent Barcode Equipment


There are several situations where it might make more sense to rent barcode equipment, rather than own. One situation where people often rent barcode equipment is tradeshows. Tradeshow organizers and exhibitors often use badge scanners to track attendance and generate leads. Given that these events typically only last a few days, many organizers choose to rent this equipment, rather than buy. That being said, if you are planning multiple shows a year, purchasing the equipment would likely be more cost-effective.

Similarly, organizers of concerts and festivals often rely on barcode equipment for a number of functions. These functions include scanning tickets, printing tickets if necessary, and even selling merchandise and concessions (many of the more innovative music festivals allow attendees to pay for concessions and merchandise using money that has been pre-loaded onto a badge or wristband). Since these events don’t typically last for more than a couple of days, organizers often choose to rent barcode equipment.


Servicing Options For Your Rental Equipment


Even though you are just renting your barcode equipment, you will likely have access to all of the services that would have been provided to you, had you bought your barcode equipment. In most cases, barcode equipment would still be delivered to your facility, for convenience sake.  You would also have access to all of the accessories that help the barcode equipment perform their necessary functions. These accessories include batteries, battery chargers, cables, and ink and ribbons (if you are renting barcode equipment that has a printing function).

You will also have access to two very important services: technical support and on-site support. If you have ever called a helpline when you have trouble with your computer, you are familiar with the concept of technical support.  Just like your personal computer, barcode equipment runs on very sophisticated hardware and software, and technical support is sometimes needed. Most barcode equipment vendors (the best ones, anyway) will have customer service representatives on standby to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with your rental equipment. The best barcode equipment rental companies will also provide on-site support, which is where an expert comes out to your facility and helps you figure out how you can get the most out of your equipment.  Setting up such a consultation is highly recommended.


While most people do not give much thought to the barcode equipment that scans their items at the grocery store, or scans their tickets at the movie theater, the truth is that these are very sophisticated devices that run on cutting-edge software. While the world of barcode software may be an uncharted one for many people, this wonderful software makes so many aspects of our lives more convenient. If you are curious about this amazing technology, and would like to know more about how it can make your life more convenient, read further.  This article will serve as a handy guide to barcode software.


The Uses Of Barcode Software


Barcode software can be written – and used – for a wide variety of purposes. To name a few: barcode software is used to track inventory, manage assets, track attendance (an important function for tradeshows and exhibitions), and scan tickets. The preceding list is certainly not comprehensive; there are many other functions that barcode software can be used for, and creative minds are coming up with new uses for barcode software every day.


How Does It Work?


At this point, you might be thinking, “OK, all of this sounds really cool, but how does this stuff actually work?”  Great question! Like other software, barcode software needs to be programmed into a device—in this case a barcode reader or scanner. A good barcode equipment vendor will likely have a team of data gurus who can program this software for you. The amazing this is that this programming can often be customized to meet your specific needs: you are not limited to a “one size fits all” program.  That being said, you can purchase a pre-packaged software program, if that meets your functional requirements.


Renting Barcode Software




One important thing to note is that you are not necessarily required to purchase barcode software in every case. Barcode software rentals are an increasingly popular choice for people who need the software on a temporary basis. This includes event planners and organizers. In most cases, renting barcode software does not mean that you have to sacrifice the customization and programming expertise mentioned above: barcode software can still be set up and customized for rentals. The actual equipment – such as barcode scanners and readers – that the software runs on can be rented as well.


Technical And On-Site Support For Your Barcode Software


For those of us who are unfamiliar with a given program or software, expert guidance is often needed. Fortunately, when purchasing or renting software, you have the opportunity to take advantage of customer support—both technical and on-site. Technical support is where a customer service representative helps you troubleshoot issues with your barcode software (or correct user errors), so that everything can run smoothly again. On-site support is where a representative from the software vendor provides expert guidance on how to best use the product. Take full advantage of these opportunities: they can help you get the most out of your barcode software and equipment.

Tradeshows and barcode equipment go hand-in-hand. Many of the essential administrative functions that are performed at tradeshows – such as attendance tracking, data collection, and ticket scanning – can be automated using barcode software and equipment. Automating these processes can save time and prevent bottlenecks.  For this reason, the tradeshow scanner has become an essential tool for exhibitors and event planners alike.  If you are considering utilizing barcode equipment for your next tradeshow or expo, there are many factors that you need to consider, and tips that you should be aware of. Below is a helpful guide for making the most out of barcode equipment at your next event.




Know What Your Needs Are


There are many different types of barcode equipment, and the equipment that you will need depends on the functions that you wish to carry out at your tradeshow. For this reason, it is a good idea to sit down and think about the tasks that you would like to automate, before shopping around. This will help you focus and zero in on the products that are right for you. For instance, there are barcode readers and software that are specifically designed for attendance tracking. On the other hand, if there will be any ticketed events at your tradeshow, you will want to invest in ticket scanning equipment. You can also obtain equipment to print tickets, if that is required.


Know That Help Is Available


Barcode software and equipment can run the gamut from the relatively simple to the highly-sophisticated. Again, the type of equipment that you purchase will depend on the scale of your event, as well as the automated functions that you wish to perform. Whatever type of equipment you purchase from your vendor, you should rest assured that help will be available to you. Barcode equipment vendors often provide customer service and technical support, so that any issues that arise with your software and equipment can be quickly and easily resolved.

Taking that concept one step further, some vendors even offer on-site support. On-site support involves more than just troubleshooting and repairing issues: it involves a technician who works directly with you and your event staff to ensure that you are getting the most out of your technology.  Such services might include helping you download leads and emails for exhibitors, badge printing, generation of attendance reports, conference tracking assistance, as well as data collection and scanner maintenance. Take advantage of these services: using this support effectively will help take your event to the next level.


Renting Is An Option Too


Many people don’t realize this, but you actually have the option of renting barcode equipment as well. This is a great option, if you only need barcode equipment in the short-term. In most cases, the customer service and technical support that is available to you when you purchase equipment will be available when you rent as well. You will likely also have access to the accessories that come with barcode equipment, such as batteries, chargers, docks, and download cables.

Many organizations have a big need for barcode scanners: businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and trade shows all find that barcode scanners are crucial for their day-to-day operations. If you are a manager for one of these organizations or events, chances are you often utilize barcode scanners – and other similar technology – as well. If you are wondering how you can obtain the barcode technology you need in the most cost-effective way, read further. Barcode scanners do not have to break the bank—the important thing is to find the barcode scanners that meet your particular needs, and fit your particular budget.




Buying Online


One great way to find a barcode scanner that fits your budget is to shop online. There are many websites that provide one-stop shopping for all of your barcode equipment needs. The prices on these sites are often much better than what you will find in stores. That being said, the best online vendors provide a level of customer service that meets or exceeds what you would expect from a store. For example, many of the best online vendors will provide technical support, in case you are having issues with your barcode scanner.  Some vendors also provide on-site support, in case you are purchasing barcodes for a large event or exhibition.  Also, buying barcode scanners online does not mean that you can’t return your equipment or have it repaired in case it malfunctions. Many online barcode dealers offer this option, and consumers actually find it more convenient than having to take their barcode equipment to a physical store.  Most websites give you a variety of ways that you can place your order—either over the phone, through fax or email, through physical mail, or on the website itself.


Renting A Barcode Scanner


If you manage an event – such as a convention or trade show – then your need for barcode scanners will likely fluctuate throughout the year. You will likely only need barcode scanners during the actual event itself—especially during the registration phase (barcode scanners are great for scanning ID badges, after all). If this is the case, then a barcode scanner rental would be the best bet for you. This option gives you access to barcode scanners on an as-needed basis, so that you do not have to pay full-price to own a barcode scanner.

You have many options when it comes to renting barcode scanners. One of the cheapest and most popular options is to take care of your barcode rental needs online.  There are many websites that offer rentals of barcode scanners, readers, and printers, along with other similar equipment. You do not have to sacrifice any convenience, just because you are renting. The best companies will deliver the materials to you, along with any accessories you might need, such as batteries and chargers. They can also help with things like setup and programming, so that you are not left wondering how to operate the equipment you are renting.  You have the convenience of being able to customize your rental according to your specific needs.

There applications of barcoding in the business world are seemingly innumerable, especially as advances in data analytics tools and software give more value to the information barcodes can provide. More organizations than ever are deciding to buy or rent barcode scanners, as well as other equipment like barcode readers, barcode printers and tablets, and invest in barcode software that can help with key organizational processes like asset tracking, attendance tracking, inventory control and labeling. The right combination of barcode hardware and barcode software has been a boon to businesses of all sizes operating in a diverse set of industries.




The applications of barcoding, interestingly, are also beginning to extend beyond the insular world of businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. More organizations and even individuals are starting to broaden the horizons of the barcode to see how it can improve the efficiency of everyday life for customers and for the general public. Thus far, some of these creative barcoding endeavors have proven to change the way we do things in ways that were unimaginable only decades ago. Here is a look at some ways barcodes have become entrenched in our daily lives.




Anyone who has traveled recently is familiar with how online booking systems have changed the way we travel. When people travel now they can print their own boarding pass or even bypass the use of a physical document altogether by simply presenting their ticket on a smartphone. Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without barcodes. It is the barcode on the physical boarding pass and the mobile barcode on the smartphone boarding pass that is scanned by airports and airlines to help you get to your destination as smoothly as possible. It was innovations in the world of barcoding, accompanied by innovations in the broader world of technology and computers that made this new way of traveling possible. Beyond the airport, ticketing in general has been affected in the same way. You can now print your own tickets or show a ticket on a mobile screen to be admitted to movie theaters or nearly any other place requiring an admission ticket.




Prior to barcodes, advertising was strictly a one-way street of communication. Advertisers actively presented their message to customers who passively interpreted the message, whether it was an image, a group of words, a jingle or some other form of advertising. Barcodes, however, are starting to change the dynamic of the relationship between advertisers and potential customers. By placing a barcode within an advertisement, a special type of barcode known as a QR code that viewers can scan with their smartphones, advertisers are now able to provide customers with an interactive advertising experience. Smartphone apps can read the barcodes and take the customer to a page where they can learn more information about a product or be given access to a special offer, among other things. These barcodes are also being placed in print newspapers as a way to bridge the divide between print and online news and in a variety of other ways that are only getting started creating a more active consumer experience.

Most barcode discussions focus on how the black and white striped codes can improve the efficiency of a variety of different business processes. Basically, businesses are able to better manage, track and adjust their inventory by assigning a unique barcode to each of its products (or services, or assets or some other aspect of its business). Businesses have been tracking inventory using barcodes in this way for decades, ever since the barcode went mainstream in the mid 1970s. Since then, the value of barcodes has only risen, thanks largely to the advances in data analysis software that can glean important sales, marketing, advertising and other business insights based on the business process snapshot that barcode data provides. More and more companies and organizations of all types are choosing to buy or rent barcode readers for inventory management—as well as for other functions like tracking attendance.


In addition to an even more pervasive presence in the management world, barcodes have also come to occupy a major part of the culture at large. The capacity for barcodes to improve business efficiency was apparent from the start, but the barcode’s ability to improve our daily lives in other ways was less obvious. In fact, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of other uses for barcodes. Here is a look at some of the more creative uses people have recently found for barcodes.


Diet & Nutrition




Barcodes have been placed on the packages and containers of food and beverages for decades, and ever since nutrition labels have been placed on these packages and containers, folks have been reading the labels to learn about the ingredients and the nutritional content in what they’re consuming. Now, consumers are able to quickly and conveniently combine the barcode labels and nutrition labels and access the nutritional information of a product on a mobile device just by scanning the product’s barcode. Scanning the barcode to record nutritional information allows people to more easily track their nutrient intake over the course of a day, week, month or longer—a process that used to require a notebook, a pen and way too much math. Thanks to barcodes, people can write their food diaries and track their food logs all on their mobile device.




Anyone who has ever actually used a barcode scanner, such as those who have worked as a cashier at the checkout counter of a retail store or supermarket, understands that there is a certain satisfaction that comes with scanning a barcode label. Game manufacturers have seized on this feeling and created games based around the same concept of scanning a barcode label. These barcode scanning games, which sometimes are downloaded as smartphone apps and sometimes involve a stand-alone game console, incorporate tasks and storylines that involve the player scanning barcodes.




Ever since they were first used in manufacturing and at checkout counters, barcodes have captured the cultural imagination in a unique way. The image of the barcode quickly became symbolic of business and of modern society in general; as such, artists, architects and other visionaries are continuing to incorporate the barcode into their art and design work. As an example, barcodes were featured on car license plates in the 1980s movie Back to the Future.