Necessity is the mother of invention. There is no denying the veracity of this ancient adage especially when you consider the livelihood of every life form on this planet. However when it comes to the business world, the following statement bears more contextual truth than the former. Competition is the mother of innovation. This unsavory business truth is especially evident in the technical world — more so the technological world. Aggressive competition among various industry stakeholders has led to the rapid evolution of various mechanical, information, and communications technologies in a very short span of time.
The barcoding industry is one such tech-oriented niche whose impressive growth in the last few decades is mostly credited to rapacious industry competition. There was rapid technological advancement in the Barcoding industry in the final quarter of the 20th century, which spurred the invention and development of first-rate data collection systems.
Nowadays, barcoding equipment and software is used in almost all aspects of business life including advertisement, entertainment, resource planning and management, crowd control, production optimization and so much more. Acquisition costs have also gone down due to an influx of many new players in this field. And to make matters even better, customers now have the option of either buying or renting/leasing barcoding solutions according to their personal or business preferences or needs. The following invaluable barcoding tools and solutions are now available for hire.
Barcode readers and scanners are perhaps the most fundamental items in this industry. They are basically used to read, interpret, and record encrypted barcode data from specially printed labels and ribbons. Although the names are usually used interchangeably, barcode readers and scanners are supposed to have functional differences. Scanners are only able to read the data and then pass it to another system component like a tablet or PC for display and/or processing. On the other hand, readers are able to read, display, and process the data. Anyway, there are thousands of readers and scanners in the market today, ranging for small handheld devices like the simple tradeshow badge scanner to complex and sophisticated computing systems. They are usually categorized according to functionality from entry level, industrial, specialty and rugged — and these can either be wireless or corded. They are also classified according to the manufacturer or model like Honeywell, Intermec, Opticon, AML or CipherLab among many others. The point is, all these scanners and readers are currently available for direct purchase or rent from various dealers and resellers.
Hierarchically, printers should come before readers and scanners in barcoding because they are used before latter two. The basic process is that printers start the project by creating barcodes on labels, ribbons, and other identification markers. Barcoding scanners and readers are later brought in to identify and process these coded markers in line with specific data collection needs and processes. Barcode printers are also available for direct purchase and also for leasing or hiring. They are marketed according to manufacture or model too, and also by type, which includes industrial, desktop, portable etc.
Barcoding equipment requires customized application software to perform the intended functions. A barcode printer requires special software like LabelWorks to create barcodes. In order to read and interpret the barcodes, scanners and readers are fitted with special optical gadgets and a suitable program. Barcoding software is used in all kinds of systems including inventory control, attendance tracking, and other specialized business processes. Many vendors and dealers now allow customers to rent or lease these customized barcoding programs.