A guide to barcodes

06th February 2014 - Fine Cut

Everyone knows what barcodes are. We see them day-in, day-out when doing our daily shopping. However, just as they are vital for the retail industry, barcodes can also be used for a wide range of other applications across many different sectors.

What is a bar code?

In a nutshell, a barcode is a visual way of representing a series of numbers and letters in a format that can be read by a machine, whose scanning device is able to decode, record and process the barcode it has read. It then uses this information for a very specific purpose within a commercial setting.

Why are they used?

Perhaps most notably, barcodes are used to identify items in shops so that the outlet can record what is being bought and tally up the cost for the consumer purchasing it. At a time when big data has very much come to the fore as an invaluable commercial tool, barcodes can also be used in retail to forecast sales data, keep tabs on loyalty programmes, automate pricing and improve sales efficiency - all attributes that are far from limited to this sector.

Furthermore, they can be used to identify assets, mark or single out products, track logistics and shipments and identify physical locations or perhaps components of an item.

Who uses them?

As this wide range of applications highlights, barcodes and serial number labels can be used for a variety of purposes, meaning they crop up in many different industries.

Laboratories, electrical companies, medical firms, avionic organisations and automotive companies all present operations for which barcodes and serial numbering could be used to streamline processes.

For example, in laboratories barcodes can be used to keep track of equipment, chemicals and experiments at different stages, or to log valuable information into a central database. If your company works in any logistics capacity, barcodes can be the perfect solution to track goods and stock, to ensure your operations are as carefully monitored as possible.

How can we help?

As one of the UK's leading suppliers of durable computer imprintable labels, at Fine Cut our variable data bureau service continues to be expanded, offering not only a wide range of barcode labels, but also serial number labels that can serve a similar purpose.

With over 25 years experience producing serialised and barcode labels, our dedicated team of experts will be able to talk through your requirements, identify your commercial goals and ascertain exactly which is the correct solution for your needs.

What's more, we manufacture all of our products from the highest-quality materials, meaning they boast a durability that is truly second to none. The printing ribbons are resistant against handling, abrasion, chemicals, temperature extremes and external environments, meaning that you can rest assured your barcodes and labels will stand the test of time.

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