Does the Problem Really Reside with the Barcode Sc...

Does the Problem Really Reside with the Barcode Scanner?

July 4, 2018

Today, we consume data from a variety of places, digital channels, and different devices-often all at the same time. This technological age can be inspiring and overwhelming. The number of "smart" devices that seem to connect themselves has created the perception that barcode scanners are plug-and-play. While this may be true in some situations, like the simplicity of reading a UPC barcode at a store; however, for the majority of workflow scenarios needing data captured to do more than display a price? Those are not as simple. For example, 2D barcodes, tiny or extremely large barcodes, damaged barcodes or those with poor contrast, scanning hundreds of barcodes at a single time, or trying to scan something that may have many different types of barcode symbologies altogether is far more complicated.

Specific coding and superior scanning technology make it possible for the barcode scanner to decode these more complicated examples as well as parse only the data wanted from each of the different codes. This unique ability weeds out most barcode scanners on the market. When you think of the time it can save you, it's worth doing your homework. Instead of having to scan one code at a time while covering up others to get the right read, you could scan them all at the same time and only get the data you want. Genius, right? Options like this not only save you time and money, they are custom configured and require working with a barcode scanning company that loves to delight their customers with this type of service.

Our daily lives are controlled by data. When we don't get the right data we request, everything comes to a screeching halt. When a barcode fails to scan or delivers a misread, the same is true. Everything stops. We have all been in "that line" at the store, when the barcode won't read and the repeated typing in of the number doesn't work. Over the intercom we hear, "Manager to register 10." The right barcode scanner makes reading damaged, reflective, or curved barcodes effortless. The right barcode scanners simply start with the most exceptional intellectual property powering every scan.

Now that you know a little bit about the complexity in capturing the barcode data you need, what about getting that barcode information into the application or program you need to get your job done? Look at healthcare applications, for example. Sensitive patient data is captured, translated into an appropriate format in the background, and transferred into the hospital Healthcare Information System (HIS) application.

For this workflow and others, the data translation is the most critical step and generally the reason for misreads and errors. Barcode scanners are only as good as the decoding software that powers them-and not all decoding software is created equal. Without getting too techy, translation takes the scanned data, modifies it appropriately for cross-platform communication, and populates the appropriate fields within whichever program you're using. If the translation decoding is not done properly, the entire thing fails. As a result, most users generally blame the scanner when data capture issues arise; however, the glitch usually resides with the data translation, not the scanner. Starting with the best scanning software first, then deciding on a reader, can make everyone's day just a little bit brighter (and the checkout line manager happier).

Most barcode manufacturers offer different product lines that tailor to specific industries with various special features. In fact, they all look similar and are priced very close to the same. No matter the special features or big words, the device will only be as good as the brain that powers it (and we don't mean yours). There is a difference in barcode scanners and barcode scanning companies, it's the foundation, the decoding algorithms and firmware, that need a closer evaluation as well as the company's willingness to create a coded configuration solution that works for you.

Code Complete was built upon the idea of making it easier for customers to use our barcode scanners. Code's Technical Support program is designed to identify which products best match your workflow situation (site surveys) and assist customers during deployments and beyond to mitigate communication issues across software application platforms. To learn more, check our services website ( or contact your sales representative.

Code has been an industry pioneer, leader, and champion for data capture innovation for more than 20 years. By crafting and continuing to perfect its unique decoding algorithms, Code’s scanning technology consistently delivers unparalleled, image-based scanning and decoding performance industries depend on worldwide. Code designs and manufactures a complete line of market-leading data capture solutions including include both hardware and software products. For decades, Code’s scanning technology has been an essential partner in solving critical workflow problems in healthcare, government, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and more.

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