How Speed Impacts the Business Value of Barcode Sc...
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How Speed Impacts the Business Value of Barcode Scanning

Dec 4, 2018

(NOTE: Former subsidiary TachyonIQ has merged with Code Corporation)

Positively Impact Business Value With Premium Barcode Scanning

Over the years, advances in barcode scanning technology have significantly improved the speed at which 1D and 2D barcodes are read. If you operate a business that uses barcodes, you might wonder how much it really matters if a scanner can read a barcode just a fraction of a second faster. Does that added speed really impact the business value of barcode scanning?

Scan Speed Matters in Large and Small Businesses

Scanning speed matters on a large scale. For owners of medium or large businesses that need to scan and keep track of thousands of products, one-tenth of a second can quickly add up over days and months.

But what if your operation isn’t large enough for sub-second barcode reading to save measurable time? Should you really care how fast a barcode reads? The short answer is yes. It all centers on user productivity and satisfaction. Despite popular belief, users can distinguish even one-tenth of a second difference in scan performance. When you’re pushing for more productivity, efficiency, and profit, employees can become impatient and frustrated with minor delays when they expect instantaneous results while working to meet your expectations. Lower frustration and higher employee happiness means you have better chances for happy customers. Happy customers make running a business easier and lead to more revenue.

Advancements in Mobile Scanning

The development of mobile barcode scanning technology has made it easier for users to scan barcodes with speed and accuracy using only a phone or other mobile device. Using older technology with a mobile camera (or even an older scanner) may create some of the following inconveniences for users:

  • Inability to properly align the imager with barcodes in difficult spots such as near the floor or above the user’s head.
  • Difficulty holding the barcode within the right range for reading (some cameras cannot be used closer than 2" or further away than 4")
  • Difficulty holding still enough for the camera to focus on the barcode

The latest 2D barcode reading technologies have two major features that make scanning a breeze even with a handheld smartphone:

  1. As with all 2D barcode readers, they are orientation independent, so unlike older laser scanners where you had to make the red line go all the way across the barcode and the white space on either side, 2D imagers take a picture. Then the decoding software finds the barcode and decodes it instantaneously. The user no longer has alignment issues.
  2. The newest high-performance 2D barcode readers have extreme motion tolerance, allowing them to take the image without blurring. This allows a user to trigger the scanner and then move to the barcode where it will read as soon as it is in the proper range. No stopping required.

Developing a Barcoding Solution to Improve Your Business

A barcoding solution includes the creation of barcodes and the utilization of barcode scanners. For the barcodes themselves, care should be taken with their creation and physical appearance. You should examine and maintain printing and marking instruments often to confirm that high-quality, consistent barcodes are being made and applied to components to avoid no-reads. You can print barcodes using ink-based strategies like Continuous Inkjet, Thermal Inkjet, Piezo Drop on Demand, or High-Resolution Case cryptography. For these strategies, be sure to carefully verify that the printhead is positioned at the correct distance and that its nozzles are clean and unblocked. Also, make sure it is writing the barcodes at the correct speed. If you use laser coding to produce barcodes, make sure your focal distance is correct and that there is continuous power supply to the equipment to ensure high-contrast printing without losses in print distribution or speed. Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal methods use wax or resin ribbon (or other thermal media) to apply barcodes to the substrate. In these cases, it is important to avoid ribbon wrinkles and verify the ribbon has been placed correctly into the equipment. Be sure to use high-quality ribbon or other thermal material and use quality printheads and platen rollers for evenly applied barcodes without missing elements.

For the barcode scanners, as mentioned in detail above, utilizing a software or mobile application with a complete, intelligent, and powerful SDK (i.e. Code's CortexDecoder) will be the most crucial part. With the multi-capture functionality of a complete mobile application, you can instantly scan a group of products and move to the next, which is just another way to speed up barcode scanning—saving valuable time and enabling you to focus more of your time on other productive tasks.

We always love to chat about data capture and our amazing bundle of decoding algorithms that make scanning and decoding (even the most challenging barcodes) look easy. If you have any questions or maybe a decoding problem you just haven't yet been able to solve? Let's talk! Contact us.

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