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The 5 Benefits of Barcodes in Supply Chain Management


In recent years, barcodes have infiltrated the supply chain in rapid form, creating new opportunities for tracking and information gathering. From the simplest of goals – to see when a package will arrive at the consumer’s doorstep – to more complex efforts such as tracking temperatures in transit, barcodes provide incredible information at a moment’s notice. Consider the benefits barcodes bring to the process in supply chain management:

  1. Tracking & Inventory Management
  2. Enhancing Accuracy
  3. Improving Transparency in the Process
  4. Cost Effectiveness
  5. Advantages of Barcodes over RFID Tags

#1: Tracking & Inventory Management

Manufacturers and distributors can expedite the fulfillment process using barcode scanning. A single barcode provides instant access to a large amount of data, including how a box should be packed or where on the warehouse floor it should be routed. The same barcode connects workers and truck drivers to managing paperwork, tracking when and where, and managing inventory more efficiently.

#2: Enhancing Accuracy

The cost of a mistake is a big factor for all companies. With barcode scanning, redundant information and error corrections can be made in real-time. Even if a package suffers damage or a label is destroyed. Solutions are available to use even limited data to complete transactions.

#3: Improving Transparency in the Process

With granular visibility into the supply chain, there’s more transparency to meet regulatory requirements. This is an increasing concern for many companies, especially those in the food industry who have to meet the demands of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. Tracing products becomes more efficient and possible using barcode scanning technology. With more detail, companies can use this information to manage recalls quickly, potentially saving lives in the process.

Real-time visibility is one of the most important components of today’s supply chain management. Logistics in a supply chain is managed more effectively overall using barcodes than most other solutions available.

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Man scans a damaged barcode

#4: Cost Effectiveness

Companies need to strive to maintain a bottom line. Barcodes are one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions for doing this. Though scanners used to be significantly more expensive in the past, today, they are far more affordable overall – and they offer more advanced features as well. A barcode label itself costs just a few cents.

Another key to consider is the savings they bring. Barcode scanning technology eliminates the costly need to manage labor costs. These systems are automated, requiring little to no human support. At the same time, labor costs continue to rise in the industry, driving up costs for human-managed supply chains.

#5: Advantages of Barcodes over RFID Tags

Can RFID tags provide the same benefits as barcodes? Not necessarily. They require a significantly large extra investment. That’s money companies often do not want (or cannot) spend. At the same time, RFID tags are not as durable as barcodes. That is, they can easily be damaged in transit, making them useless in providing rapid information when needed.

What Are the Best Devices for Scanning Barcodes?

Barcode scanning technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Today, logistics companies are benefiting from enterprise-grade barcode scanning on any standard smartphone or ruggedized device. Barcode technology continues to grow and impress. Are you investing in it well enough to benefit your supply chain?

Barcode Scanning in Logistics (Free Two Pager)


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