UPC barcodes consist of a unique series of bars and 12 numbers used to identify products. Barcodes are used in many ways. The most common use involves scanning merchandise purchased at grocery stores to determine the sale price. The first barcode transaction in a grocery store took place in the 1970’s. Because of the use of scanners and barcodes, cashiers no longer had to manually record pricing and calculate totals. This made the shopping process much easier and faster. Each product sold in grocery stores includes a barcode and UPC number. Numbers are assigned by manufacturers and consist of three parts. These include the company’s prefix, item number, and check digit.
Manufacturer barcodes are perfectly produced. Furthermore, barcode numbers cannot be reproduced. If using UPC numbers as a means of keeping tabs on personal inventory, a certified UPC number is not required. For this reason, purchase one of many computer software barcode programs. Once the code is printed, place the label on product or inventory. The only way to produce quality and clear barcodes is to use a printer that is capable of printing barcode labels.
Aside from making checkout fast at grocery stores, barcodes serve a variety of other purposes. For example, many car rental companies use barcodes as a means of keeping track of car rentals. Additionally, airlines maintain records of all passengers through use of barcodes.
A unique use of barcodes occurs in the fashion world. In order for some designers to keep tabs on which articles of clothing is intended for specific models, clothes are tagged with barcodes, and temporary barcodes are stamped on models.
There are numerous ways to read barcode information. Stationary scanners are ideal for stores. However, if tracking inventory from different locations, consider a portable barcode scanner. These might consist of a USB barcode scanner or PDA scanner.