Barcode scanners are becoming staples of more industries and organisations every day — in ways you might not even have considered.
According to an article in Business 2 Community, there are six industries where barcodes have altered the way people do business, communicate and organise their inventory and fixed assets.
- Big-box retailers
Of course big-box retailers use barcodes – you see them on virtually every product you buy. But the ways in which barcodes have changed the scale on which these businesses can work have flown under the radar.
For example, barcodes fundamentally altered the trajectory of Wal-Mart, which is now a behemoth of sales on a global scale. They helped Wal-Mart transform its supply chain, communicating constantly with manufacturers and suppliers and pushing them to produce and deliver their goods faster and more cheaply than ever
- Etsy stores and other online home businesses
On the other end of the spectrum, Etsy shop owners and other home businesses have markedly smaller needs than those of their big-box counterparts, but barcodes can still play a vital role. Barcode labels don’t just come in industrial size and strength — a desktop barcode printer can create smaller labels that help craft producers keep track of their latest creations, and ensure that everything is headed to where it belongs.
Barcodes have been of great use in the healthcare industry, where tracking inventory such as medications or surgical equipment is of vital importance and granting access or validation to patients and their families equally so.
One of the greatest benefits of using barcodes over a manual tracking system is the reduction in human error – which in the realm of pharmaceuticals can have devastating results. With a barcode printer that creates wristband barcodes, healthcare professionals can scan the barcode of a patient and ensure they are getting the proper treatment at the right time, as well as check to see if the medication they’re taking is both accurate and in stock for future dosings.
Keeping track of fixed assets in schools — such as laptops, tablets, laboratory equipment and even textbooks — is crucial for maintaining accurate accounting, which is often one of the conditions schools need to meet in order to maintain grants. Again, the ramifications of failing to accurately track the location of school assets (especially as these assets become more valuable, such as iPads) are too great to leave up to manual hand counts. When it comes to educational compliance, the costs can add up.
- Governmental organisations
Government-operated industries such as law enforcement, the military and the fire department/emergency services already must account for a variety of tools and assets that are purchased with public money. Thus, a tracking system that can account for who checked-out a certain piece of equipment, when they did so and where they did so can be crucial in ensuring every officer, soldier, firefighter and other public worker has what they need to their jobs, when they need it.
- Professional sports and entertainment
Consider all the assets needed on a fall Sunday, when NFL teams take the field across the country. Everything from security to food to scoreboard and technical production needs to be covered, and one team that found their technological solutions to be lacking was the Arizona Cardinals. The team’s Scoreboard Production department wasn’t tracking hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, sometimes leaving a shortfall during game situations. Labelling the assets with saved the team thousands of labour hours and ensured peace of mind on game day.