Managing Barcodes in Packaging Quality Control
by Reuben Malz
Every product in every store all over the world has a barcode on it.
As consumers, we cannot read barcodes, and really don’t care much about them.
We identify products by their name, by their color, by the brand name and logos.
However, barcodes are how brands and their entire worldwide supply chain manage the distribution, logistics, inventory, and point of sale, including discounts, pricing and returns.
Imagine you are at the checkout counter buying a jug of milk for $2.19.
What if the cashier scans the barcode of the milk jug and your bill said “Red Wine for $39.50”?
This is a barcode mix up.
You know the price for the jug of milk is $2.19, but the cash register doesn’t.
The store is very likely to return this product back to the distributor.
But not just this milk jug.
All the milk jugs in this store, and in all the warehouses everywhere.
The stores simply cannot sell them.
The barcode is a critical design element on the artwork.
Lets go a step further.
A barcode mixup is not the only potential issue.
“Why can’t the cashier scan the barcode at the checkout counter?”
What if we were back at the checkout counter, but this time it’s the right barcode, but it will not scan.
Again, the store is very likely to return this product back to the distributor.
The quality of every barcode, of every type, on every single product is critical to the successful sale of a product out in a fierce market place.
What do you need to look out for when it comes to Barcodes?
- Make sure the barcode value matches the product
- Barcodes need to be of the highest quality in order to scan properly
- Your graphic artist needs to setup the barcode on the artwork properly
- Your printer needs to verify the correct barcode is being printed
- Your printer needs to continuously manage barcode quality during the printing process.
Misconception #4 -The Barcode, is part four in a five part series about the misconceptions in packaging quality control. Visit our blog next week for Misconception #5 – The Printed Component.