Barcode Labels: Do I need a barcode? How do I get a barcode?February 15, 2012
Are you a business owner about to launch a new product and wondering if you need a barcode on your label? Or maybe you’re a business owner who already has a product and you’re considering adding a barcode to your label. You might be unsure about whether or not you really need a barcode or not. Well, we’re here to help save you from headaches and stress. Let’s breakdown the needs and uses for barcodes!
How to Get a Barcode on Your Retail Product Label
Although there is no law that you must have a barcode, most retailers and distributors will require you to have one for inventory and sales records purposes.
If you are planning to sell your products in a retail market, you should register your product with GS1. GS1 is a global keeper of barcodes. You will be assigned and registered to your own unique barcode that identifies your company as the maker of the product. GS1 will provide you with a unique 12 digit UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN company identification number that you will enter into a UPC-A or and EAN-12 barcode on your products label. By having a registered barcode, your retail product can be scanned and the information embedded in the code will be in the system ready to go.
Of course, barcodes are just one component of a retail label. If you have a small business in the USA, you might be interested in reading these tips regarding the FDA labeling exemptions for food products.
Keeping Better Inventory and Reducing Errors with Barcode Labels
Barcodes can also help you to keep a better inventory of your own products, especially if your product line is large and diverse. You can create special barcodes to best fit your numbering and inventory system. By printing a label with a barcode on it, you can simply scan your barcode rather than rely on someone taking a physical inventory. This not only saves time and money, but it also tremendously reduces the risk of human error.
Having the wrong information in your supply chain or business operation can wreak havoc. These errors can account for business being lost and for higher operating expenses. Your information is one of your most valuable assets and you want to be sure it is being taken care of in a reliable way – this is where barcode labeling shines.
A great example of this is labeling a medical device or labeling a pharmaceutical product with a barcode. Many times these very products have many different variations. Or even if you’re a coffee roaster, if you have 50 different roasts or flavors, it may be hard to keep them all straight. A barcode label can be affixed to the finished product while it is in inventory, so that when the time comes for the item to be picked for shipping, the barcode can be scanned. This will help you to ensure that the right inventory is being picked and shipped to the correct customer.
Avoiding Fraud with Barcode Labels
Piracy and counterfeiting have become more and more common around the world, and such scams can affect your business or industry economically. Most commonly counterfeited are wine labels, fashion labels, and pharmaceutical drug labels.
Counterfeiting is growing so fast that it is hard to control. The United States in particular is hit hard by counterfeiting since it is the world’s largest consumer market. In 2007 alone, 750,000 US jobs were lost due to counterfeiting. Counterfeiters are becoming very smart about what they are doing and one of the best solutions for preventing counterfeit items from making their way into our retail environment is by using barcode labels.
You can use your labels and packaging to fight back against counterfeiting. If you have a product that is at high risk of being duplicated, you can create your own barcode that contains specific information so that it can be scanned to ensure that it is a genuine product. Having a barcode to scan assures retailers that your product is legitimate and safe. These codes can prevent counterfeit pharmaceutical products, wine, baby formula, and even fraudulent unsafe software from getting into consumer hands.
Generating Traffic to Social Platforms: QR Codes
The QR Code is a much newer type of barcode that has become popular over the last few years. QR Codes are 2D codes that are able to hold larger amounts of information than simple 1D codes such as the UPC barcode. Marketers have taken advantage of the ability to print labels with QR codes and now use QR codes to link consumers to websites such as their brand’s website, social media pages, and even contest pages. With the evolution of the cell phone, consumers are able to scan these codes with their mobile device and browse these websites from their phones.
The QR Code makes for a seamless connection between the brand and the consumer because it keeps them constantly connected. You’ll find beverage companies and food companies printing QR Codes on their labels to entice consumers with recipes, coupons, and deals. Printing labels with QR codes is a great tool to take into consideration!
How Do I Start Printing My Own Barcode Labels?
If you want to start printing your own barcode labels, QuickLabel has several options for you. For simple black and white barcode printing, we have the Pronto! barcode label printer family. This printer is perfect for a table or desktop in your office or shipping room. The Pronto! has the ability to print even the smallest sized barcodes (as small as size 4 pt. type) with crisp, clear resolution. The Pronto! also makes barcode label graphics in near-lithographic print quality with consistent, solid fills and clean lines and curves. Some use the Pronto! 486 to make small-size identification labels, rating plate labels, and PC board labels. Others print single-color primary display labels for their products, making labels with logos and illustrations that help promote their brands on the retail shelf.
If you want to color code your barcode labels, our Vivo! Touch color label printer can do the job. The Vivo! Touch color label printer is able to digitally print color labels with color codes at the same time as it prints text, barcodes, color graphics, batch codes, lot codes, date codes, expiration dates, and any other label content. The Vivo! Touch can print color labels in high volumes in no time, perfect for companies with diverse product lines that need color coding for variation. A color coded label performs an important function as a “secondary indicator” of product identification information such as size, flavor, item number, and more. The FDA has recognized color coded labels as a supportive labeling feature for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
For more information on our line of label printers, stop by our website for more information or ask us for an onsite label printer demonstration!
Posted in Packaging, QuickLabel products | Tagged barcode labels, barcode printers, do I need a barcode, food packaging, how do I get a barcode, packaging, printing barcode labels, Pronto! barcode printer, QR Codes, wine label, wine packaging