As part of our barcode solution guide we’re looking at how you assess your barcode information and Barcode technology ID needs. This is a simple look at what you’re using your barcode for and what kind of data you will want to store in it. It’s usually a trade-off between size of barcode and complexity of data but there’s a little more than meets the eye too!!
Tip 1 – Is your barcode going to be simple code that will be used to ID an assess for use in your software application or does it need to store more than this, offering more complex data up to the user. Addresses are stored in parcel barcodes, web links in many QR code marketing barcodes and even sub codes that are also designed to be “People readable” as well as machine readable. Airline tickets use a code that airline staff can easily read information our of like the gate and flight numbers for instance
Tip 2 – What kind of data will need to be held. If storing numeric only then you can choose good robust barcode symbologies that will be small and efficient. Add letters and other characters and your choices become more restricted.
Tip 3 – How do you check for mis-reads or invalid barcodes. This is essential as all barcodes mis-read from time to time. A good data structure behind your barcode solution will mean you can provide a robust response to any misreads.
Tip 4 – Is the data or ID being used robust enough for future usage. What if your solution grows, will the barcode and data structure used be robust enough to cope with this growth. Your barcode will grow, especially if you can’t use numbers and letters.
Tip 5 – Will you need to store lots of data, but are restricted to using 1D barcodes? Well there are a range of High Density barcodes that can be used to store larger amounts of data. They’re nowhere near as good at 2D barcodes doing this and you might need a better barcode scanner to read them but it is possible.
Tip 6 – Is 2D an option? They are far more flexible, more robust and they are the future of barcode scanning. However they’re also more complicated to manage and generate and they need more expensive 2D barcode scanners to read them which adds up to a small cost increase but they will make for a more future proofed solution.
Tip 7 – Double check that what you have come up with is as flexible as possible. We always ask clients to take a best case scenario for their solution and business, double it and see if the solution still works for them. Changing ID’s in barcodes can be a very costly and complex thing to do half way through so it’s worth getting it right first time.
Tomorrow we’ll continue by looking at Barcode Label Selection.
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