In point-of-sale management, barcode systems can provide detailed up-to-date information on the business, accelerating decisions and with more confidence. For example:
- Fast-selling items can be identified quickly and automatically reordered.
- Slow-selling items can be identified, preventing inventory build-up.
- The effects of merchandising changes can be monitored, allowing fast-moving, more profitable items to occupy the best space,
- Historical data can be used to predict seasonal fluctuations very accurately.
- Items may be re-priced on the shelf to reflect both sale prices and price increases.
- This technology also enables the profiling of individual consumers, typically through a voluntary registration of discount cards. While pitched as a benefit to the consumer, this practice is considered to be potentially dangerous by privacy advocates.
- Besides sales and inventory tracking, barcodes are very useful in logistics.
- When a manufacturer packs a box for shipment, a Unique Identifying Number (UID) can be assigned to the box.
- A database can link the UID to relevant information about the box; such as order number, items packed, qty packed, destination, etc.
- The information can be transmitted through a communication system such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) so the retailer has the information about a shipment before it arrives.
Barcode system has been developed to meet this need by providing solutions that guarantees unique and unambiguous identification. Manufacturers, exporters, importers, hospitals, wholesalers, retailers, etc. can use the system to communicate information regarding the goods or services they trade.
These unique identification numbers can be represented by bar code symbols. This enables inexpensive and accurate data capture thus providing the required information at all points of the supply chain.
One of the main concepts of this system is that any item (product or service) upon which there is a need to retrieve pre-defined information and that may be priced or ordered or invoiced at any point in any supply chain can be allocated a unique identification number - the Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN for short.