Barcodes for Dummies Part 1
The world of barcodes can intimidate even the most sophisticated business owner. Barcoding technology is expanding and developing every day and it is tough to keep on top of it. At SA Barcodes, we are more than happy to assist you through the process of acquiring GS1 barcodes and learning how to implement these barcodes in your business. We are here to answer all of your questions. You do not have to be daunted by the process of buying barcodes in South Africa. We aim to make the process as simple and uncomplicated as possible. This blog is here to answer all your questions about barcodes as well as to help you to understand them better.
What are barcodes used for? There are so many different uses of barcodes that this blog is not long enough to list them all. Barcodes are used in all areas of life. They are used in the retail industry in order to assist with sales as well as with inventory control and stock checks. The way they are used in the retail industry is that the barcode is registered with the retailer and every time the specific item is scanned, the sale is credited to the right account.
QR codes are used in the Medical industry in order to assist in ensuring top quality care of patients. This is done through accurate patient identification and control of medication. In the manufacturing process, barcodes are used to track each part as the whole item is assembled. Barcodes are used in Nature Conservation to identify species as well as to help curb poaching. In schools they are used to control access to the school and therefore protect the children. In Libraries, barcodes are used to regulate the flow of books in and out of the Library.
There are so many different kinds of barcodes. How do I know which kind of barcode that I need in my business? This is one of the most pressing questions that are often asked regarding barcodes. In order to choose the right barcode, you have to be fully aware of what you are going to use that barcode for. UPC-A & EAN barcodes are both one dimensional barcodes that are used mostly in the retail industry. However, UPC-A codes are mainly used in America and other overseas countries, whereas here in South Africa we use EAN codes. At SA Barcodes, we supply our barcodes in both versions so that you will be able to use them wherever you need to.
If you want to publish a book or a magazine, you will need to apply for an ISBN or ISSN number respectively. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number. This is also something we, at SA Barcodes, can assist you with. To receive an ISBN or ISSN number, you need to apply to the National Library of South Africa. We will convert this number into a barcode image which you can place either directly on the book or onto the outside book cover. Once you have completed the process, your book will be added to the international and national databases for ISBN & ISSN numbers. You will now legally be able to sell your book all over South Africa as well as overseas.
What is the difference between one dimensional barcodes and two dimensional barcodes? One dimensional barcodes are very simple barcodes that store a limited amount of information. They consist of black and white stripes and are used throughout the retail industry. As the needs changed and it became necessary for barcodes to store more information, two dimensional barcodes were developed. These barcodes are a lot more complex and store a vast amount of information. It is possible to scan these barcodes both vertically and horizontally.
An example of a 2D barcode is a QR code. QR codes are taking the world by storm. One of their biggest accomplishments is that they have made Snapscan possible. This is an app on a smart phone that allows people to pay via their phones. This has led to a hassle free and easy sales transaction process. It is also safer since it is no longer necessary to carry credit cards or cash around. QR codes are often used as a marketing tool to promote your business and provide more information on aspects of your business that you would like to highlight. Information that they can contain include promotional videos about your small business, a virtual business card, Google map directions to your store or existing promotions that you are holding.
SA Barcodes is here to help you through this entire process. We are South Africa’s only legal reseller of barcodes and we provide all these different types of barcodes at the most affordable prices. Look out for our next blog “Barcodes for Dummies Part 2” for more information to help you understand this crazy world of barcodes.