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March 12, 2007

Barcode Label Technology

Posted in: Ecommerce

Can you imagine now a super market without barcode label handling? Of course not. One og the major break troughs for productivity is the┬ádigital automatisation. I don’t care if it is barcodes, chips, or other digital hocus-pocus: as long as it makes our life easier I go for it! When I was in high school I remember our math teacher talking about this new system that was going to be used for shopping that would allow the clerks to scan items that were being purchased in front of a light and that the price of the item would be recorded in the cash register. We all thought he was a bit crazy, but he explained to us that the lines we were seeing on product labels were the beginning of this process. He told us the lines were a barcode label. He also told us that by the time we were in college the entire country would be using the metric system to measure and weigh things.

By the time I graduated from high school the larger super markets in the larger cities were scanning the barcode label to check out groceries. Prior to this the clerk had to enter the amount of each item individually into a cash register. This meant that each can, package, bottle and fresh food item that was purchased had to have a price sticker attached to it. Checkout lines were much slower and the clerks often had to go back to the shelves to find a can that had a price tag on it. When the barcode label first started being used the machines were not as sensitive or reliable as they are now. Often times it would take several tries before the machine would register the price. Many times the clerk would accidentally scan on item more than once and would then have to go through an elaborate process in order to remove the mistake from the receipt.

It is amazing how innovative the use of the barcode label is. They are now used to track your mail, ring up items in all retail settings from groceries, to clothing to items that are purchase in the gas station. The barcode label has drastically reduced the amount of time we have to spend in line buying things. Now many discount stores have self check out lines where you scan the barcode label yourself and then pay the amount shown at the end of your list. This helps the store to keep costs down because they do not have to hire as many clerks.

Our math teacher was right about the use of the lined tracking devices on products; however he missed the timeframe on the country converting to the use of the metric system. My children were told that they had to learn the metric system because the county would be converted by the time they were in college. They are now married and have children that are starting school, I am sure they will be told the same thing.

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