Accurate Tracking and Identification Come with Proven Technology
Barcode label solutions have been the go-to fix for more than 40 years for managing inventory, tracking purchase patterns, and identifying key assets. However, as RFID technology has become more prevalent in warehouse management, the viability of barcode label use has come into question.
RFID systems do have qualities that are attractive to businesses looking to add new inventory tracking solutions. They’re available in different frequencies depending on the type of materials to be scanned. RFID tags can come with extended read ranges, and line of sight is not required to scan the items. Productivity can be improved as well as multiple tags can be scanned at once, instead of one at a time.
However, even with all those perceived advantages, barcode labels have qualities that make them the preferred choice for many organizations over RFID systems. Let’s dive into some of the ways barcodes still win out.
The Kennedy Group Difference: Still undecided between barcodes and RFID? Let us navigate your options in either direction.
How Barcode Label Solutions Measure Up
Barcode labels are scanned with a beam of light to detect the black and white lines of a barcode. The scanner decodes the lines, transfers the data into text, and sends the information to a computer database for later analysis. Barcode scanners need to access every line of the code to accurately read and transmit the data.
This process and system are still the best way to manage and organize inventory for many businesses. Here’s a quick look at how barcode labels remain a desired solution.
While an RFID scanner can scan multiple codes at a time, this may occasionally result in less accuracy. Barcodes can be read regardless of the substance they’re applied to or other materials in the vicinity, while RFIDs may not correctly read tags when in the presence of metals or liquids. Speed or ease of use shouldn’t come at the expense of accuracy.
On a per-unit basis, barcodes are a much more cost-effective choice. Barcode labels can be provided at a fraction of the cost of an RFID tag, which leads to considerable upfront investment for an organization implementing such warehouse management technology. There are additional costs for RFID systems as well, such as time and money to train this relatively new tech and special printers needed to produce and encode RFID tags.
Barcodes are processed individually — one at a time — so it is easy to differentiate products across price and brand. RFID tags allow you to “read” multiple things, but it is not easy to differentiate what has been scanned and what still needs to be recorded. For example, if there is a large group of boxes on pallets throughout a warehouse, it is not always possible to know if you missed a package or need to rescan something.
The increased distances at which you can scan and record items in an RFID system raises security issues. If a third-party gains access to a scanner or the RFID network, they could potentially acquire sensitive information without being detected.
While RFID tags have gained in popularity in recent years, they are still not as widely used as barcodes. If a company is working with a vendor or supplier, it might have to figure out a way to integrate its RFID usage with the barcode system. Barcodes are still the chosen system of tracking for many companies and may have the infrastructure to work with an RFID system. This situation means companies who use RFIDs may potentially have a limited group of suppliers and vendors they can work with because of the difference in tracking systems.
The Kennedy Group Provides the Quality Barcodes You Need
When it comes to choosing a proven, reliable, and cost-effective source for your barcode label solutions, The Kennedy Group can meet your specific needs. We can provide verified and graded barcode label products and, if required, we can also provide ANSI-grade print quality barcode solutions for the most demanding specifications.
A barcode grade is used to determine whether a barcode will scan easily as read by a barcode grader or verifier. The grader or verifier will look at a number of different factors or parameters to determine its Grade. An ANSI Grade A barcode label is critical to the operation of warehouse and production processes for businesses and represents the highest standard attainable.
ANSI grading is essential to ensuring the quality of barcodes and gauging their performance in retail, production, and manufacturing environments. The process for grading barcode quality relies on nine quality parameters that are tested during ANSI grading, with each grade offering potential differences in barcode performance.
At The Kennedy Group, our pre-production barcode file verification along with our barcode verification system, in addition to our spot-check quality verification process, guarantees accurate readability. We do all of this in an effort to reduce scanning errors while meeting your strict barcode standards.
In addition, we are capable of offering barcode labels in a number of different symbologies, including:
- Code 39 — A variable-length barcode symbology, its specification defines 43 characters, consisting of uppercase letters (A through Z), numeric digits (0 through 9), and a number of special characters.
- Code 128 — This high-density linear barcode symbology is used for alphanumeric or numeric-only barcodes.
- Data Matrix — A two-dimensional barcode consisting of black and white “cells” or modules arranged in either a square or rectangular pattern, also known as a matrix.
- QR Code — Offers fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.
The Kennedy Group Difference: From food and beverage to retail distribution, we cover nearly every industry with innovative solutions.
Work with a Barcode Label Solutions Expert
The Kennedy Group is an innovative, quality-driven, family-owned business that has provided solutions for companies in a wide range of industries for nearly 50 years. When you want effective, high-quality material handling identification labels, we have the experience and expertise to provide the solutions you need to reach your goals.