Barcode Compliance Auditing

Every year the testing division of Bar Code Graphics, Identification Labs, evaluates over 10,000 retail barcode shipping labels.  Although most retail suppliers are familiar with the barcode certification services we provide to retailers, they are unaware of our function in protecting their interests for supply chain compliance disruptions.

Aside from barcode certification, the other components of our model involve working directly with retail distribution centers and auditing barcode compliance issues which cause a supply chain disruption. Since the larger retailers utilize multiple distribution facilities, a uniform set of procedures and training is required to maintain consistent and fair reporting of barcode compliance issues. When a package or printed label is deemed non-compliant, the samples are provided to Identification Labs for evaluation against the ISO, GS1, and retailer guidelines. If non-compliant issues are validated, Identification Labs sends a supporting communication to the respective supplier, documenting the findings and corrective actions are indicated. In essence, we are providing a layer of legitimacy to safeguard against unwarranted barcode compliance offsets.

When a retailer partners with Bar Code Graphics, they are making a statement to their vendor community that they value fairness as well as supply chain efficiency. Standards, specifically the GS1 Standards, provide a rigid way to define barcode quality and exacting processes to measure that quality. This is why it surprises us when we hear about programs that rely on faxed or emailed samples to test compliance. Such programs are not doing vendors any favors. While glaring errors may be caught, they are not giving suppliers a fair opportunity to confirm compliance. It simply cannot be done by fax or email.

In the same vein, any retailer can acquire a top of the line barcode verifier, but maintaining and utilizing that equipment requires far more knowledge and experience than many understand. At best, great equipment in the wrong hands will provide confusing and useless data. At worst, a compliance or certification program will be backed by this bad data. At Identification Labs all testing processes are strictly controlled and all results are backed by a staff that can interpret and explain them in a meaningful way. Many suppliers utilize our testing services for retailers whom we do not formally have certification programs so they can be assured compliance and avoid potential supply chain disruptions.

Since most retailer compliance models now integrate some form of digital evidence for compliance infractions, suppliers really need to scrutinize the provided information to make sure the supporting information for the infraction is legitimate. We have seen numerous examples where a retailer provides verification reports from a non-GS1 certified barcode verifier or evaluates a barcode with the incorrect aperture. Please do not hesitate to contact us if your company needs some assistance supporting or correcting barcode compliance issues.

Sincerely,
Andy Verb
Email: averb@barcode.graphics

Jon Verb
Email: jverb@barcode.graphics

 

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  • UPC (GTIN-12)

  • ISBN/Books

  • Medical/UDI

  • Supply Chain

  • Assets/Inventory

  • Coupon

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UPC (GTIN-12)

There are a variety of different types of barcodes. However, the UPC (Universal Product Number) symbol is the most recognized barcode in the United States, since it appears on almost every retail product. The UPC symbol is the barcode representation of the GTIN-12 which consists of twelve numeric characters that uniquely identify a company’s individual product. The GTIN-12 number is part of the family of GS1 global data structures that employ 14 digits and can be encoded into various types of data carriers.

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ISBN/Books

A requirement for selling a book through booksellers, wholesalers, and distributors is the assignment of unique ISBN numbers for each title and for each book to be marked with a Bookland EAN barcode.

The Bookland symbol allows for encodation of ISBNs (the numbers publishers use to identify their products). Since an ISBN is unique to one particular title (or product), the corresponding Bookland EAN symbol is a title-specific marking which is unique for that title. For example, if a title is available in hard cover, soft cover and as an e-book, three unique ISBN Bookland EAN bar codes are required.

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Medical/UDI

The FDA UDI Mandate is part of a comprehensive healthcare traceability initiative to improve patient safety.  The Unique Device Identifier (UDI) requirement is rooted in holding each member of the supply chain responsible for ensuring each medical device is marked with a UDI barcode with data maintained on the FDA’s GUDID universal database.

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Supply Chain

Logistic barcodes such as the GS1-128 Shipping Label are used to track movement of a shipment within a supply chain.  Since suppliers are making shipments to a variety of trading partners it is essential to integrate the relevant standards and current technology.  The use of EDI and 2D barcodes which can encode much more data has transformed many supply chains.

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Assets/Inventory

The first step in designing an asset tracking system is to determine whether you are working with assets or inventory.  Assets are any items a company uses internally such as tools, equipment, furniture etc.  Inventory are items which are sold, distributed or used by a company.  The distinction between Assets and Inventory is essential in regards to how the items will be marked, scanned and stored.

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Coupon

The successful integration of GS1 DataBar Coupons has dramatically improved many promotions.  The interhent features including; value codes and automatic expiration date checking for retailers, has enabled more efficient redemption, much better security and better metrics to measure the performance of a campaign.

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