Solution Case Study
The Electronics Component Industry Association (ECIA) is comprised of the leading electronic component manufacturers, their manufacturer representatives and authorized distributors. ECIA members share a common goal of promoting and improving the business environment for the authorized sale of electronic components to the end customer.
The major distributors in this industry include: Allied Electronic, Arrow, AVNET, Digi-Key, Future Electronics, Mouser, Newark, Sager, and TTI. The industry has a history of relying on automated identification (AutoID) and has been using linear barcodes to efficiently convey key product and shipment data. Although many of the distributors integrated barcode scanning within their supply chains, the data collection process to scan numerous linear barcodes was time consuming and manufacturer implantation was inconsistent. ECIA identified that migrating to 2D barcodes would save significant time and consequently drafted a 2D barcode guideline in 2012.
Although the original 2D barcode guideline was based on the ANSI MH10 standard, there were numerous data elements and structures unique to the electronic component industry which presented barriers to implementation. Furthermore, additional data attributes, such as traceability elements, were not adequately detailed in the guidelines.
Similar to other industries, suppliers were required to create 2D barcode formats customized for each distributor and submit label samples individually to each trading partner pre-approval. These barriers hindered overall supplier engagement.
ECIA partnered with Bar Code Graphics to establish an industry-wide program to support distributors with 2D barcode utilization and streamline the process to enable suppliers to meet the satisfy the industry’s requirements.
The top industry distributors recognize the importance of this initiative and have jointly adopted standardized 2D barcode label formats plus a centralized certification process to facilitate easier implementation by suppliers.
Our work on this project included;
- Coordinating discussion among the top distributors to formulate universal formats and requirements which satisfied each of their needs
- Creating of new industry 2D barcode standard which addressed needs of the industry and was aligned with ANSI MH10 standard. The 2D barcode guidelines is a comprehensive illustrated document to assist manufacturers with implementation.
- Establishing a central barcode testing portal and certification program which all distributors will rely on their suppliers’ 2D barcode testing status .
- Implementing an education initiative and sample label formats for manufacturers.
Today, over 300 unique supplier ship points have tested 2D barcode label formats through the Identification Labs testing portals. The top distributors are instructing all current and new suppliers to register and test labels. The ECIA 2D barcode testing portal is https://ecia.identificationlabs.com .