Home Depot Case Study
Founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, The Home Depot created the “do-it-yourself” retail concept. Today, The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with over 2,200 retail stores. The reliance of barcoding at the point-of-sale has been instrumental with The Home Depot’s growth and the company has identified barcoding as a crucial element to improve their supply chain efficiency.
The Home Depot established a network of Rapid Deployment Center (RDC) to expedite supply chain processing. The RDC warehouses were designed to increase the efficiency of restocking store shelves and the quick deployment of essential products resulting from weather related factors. A critical component of the RDC model relies on high speed barcode scanning of product and cases. Although The Home Depot required UPC item and ITF-14 case level marking, the quality and accuracy of the barcode symbols was never measured for compliance. Consequently, the efficiencies of the RDC network were compromised by non-compliant barcode symbols.
The Home Depot recognized they needed rely on GS1 standards in order for the global supply chain compliance and work with an experienced testing center capable of assisting their entire supplier community. Rather than work with a hardware (verifier) or software company, it was important to The Home Depot they direct their suppliers to a dedicated and unbiased barcode testing center. Bar Code Graphics established a barcode certification solution to which has enabled their suppliers to comply with their item and case level barcode identification. Our work on this project included;
- Authoring new comprehensive barcode guidelines which are harmonized with the GS1 General Specifications and provide suppliers a blue print to facilitate compliance
- Establishing a dedicated testing web portal for The Home Depot suppliers and corporate. The web application provides testing results and archived digital images of certified samples and corresponding analysis reports.
- ISO/ANSI Barcode certification for every package and label size provided by their suppliers.
- Educational assistance and corrective recommendations provided to suppliers who are deemed non-compliant.
- In 2017, Bar Code Graphics authorized an updated comprehensive barcode requirements to address all POS and supply environments.
- GS1-128 labels was added to the testing formats which all Home Depot suppliers need to certify from Bar Code Graphics.
Today the RDC warehouses have increased the number of units per hour they process, both for incoming and outgoing products. Initially this program was rolled out to only domestic suppliers. Due to the recognized success of the program, the solution was expanded to Home Depot Canada and also overseas suppliers. Bar Code Graphics established a testing center in Shenzhen China to specifically assist The Home Depot import suppliers.
Barcode certification by Bar Code Graphics is now an integrated component of their global vendor onboarding process.