There is a common misconception that creating and leveraging barcodes is an expensive or time-consuming investment when in reality there are barcode label software solutions with low up-front costs that are easy to install and use, plus pave the way for scalability as your company grows.
This blog will go through four separate ways to create or buy barcodes, and why the benefits of building a barcode specific to you and your brand outweigh leveraging free online or outsourced barcodes.
From a startup or small business, you will need a system that can help automate the tracking of items in stock. For internal operations, you can start cheaply with just a barcode downloaded from an online barcode generator, a printer, and a scanner.
Most free online barcode generators come with limitations:
Also, if you are placing barcodes onto product labels and leveraging both an online barcode generator and label creation tool, this creates unnecessarily disparate systems.
You can also download and use the barcode font in Microsoft Word or Excel to generate barcodes. While this is a familiar interface, Word and Excel no longer have a built-in barcode tool or native barcode fonts, which makes the process of creating a barcode more tedious.
Some of the steps include the need to download and add a barcode font or generate barcodes using two field codes, DisplayBarcode and MergeBarcode. These field codes only support 10 types of barcodes, including UPC (Universal Product Code), Code 39, and Code 128.
Storing and managing multiple Word or Excel documents as additional barcode types are needed or updates to existing barcodes are made can be cumbersome. This also creates the risk of having outdated versions of barcodes making their way into production.
If you would like to sell your products to retailers who require unique product identification, such as UPC/EAN (European Article Number) barcodes, there is the option of leveraging a third-party company. Consistent with the first two ways to create barcodes, there are limitations to this option as well:
Barcodes sold by third-party resellers may scan fine at the point of sale, but they will not have GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) or a unique Company Prefix encoded in the barcode that is unique to you or your brand. Not having you or your brand represented in the barcodes on your products could result in a loss of credibility or sense of accountability with your customers. Now more than ever, customers want to see who and where the products they are purchasing are coming from.
Why is it better to create your own barcode rather than buy it? By leveraging barcode label design software, you can easily create your own barcode and gain the benefit of greater flexibility.
Barcode labeling software includes over 100 types of barcodes, varying by the amount and type of encoded data (e.g., numeric-only or alphanumeric), so no matter what the barcode is being scanned for, you can create a barcode that meets your needs. Plus, barcodes created in software specifically designed for this purpose can easily be changed in size and ratio without losing print quality.
You also can connect to data sources to create variable or dynamic barcodes, so print users can input data at print time using Form Designer or data can be pulled in directly from an existing cloud-based or on-premise database to impact the machine-readable and human-readable components of barcodes.
Using the easy-to-use barcode generation wizard in LABELVIEW, you can create a barcode in just a few clicks. Download a free 30-day trial and watch this short how-to video:
All products need a unique identification number from GS1, a global standards organization, to sell them online or in stores. Unlike barcodes purchased from third-party companies, when you create your own barcodes, your products will be registered under the name of your company. A consumer product GTIN or barcode number is created by combining the GS1 Company Prefix licensed to you with a unique item reference. To get a GTIN, you can go to GS1’s website to license and create one for your products. Then, use the GS1 barcode generator wizard in your barcode label software to easily create a compliant barcode.
Looking for a barcode label design software that fits any budget? TEKLYNX Subscription Licensing is a cost-effective solution that offers more predictable costs. A subscription license has a lower cost of entry and includes free technical support, training webinars, and version upgrades.
Nick Recht is the Sales Manager for the Americas region at TEKLYNX, RFID and barcode label solution provider. He leverages his passion for using technology to add value to businesses and his 12 years of AIDC experience to help organizations of all sizes barcode better. When he is not working, he is driving one of his daughters to a practice of some sort or making/sampling beer from his garage brewery.
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