How Barcode Integration Is Solving Supply Chain Challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic may not be the first pandemic to impact global supply chains, but its impact has been orders of magnitude greater than previous public health crises. Businesses around the world have been forced to contend with the twin challenges of transitioning to a remote workforce and overcoming severe supply chain disruption. As 2020 winds down to a close, it’s becoming clear that the pandemic may well represent a “new normal” for logistics strategy rather than a temporary situation.
3 Critical Supply Chain Challenges
From implementing new technology to establishing relationships with alternative vendors, organizations across multiple industries are taking steps to meet the challenges confronting their supply chains in both the immediate and long-term future. One of the biggest areas of focus is barcode integration. Although they may not seem like they belong at the forefront of innovation, barcodes are scanned more than six billion times every day and serve an incredibly important role in modern supply chain management.
Here are a few of the biggest challenges organizations are facing:
1. Supply Chain Visibility
Speed and flexibility are competitive advantages in today’s on-demand marketplace. Customers want products delivered faster and will quickly lose faith in brands that fail to meet their expectations. According to a 2019 survey of online consumers, 72.7% of respondents were unlikely to order from a company again after a poor delivery experience. Given those high stakes, it’s incredibly important for organizations to maintain high levels of visibility into their supply chains.
Barcode technology makes it possible to track products and materials throughout the entire production and distribution process. A quick scan is all that’s needed to update an item’s status every time it’s processed at a location. That information feeds into inventory tracking software that allows businesses to get a more accurate picture of how shipments move through their supply chain. This visibility makes it easier to identify potential problems and enhance overall logistics efficiency.
2. Digital Transformation
Despite the growing emphasis on digital transformation across the economy, the average supply chain is still held back with inefficient, legacy infrastructure. Small and medium-size businesses face the greatest challenges, with only 21% of them using digital tools to integrate their supply chain operations with other departments. In the retail industry alone, bad processes and data disconnects cost companies over $500 billion annually. As the holiday season draws nearer and promises to bring with it a massive increase in online shopping, having a fully digital supply chain in place with enough speed to handle that demand is essential.
Implementing the right digital technology tools can help organizations to streamline their supply chains and gather the data they need to make better decisions. Barcode integration software is a foundational component of this transformation because it forms a bridge between the physical and digital elements of logistics management. Shipments can be instantly scanned into tracking systems to provide a wealth of data points across the supply chain, making it easier to adapt to disruptions and develop better processes. Barcode libraries also need to be able to scan and decode both traditional 1D codes and newer 2D codes quickly and accurately to keep products moving swiftly and smoothly to consumers.
As many organizations have put social distancing protocols in place during the pandemic to protect the health of both employees and customers, automation has become more important to supply chain performance than ever before. These COVID-19 pressures are sure to accelerate what was already a growing push toward implementing automated software and systems. Gartner even projected in 2019 that 30% of warehouse workers will be replaced by collaborative robots by 2023, which will further drive the demand for automated scanning and inventory management tools to accompany them.
For these automated systems to work effectively, they will need robust software that can withstand the difficult working conditions of warehouses, assembly lines, and distribution centers. A barcode integration that struggles to accurately read damaged or broken barcode images, for instance, won’t last very long in such an environment. The software powering automated systems must be able to function under a variety of conditions and be adaptable enough to overcome obstacles without constant oversight from on-site workers.
Unleash Your Supply Chain With Barcode Xpress
Building software capable of meeting the needs of a truly digital supply chain is no easy task. That’s especially true when it comes to integrating barcode reading capabilities into supply chain applications. With so many barcode formats in use, developers need an SDK with the ability to accurately detect, read, and write both common and uncommon barcode types used across all industries.
Accusoft’s Barcode Xpress is a multi-language barcode integration capable of reading and writing more than 30 different barcode types quickly and accurately. A truly robust SDK solution, Barcode Xpress leverages the imaging functionalities of ImagXpress to repair damaged orbroken barcodes that other readers are unable to read.
Barcode Xpress is capable of detecting and decoding multiple barcodes on a page at speeds of up to 1,000 pages per minute. It doesn’t matter where the barcode is located, what type of code it is, or how many are present. The control is able to read them regardless of orientation within milliseconds.
Every time Barcode Xpress detects a barcode, it not only provides the information encoded within the image, but also reports a confidence value to ensure high levels of accuracy. Damaged, broken, or poorly printed barcodes can also be scanned thanks to the SDK’s image processing capabilities. Black noise, white noise, erasures, low resolution, white line streaks, and other common barcode problems are reconstructed and scanned automatically to keep the supply chain moving.
With the ability to detect, read, and write over 30 different barcode types, Barcode Xpress is available in multiple configurations for Windows and Linux-based operating systems. The SDK library supports 24-bit color images, 8-bit grayscale images, and 1-bit black and white images, as well as providing more than 80 additional image processing and editing functions thanks to its ImagXpress integration.
Experience Barcode Xpress Today
Easy to deploy and utilize, Barcode Xpress is a true all-in-one solution for desktop and web applications seeking barcode recognition capabilities. Just a few lines of code is all it takes to unlock the full potential of your supply chain technology.