How To Choose a Barcode Reader

Many manufacturers nowadays are barcoding their products for internal auditing and accounting purposes. These enable manufacturers to better study their product statistics, like its sales, supply, and demand. Shop owners see this technological advancement as beneficial also to track their sales and service. Bar coding has created a harmonious business relationship between producers and their sellers - producers implant barcodes, sellers read the barcodes.

Therefore, it is a wise business decision for salesmen or shop owners to invest in barcode readers. Most consumer products, if not all, are scanned through barcode readers upon purchasing. Barcode readers are useful cashier tools to efficiently record all customer purchases onto their receipts. If investors know how to choose which barcode reader fits their cashier set up best, a long term investment in these tools will be beneficial to three of the most important factors in sales: the manufacturers, the sellers and the consumers. Here are some helpful hints to choose a barcode reader:

1. Know the device. Further knowledge of the barcode reader will help the shop owners to compare types of readera and make their choice. By definition, there are five major kinds of barcode readers:

  • The pen readers
  • The slot readers
  • Charge Coupled Device readers (or the CCD readers)
  • Image readers
  • Laser readers

2. Know the required or desired size of barcode reader. If the investor will use the barcode readers for reading continuously, it is wise to choose readers that can be fitted inside tables for large numbers of items to be scanned. If the investor scans bulky cargo, which often have long barcodes or bigger barcode imprints, large readers are advisable.

3. Consider the environment where the reader will be installed. Is it for a warehouse? A shop? Or for outdoor use? Image readers are more advisable for outdoor utilities because these readers are more durable. In rough outdoor environments, it is usual to assume that the device may be knocked or dropped. A laser barcode reader is recommended for a common grocery shop.

4. What is the required scanning distance? If the investor needs long range scanning, modern laser scanners can read barcodes up to 30 feet away. For nearer scanning, up to 10 inches, image based readers are recommended.

5. Choose whether hand-held or stationary. For huge items or irregularly shaped items, it is better to use hand-held scanners. But when it comes to uniformity, stationary readers are fine.

6. Budget is also important. As an example of comparison, an image reader is far cheaper than a laser scanner. Yet prices should not be a determinant of efficiency. Every year newer versions of readers are sold at different prices.

There is a wide range of topics relative to barcode readers. For more information and questions, don't hesitate to consult barcode manufacturers or barcode sales consultants.


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