Avoiding the Penalty
Bar code accuracy solidifies customer satisfaction
By Carol Katarsky
Since the late 1980s, retailers have assessed fines and penalties to manufacturers of bar codes that do not scan properly. These assessments, sometimes referred to as Automatic Cost Recovery (ACR), are used to recover the cost of im-properly printed bar codes.
"If a scented candle incorrectly scans as a three-pack of athletic socks, a retailer's inventory can be thrown off for an entire year. Now imagine the problem a single product can cause at hundreds of retail outfits around the nation. These are the costs that ACR is designed to recover," said Eric Rudolf, director of marketing at Minneapolis-based Symbology.
To protect itself and its customers from this potential liability, Symbology's Same Day Label service uses the Compliance-Pro HSV from Inspection Sys-tems.
The Compliance-Pro HSV inspects each bar code against a known national standard, verifies all eight factors that affect bar code readability and displays results in real time. It is the only system that can verify every bar code for 100 percent accuracy, unlike the spot checks done with hand-held inspection devices that are used at many label bureaus.
"Although a step in the right direction, many hand-held inspection devices measure only one of the eight parameters. As a bar code label bureau with an ISO 9002 certification, Symbology cannot afford to ship its customers non-compliant bar codes, so we use the Compliance-Pro to monitor all eight print quality issues on every label we print," said Dan Wilkinson, operations supervisor.
In addition to drastically increasing the quality of bar-coded labels, the Compliance-Pro provides Same Day Label with a competitive advantage when soliciting bar code label business. By using the Compliance-Pro, Same Day has a substantial advantage in competitive situations where 100 percent in-spection is either recommended or mandated.
In addition, the installation has allowed the company to lower its label prices by eliminating scrap and making periodic manual inspection unnecessary. For printing sequential bar code labels for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, Same Day Label can now guarantee its customers that there are no missing, duplicate or un-readable bar codes in the run.