Bar Codes Are Built for Speed
Streamline clients' tracking and information gathering while adding heft to your paycheck.
Say your customer wants to track his inventory as it moves through the chain of production, but all you have to offer are plain-old traditional forms. What do you do?
If you're smart you'll find a manufacturer who prints bar-coded labels and not only will you have a happy customer, you'll have a whole new product niche to explore.
Though it's been more than 30 years since the nearly ubiquitous product made its debut, bar codes are still often overlooked.
Perhaps this is because bar codes seem confusing or, in the past, only the very largest of end-user companies could afford the necessary scanning equipment and software used to manage bar-coded information.
Whatever the reason, the time for ignoring bar codes has passed.
"Why should distributors sell bar codes?" asked John Shanley, president, Labels West, Woodinville, Wash. "Let's put it this way: the demand is high for bar-coded products and it's an opportunity to make good money."
Naturally, where there is money to be made, there is a bit of work involved. But as Bill Raible, owner, St. Louis Business Forms, Fenton, Mo., pointed out, it's not so difficult as to be prohibitive.
"It does take some expertise," allowed Raible, "but the only real difficulty lies in whether a distributor will decide to make the economic commitment in both equipment and skilled personnel."
What Raible is referring to is the trend toward offering end-users not only bar-coded products, but also bar-coding equipment, training and service.
Offering traditional bar-coded products—such as labels and forms—can be extremely lucrative, yet many distributors have found that offering customers bar-coding equipment, sales and service can be an excellent way to improve revenue and profits.
Either way, because bar codes are demanded in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, distributors hesitant to risk getting involved in the bar code market should reconsider.