Bar Codes Are Built for Speed
"There are so many industries that use bar coding," observed Michael Del Chiaro, senior vice president of sales and marketing Ward/Kraft, Fort Scott, Kan. "The transportation industry uses bar coding as does the medical industry, doctor's offices and hospitals."
Of course, in order to reap the benefits of selling bar-coded products, distributors need to con-
vince customers of their value.
By replacing vast amounts of information normally processed by workers with scannable bar-code symbologies, bar codes can help end-users cut back on both man-hours and transposition errors. Plus, because information is recorded in real-time, end-users end up with a more accurate picture of what's going on with their product than with manual methods.
That means customers can earn hard dollars through labor savings and soft dollars by providing their customers with quicker answers.
"I think you're going to see growth in this area," predicted Greg Hatches, senior vice president, Data Papers, Muncy, Pa., "A lot of end-users are looking at technology to help improve their handling of products and services. They want to reduce labor and increase profits, and bar codes are very useful for that."
Furthermore, by affixing bar codes to mature products such as traditional and sheeted forms, distributors can also provide themselves with a way to get a foot in the end-user's door.
Nevertheless, whether you decide to set up as a one-stop shop or stick with traditional bar-coded products, there's plenty of business to be had. The difference, as Shanley explained, is simply that, "You're much less likely to get bumped by a lower bid on a certain product if you're providing everything from sales through service, and the profit margins are wider too."
As for how to break into the business, Del Chiaro suggested targeting "anybody that has the need to track information from one point to another," while Shanley characterized the distributor's challenge as "finding a situation where you can tell them that by spending $10,000 they can save $15,000, as well as streamline their information gathering."