Break into New Sales with Specialty Bar Codes
"It allows distributors to sell non-commodity products into myriad applications," explained Schultze. "The typical distributor has a catalog with forms, letters and promotional products, but there are probably less than 25 manufacturers producing specialty bar-coded products."
In addition to harsh-environment-use bar codes, Schultze suggested distributors look into offering sequentially and randomly numbered bar codes.
"Whenever a bar code is printed, particularly when it is a sequentially numbered bar code, the cost of failure goes up," he said. "Therefore, the buyer will pay additional money to avoid the potential for failure." That means larger profit margins for the distributor.
Two of the best markets for random and sequentially numbered bar codes are the trucking and distribution industries. But distributors should be aware that specialty bar codes are not the only game in town. Business-to-business operations are also ripe for sales.
Although bar-code use is at the saturation point in the retail market, John Strecker, vice president of sales and marketing, Data Label, Terre Haute, Ind., said that B2Bs have been relatively untouched. The majority of B2Bs are wide open for distributors looking for new markets, but there is a catch.
"I don't believe that standard business forms distributors are seen as the primary providers for consumables with bar codes into manufacturing operations," he said. "Most distributors are not very knowledgeable or comfortable with bar codes and there is a lot of mystery to them. But that should not stop distributors from offering bar codes," added Strecker.
One way to dispel the mystery surrounding bar codes is to simply partner with a forms and labels manufacturer currently producing a wide variety of bar-coded products. Strecker said that any manufacturer printing a large number of bar codes should have the experience to handle whatever a distributor throws its way. Those manufacturers are also more likely to help educate distributors on the bar-code learning curve.