Future of Warehouse Barcoding and Labelling
The pace of change in the warehousing and distribution arena seems to accelerate daily. Clients continue to seek new label and signage solutions to help them address the dynamic requirement for improvements in inventory management, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and operational efficiency.
For instance, e-commerce operators require up to three times more space than traditional warehouse users. That’s because of the greater diversity in products they handle and the necessity to have them directly accessible.
Key trends are impacting barcoding and labeling today?
There’s been a huge increase in SKUs and inventory volumes. Yesterday’s processes for managing inventory and throughput are under pressure as warehouse managers try to keep pace with rising expectations for rapid order fulfillment.
Today’s modern warehouses are smart, automated and efficient, often employing sophisticated warehouse management software. Barcoding technology, labels, and signage are a key part of making all that work. Each facility is different, so your barcoding solutions need to match your environment and objectives.
Barcode is a mature automatic identification (auto-ID) technology that has been used in supply chain management (SCM) for several decades. Such has been the domination of the auto-ID technique that it has pervaded all facets of SCM, from item-level identification to transportation applications. It has enjoyed free reign, especially in the retail sector.
Labels are used for managing warehouse environments by collecting data from existing items on shelves and racks. Labels enable description and identification of items accurately in a short time. Although lot of research has been done in the field of barcode detection, the present methods for detection are applicable at a short distance from the camera and with a clear background. Therefore, label detection from captured images is challenging especially with a large and complex background.
As scanner technology continues to evolve, we can see the future of barcodes is in “image barcodes” which will be able to scan an item based on its logo and appearance, there will be less need and demand for 1D barcodes.
1D Barcodes can only hold a maximum of 85 characters. In contrast, 2D Barcodes can store over 7,000 characters, enabling you to transmit almost two paragraphs of information. By shifting to 2D barcodes, businesses are able to convey much more obscure information without the need for any additional scanning.
Integrated Labeling System
In a warehouse environment, the use of color can play a significant role in a label’s effectiveness, the right use of color makes a label stand out so it’s easier for workers to see from a distance system of colored barcode labels actually aids in improving processes for slotting, picking and overall inventory management.
Colored Warehouse Labels and Multilevel Racking
The true benefits of colored barcode labels are most apparent in warehouses with large, multilevel rack systems. Uniform system of colored barcode labels can be very helpful to mark and identify tiers consistently throughout a warehouse or across a network of distribution centers.
Multicolor barcode labels can be used with tiered racking systems to improve processes for slotting, picking, and overall inventory management. That same color coding can be employed consistently across a network. This can be helpful in cross-training warehouse workers or rolling out new inventory management software.