Barcodes, a common feature we notice on almost every product in the market, play a key role in inventory management and product identification. They make a multitude of operations, such as sales, inventory tracking, and pricing, faster and more systematic. If you are in India and planning to launch a product, knowing the basics of acquiring and digitally printing barcodes is essential.
Understanding Barcodes and their Significance
Barcodes are a series of machine-readable black lines and white spaces of varying width, usually accompanied by a 12 or 13 digit number, known as the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). When a barcode is scanned, the barcode scanner decodes the GTIN, linking it with the product information in a database.
A barcode system is effective in reducing human error associated with manual data entry, enhancing inventory accuracy, improving check-out speed, and offering comprehensive product information instantly.
Acquiring a Barcode in India
In India, the process of acquiring a barcode is systematic and calculated. The first step involves obtaining barcode numbers officially from GS1 India. GS1 is a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication, of which barcodes are a part.
Registration with GS1 India
Any company that wishes to acquire a barcode must register with GS1 India. You need to fill an online application form available on the GS1 India website and pay the required membership and license fees. After successful payment, you receive an exclusive GS1 Company Prefix (SCP), which is used to create your barcode numbers (GTIN).
With your SCP, you can create different GTINs for each of your distinct products. The structure of GTIN can be in 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits, depending on the nature of your products and the point of sale. For instance, if your product will be sold in retail outlets in India, you will need a 13-digit GTIN.
Digitally Printing Barcodes
Once you have your GTINs, it’s time to transform them into barcodes. There are two major ways of barcode printing online: using professional barcode printers or utilizing regular printers (laser, inkjet).
Using barcode printers
Barcode printers are specially designed printers that can print on self-adhesive label material or card-stock. These printers can be categorized into direct thermal printers, which use heat to blacken the barcode onto label material, and thermal transfer printers, which use heat to transfer a durable, long-lasting barcode onto labels.
Using regular printers
Regular printers can print barcodes; however, the quality might not be as high as that of dedicated barcode printers. These printers print the barcodes into a sheet of labels, which you can stick to the products.
Digital printing solutions
You can also design and print barcodes using digital designing and printing software. These tools allow you to design the look of your barcode labels and then print them using your regular printer or a barcode-specific printer.
While the process of acquiring and printing barcodes in India involves various steps and considerations, it is a crucial element in product management and sales operations. Remember to renew your GS1 India membership annually to keep your SCP valid, and therefore your barcodes functional. Buy barcode in India and integrating it on your product is certainly a beneficial investment that will streamline your business processes and enhance efficiency. Your ultimate aim should be to choose the process compatible with your needs and accessible resources. With this knowledge, you’re now ready to take your first step in the barcode world.