Are your barcode labels failing to read? Here's our quick fix

2019-05-09 10:20:53
Are your barcode labels failing to read? Here's our quick fix

Common issues and resolutions to barcode failures

Rejected product shipments can cost SMEs thousands each year. Returned order and reshipping costs paired with a disgruntled customer or purchase manager can really put a dent in your bottom line and business relationships. With market changes pushing for faster on demand orders, lets look at how you can save costs and piece of mind with a reliable and readable barcoding system.

Larger retail stores will reject orders if the barcode doesn’t scan immediately upon delivery. It’s easy as a supplier to become overwhelmed with their demands and strict labelling requirements. Unfamiliarity with barcoding can be a headache to resolve and costly. If you are suppling into a large store such as Tesco or Asda etc. They have specific barcoding requirements and use ITF 14 codes for their box end, traded unit, outer case labels. For this we would recommend a thermal transfer (TT) printer due to the cleaner print quality. As direct thermal printing is heat reactive the barcodes can bleed slightly or be scuffed beyond readability in courier transit resulting in them not scanning when delivered. Thermal transfer print is more durable and not susceptible to bleeding.

Creating a clean readable barcode is a must, making it easy to create and low cost is essential. We frequently find some of our customers are using a free online barcode generator, then either screenshotting the code or printing from the website. This is a low-resolution option open to errors and incorrect data being input or mistranslated. But its free and mostly works so why would you want to buy expensive labelling software? It maybe free software but the costs soon add up with goods returned and mislabelled. Label design software doesn’t have to complicated or costly, most printers come with a starter software package for free with easy step by step guides to set-up the label and codes required. For more complex requirements we can offer support, training and even send you pre-designs templates from our software specialists made especially for your requirements.

Are your products often getting lost by logistics companies or fulfilment centres? If the picking staff or couriers can’t scan your products barcode its likely they won’t try twice as they don’t have the time. If you have a high value product and already know the importance clean print and the correct barcodes usage, the next step to reducing error reads and no-scans would be to add a verifier to your printer. This will ensure each label and code printed scans with the correct information, this is one of the primary requirements of products such as pharmaceutical goods. If you think you may require the use of a verifier our specialists are able to review your requirement and make suitable recommendations and offer pricing or consultancy help either remotely or on-site.

Simple data barcoding applications such as, shipping labels with a basic product code reference in the form of a 128 code work best with a direct thermal (DT) printer and basic direct thermal labels. Our recommendation for lower label volumes would be a Zebra ZD420 printer partnered with Zebra standard address shipping labels. For higher label volumes such as 1,000 plus per batch it would be best to give our solutions team a call for a custom quotation and printer recommendation that suites your requirement.

So whats the quick fix? Get the right printer, labels and software for your requirement. 

If you need support and advice to come with a cost effective and simple to use solution for your barcoding requirements, call our specialists on 0800 085 8850 or email us at with a quick brief of your problem or requirement and will come up with a solution for you.


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