BARCODE READERS AND THE RETAIL SECTOR
Some analysts argue that retail consumption attends for two thirds of the economy of the world. With such important numbers it is pretty obvious that the retail sector needs to become more efficient every day in order to have the capacity to serve more customers. Barcode readers are a tool to achieve this ambitious goal.
Imagine you go to the supermarket on Sunday to buy several products. You carry them on your shopping cart and approach the outlet after two hours selecting them carefully. Now imagine that the supermarket does not use barcode readers at the outlets, they simply use the old method: the cashier picks up a product, then manually enters the code of the product on a computer to find the price and proceeds with the next item. Of course you would run away in fear.
Barcode readers are so present in our lives that we don’t even realize how useful they are because we think they have always been there. Unfortunately, our grand parents did not have them, so we should consider ourselves very lucky. Imagine the amount of products bought every day in large worldwide retail chains. Now imagine how such a worldwide corporation would know exactly how much money their stores are selling without having the information in real time. Barcode readers provide useful information to the employees as well as to the shareholders of the retail companies. They are part of a process that is unavoidable. Millions of lectures every day need to be very precise to avoid accounting problems and although machines are much more accurate than humans, barcode readers of the main brands are carefully tested to ensure optimal performance when reading the barcode labels. Most of the readers make a mistake once in a million lectures. Humans make on average one mistake after one thousand lectures.