Barcode Testing: What to look for in a Test Lab

You have never had a problem with a bar code, so  you don’t do any barcode testing. Everything has been going fine for years. Your processes seem to be nailed down; you have never had a customer complaint, not even a close call. All of a sudden it hits the fan. The phone is ringing and your best client of many years has problems with a bar code you produced. They want answers now and you are clueless and panicked. What to do?

It takes months to set up a barcode testing program in a company *

You need to have a functionality in place and hitting on all cylinders that takes companies months to create—an established, high performing bar code quality program. But you don’t have the time. You need answers for your customer, you need solutions to a problem you haven’t even identified yet—a problem you did not even know you had.

Pre-Qualify a barcode testing lab ahead of time *

This is when a bar code test lab can save the day—and if that day ever arrives (and I hope it doesn’t), it is invaluable to have a short list of bar code test labs prequalified and ready at a moment’s notice.

Here are some essential pre-qualifiers to look for:

  • Barcode testing lab personnel should have experience in engineering-level knowledge in bar code quality, and should be familiar with the ANSI/ISO specification for the print quality of linear bar codes as well as the newer 2D and matrix symbologies. They should know how bar codes are structured, what makes them work and why they fail.
  • Barcode testing services should be scalable. They should be able to do as little or as much as you want just as fast as you need.
  • The barcode testing lab should not try to scare you or sell you more than you need or want. Their goal should be to apply the verification report to your specific printing process so you know what to do to improve your bar codes. Every business loves loyal customers, but a bar code test lab’s job is to train you to no longer need them.
  • Confidentiality is a large part of the bar code testing service. With or without a signed non-disclosure agreements, a reputable bar code test lab’s behavior should be consistently and unwaveringly discrete.
  • The barcode testing lab should communicate in plain English. The verification report is full of technical terminology. The bar code test lab’s job is to connect the dots from the verification report to your method of printing so you know what happened and what to do about it.
  • A barcode testing lab should respond quickly. You should be able to schedule lab time based on when your samples will arrive. Verification reports should be generated within hours and lab reports sent no later than the next business day.
  • Follow-up consultations should be included.

If this is what you are looking for, or if you just want to know more, contact us. We can share generic Summary Reports and Final Reports so you can see what we do—and pricing schedules so you can see what we charge.

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John Nachtrieb

About John Nachtrieb

Mr. Nachtrieb has 30+ years of hands-on experience in barcode technology. His team imaged the film master for the first commercially scanned barcode in North America (1974). His specialty is barcode quality. He created and hosts a highly customized barcode quality seminar which has been presented to 100's of companies, reaching thousands of quality-concerned people, helping them to avoid barcode problems and manage barcode-related risk.
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