When we speak with customers about managing product security and inventory control there are some common goals: They want confidence in their counts, optimal quantities in storage, up to date location data, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) in their system.
With so many items moving through factories, warehouses, transportation systems, distribution centers, ports, and retail facilities every day it is beyond challenging to keep an eye on everything, all the time. To protect and monitor expanding inventories and assets a key tool is to utilize more automation and digitization in the supply chain, including barcodes. More digital control helps to detect and counter pilferage or theft and reduce losses, human errors, or missing and inaccurate information.
Barcoding is an efficient way of tracking inventory through the production processes all the way to final sale and delivery. Effective use of digital codes makes it easier to move and store items sensibly, locate them strategically, and make sound decisions about inventory levels, location, and direction -- based on accurate real-time data.
Seals with barcodes are a key component of that automation. Seals are well known for use in protecting trucks and transport vehicles from content theft, but there are several unseen and critical functions seals can perform at all levels.
BARCODED SEALS HELP IMPROVE THE BOTTOM LINE
Advanced software now can link barcodes on products and packaging to barcodes on security seals, creating substantially more data points. These aid in planning and managing all steps in production, storage, distribution, and shipping. The benefits of using barcodes to interweave information are numerous. This assembled barcode data can verify a lot of essential details.
Seals (used correctly) will attach to a closure, storage unit, container or access points with assurance that it is not removed, relocated or opened without evidence. Intersecting barcodes used on both the seals and whatever packing is used to contain, hold in storage, or transport goods can:
- Verify the correct product is in place at any scan point
- Speed up handling
- Reduce stranded or misdirected items
- Save on manual recounts and repackaging labor
- Reduce investigation costs
- Avoid insurance claims
- Inform downstream stakeholders of product status
- Improve the reliability of inventory location data
- Detect and deter losses by any manner
- Improve and enhance safety and security protocols
- Instill trust and grow the reputation of a brand or organization.
ENHANCED SAFETY – FEWER LOSSES - BETTER OUTCOMES
The benefits of expanded barcode use involve more than just money. Tighter control also improves security and safety. It’s a valuable means of discovering issues before they get beyond fixing. Ongoing or potential theft, pilferage, or diversion of product is recognized and acted on more promptly. The earlier the detection the less harm or loss occurs, by minimizing effects further down the supply chain.
Protecting people is a huge benefit that cannot be measured in currency. Not only is it a valuable function of barcode use, but in some cases it is imperative. Especially for the industries touching human health and safety (pharmaceutical or medical industries, foods and beverages or anything made for human consumption). Likewise for commercial and military enterprises making and handling materials that are toxic, explosive, hazardous, or poisonous. These are areas where manufacture, storage and delivery all need to be strictly controlled and frequently audited.
About Counterfeit Products
Counterfeit goods and black-market trade are costly and unique global issues. Many diverse assets (including barcoded seals) are deployed to combat these crimes. Multi-layered measures, often linked to barcodes, are especially beneficial in industries like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, tobacco, food, and alcohol. Products in these categories are especially susceptible to counterfeiting.
If their origin and authenticity can be readily verified by multiple barcodes within the system, there are significant financial and security gains. The consequences of fake products can include not just lost revenue. It can put a product’s suppliers and users at risk. That includes health and safety risks, potential litigation and more. Governments and agencies worldwide have instituted numerous regulations and programs to fight counterfeiting.
COMMONLY USED BARCODE SEALS
INDICATIVE MECHANICAL SEALS
AC&M offers a range of indicative seals with barcodes. Among these are plastic pull-up seals, padlock seals, and strap seals with fixed length. A wide selection of designs allows for attachment to almost any closures, access points, controls and more.
Indicative seals are those that do not require strong tools to remove. Frequently used indicative seals with barcodes also have space to print other information like customized company names, logos, and specific codes or group identifiers. Color coding is also available.
Printed barcode labels (security adhesive seals) are commonly used for the same purpose as an indicative mechanical seal. They are applied to cartons, skids, totes, bulk storage devices, and numerous types of containers. Labels, combined with barcoded print on product packing are scanned with readers into appropriate software. This allows users to record the entrance and exit of goods to and from warehouses, conveyances, and at various other points. Barcoded security labels help monitor things like inventory status, deliveries in real time, and unscheduled opening during storage or transport.
HIGH STRENGTH BARRIER SEALS
This category of seal includes bolt and cable seals that are strong enough to act as a lock as well as a seal. The need for strong tools to cut them open, deters removal or entry into containers, trailers, storage areas, tanks and much more. Both cable and bolt seals are available with barcodes, enabling integration into today’s digital control and tracking systems.
For information on barcoded seals or any security seals and related questions, an experienced professional is available by phone, email, or through our website. www.seals.com For over 110 years we have assisted seal users worldwide and invite you to let us serve you too.