It’s being dubbed the stealthy big brother. Barcoding software is making its appearance everywhere and is assisting institutions to keep track of everything ranging from staff in the workplace; students at educational centres; assets; and products at warehouses, to name a few. The tedium of tracking down things and verifying the location of individuals has been largely eliminated.
Institutes and workplaces such as learning centres; libraries; prisons; storage warehouses have long since spent countless sums of money on replacing lost assets; stolen products; or losing out on revenues because of product or stock miscalculations due to human error. In terms of human resources absenteeism often goes unrecorded and organizations still experience security breaches due to unauthorised personnel entering restricted zones. Barcoding software transforms and alleviates these and similar contraventions by introducing a hassle free automated computerised management system.
The implementation of barcoding systems is relatively simple. The initial cost of installation is quickly recouped over time when taking into consideration the time and grunge work circumvented. Stock; assets; and products have a bar coded label applied to them. These labels can be quite small to fit onto nearly every object, since the bar code readers have different scan settings. People are issued with cards or tags that are embedded with barcoding software which they need to have with them at all times.
When stock or products are moved around they are scanned. This could sometimes mean several scans. For instance stock is scanned and loaded onto a transport vehicle, a scan is done on arrival at the drop-off point (which could be another part of the warehouse), and a routine scanning is done of the stock at its station. Stock movement could be monitored in this manner every four hours in warehouses such as those in ports which are most open to pilferage, movement error, and several other reasons that could cost the warehousing company millions if unaccounted for. Should stock or product go missing accurate proof can be presented for insurance and claims purposes.
In institutes and workplaces the movement of people can be managed by restriction at entrances. Barcoding software is used to coordinate the simple swipe and enter management system which is most effective. Different people, for example staff and students at a learning institute, are given different access restrictions. All equipment in particular areas would also need to be `scanned out and in’ by authorised persons. It is now possible to have a full and accurate record of movement at any time.
Details of the number and identities of people in a particular room can be accessed, or the class attendance of a particular student throughout a semester can be provided. Attendance based courses can now be monitored, without a great deal of paperwork prone to errors. Places such as high security prisons can now be fully monitored twenty four hours a day and movement of all parties controlled and restricted right down to rooms in a particular area. A stealthy big brother arrives in barcoding software.