Case barcodes – how they make life easier

ITF-14 barcodes ensure that the sales transactions and other business operations flow smoothly and efficiently, and save you time and money.

Johannesburg, 04 Mar 2020
Read time 4min 20sec

There are many different barcodes available in the business world. Each barcode has a specific purpose and use. For example, ISBN and ISSN barcode numbers are used to register and sell books and magazines, respectively. EAN and UPC barcodes are used mostly at point of sale in the retail industry. 

QR codes have taken over the world and are now being used throughout many different industries. In the medical industry they are being used to identify patients, monitor and regulate patient medication, and in so doing, improve the overall quality of patient care. QR codes are used in Snapscan, which is a smartphone app that allows people to do sales transactions without cash or cards. You can pay simply buy using your smartphone.

This is revolutionising the retail industry, the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as travel and tourism. In the manufacturing industry, barcodes are used to monitor and regulate the production line. Barcodes are even being used as inspiration in architecture, as well as throughout the art industry.

Barcodes make every aspect of our lives easier. They ensure that the sales transactions and other business operations flow smoothly and efficiently. There are so many ways that barcodes save you time and money. 

In the retail industry, each item is assigned its own unique barcode called an EAN code. When this code is scanned, it brings up the specific item on the sales system and credits the right account with the sale. Using EAN and UPC barcodes in the retail industry assists with inventory control and stock checks. It also enables the retailer to stay on top of market demand by determining which are the most popular and sought-after products, and which products are slow movers and need to be marketed more aggressively. This increases the profit level and enables the retailer to meet its customers’ needs.

If you would like to sell your product to a retailer in SA, you will require an EAN barcode for each variety, flavour or colour of your product. However, what people don't always realise is that occasionally, retailers require an extra barcode called an ITF-14 barcode (also called case or box barcodes). 

A case barcode can be defined as a 14-digit barcode which is placed on a box or a case of products. When the case barcode is scanned, it brings up the number of products that the box contains. Box barcodes enable the provision of goods in bulk. To receive the stock, all the retailer has to do is to scan the box barcode, and the system will register the exact number of items that are entering the inventory.

This makes the whole process of bulk buying much easier and far less time-consuming. Time is money, therefore every minute saved is money saved.

Each ITF-14 barcode has a big black border around the black and white stripes.This is called the bearer bar. Its function is to enhance the ability of the barcode scanner to read the case barcode. It reduces the number of mistakes and increases accuracy.

ITF-14 barcodes are used in the retail industry for bulk buying, but also in the manufacture and distribution of products. ITF-14 is short for Interleaved 2 of 5. The following information is encoded in the box barcode:

  • Indicators of packaging
  • UPC or EAN prefix
  • Identification number for the manufacturer
  • Identification number for the item
  • Checking digit

When buying and using case barcodes, it is important to make sure that the dimensions of the code are correct.

Some business owners would like to buy barcodes that are slightly bigger or smaller than usual. In this case, it is important to remember that you can go as large as 200% of the recommended size and as small as 80% of the normal size of a barcode. If the barcode is outside these margins, the barcode scanner will struggle to scan it effectively. This can lead to misreading the barcode and other mistakes.

Other business owners want colour barcodes. This is perfectly acceptable, but only if you make sure that there is a large degree of contrast between the background and the code. The barcode scanner needs to be able to differentiate between the code and the background.

So, where can you get hold of top-quality ITF-14 barcodes? Barcodes 123 is a leader in the barcode world. It is more than capable of providing you with exceptional box barcodes at the most reasonable prices. The customer service is fantastic. If you want to buy a barcode, South Africa has a number of options, but you won't regret shopping with Barcodes 123.