Shipments of barcode scanners are poised to rise, according to recent research from ABI Research. The organization said cumulative shipments of these devices will total approximately 6.3 million and will also seep into logistics, asset management and authentication, which will reach just more than $775 billion by 2018. Organizations, especially those in the supply chain and manufacturing industry, may find the adoption of barcode data collection technology useful to help better utilize these devices.
While barcode scanners are usually associated with the retail industry, the research company said logistics and supply chain organization are something of a "forgotten gem," as the proliferation of 2D technology can be used to drive efficiency. There are now new opportunities for manufacturers to automate solutions and better track their products through their lifecycles, leading to better communication with customers and a reduction of errors.
Statistics from this report show that 48 percent of shipments in 2012 will come from the 2D imager market, which will increase to 62 percent in 2018. Strong adoption will also be driven in the pharmaceutical industry and the government sector, with 1D also becoming popular to enable a greater level of technology and software use across organizations.
"The entrenchment of 1D symbologies across industrial use cases means backwards compatibility is essential to ensure high levels of market penetration," ABI research analyst Phil Sealy said. "Although not all 2D imagers will be used to their full potential their increasing penetration will dramatically improve the chance of future 2D barcode integration."
Adding More Data to the Supply Chain
Gagan Mehra of Practical eCommerce, speaking more about the retail aspect of barcoding, said utilizing automated data collection via barcodes can be a positive for companies of all kinds. Retailers can have a better knowledge of what is in stock and out of stock and why customers are abandoning carts, in addition to giving shoppers realistic times and accurate shipping windows
In regard to personalization and segmentation of the supply chain, Mehra said shoppers are expecting a more hands-on approach to customer service and that may require a more personalized product offering.
"For example, retailers can segment their supply chain to offer some shoppers configurable products, where they can select features like color or wired versus wireless," Mehra wrote. "A different segment of shoppers could get products that are environmentally friendly, and another segment could be offered value-added features like gift-wrapping."
All of this, he said, can he done by real time matching products with customer segments with updated technology.