With a recent change in retailers’ policies relating to barcode verification (see changes below), it is now possible for vendors to perform this process themselves or choose another provider other than GS1 Australia. This could save vendors significant time, cost and effort. This could also help get your products to shelf faster and simplify your internal product launch processes. This is of particular relevance for food manufacturers, who will need to update all their packaging in the next few years due to updated labelling requirements.
The process of barcode verification to the necessary retailer standard takes 5-10mins at most and is not complex. In every other market in the world it is perfectly common for vendors to do this themselves or for a variety of service providers to offer this service, as a simple web search will demonstrate. There is plenty of information on how to do a barcode verification, including from GS1, as illustrated here.
In reality, a number of vendors actually already perform their own barcode verification, and have done for years, having retained the personnel that were trained to do this process before GS1 ceased their accreditation service. They do this process without issue, getting products to shelf faster and saving themselves time and cost. This gives these vendors a clear competitive advantage.
If you are interested to see how GS1 Australia used to market its accreditation service to help vendors save money, click here, or read their 2006 brochure advocating the benefits of self-verification (page 11-12) or here if that link doesn’t work. All very valid points…
Vendors that take advantage of this opportunity will get a competitive advantage.
These changes have been spearheaded by SKUVANTAGE to help our clients save cost and effort. We have partnered with Cobra Systems and Intermax, the resellers of the Axicon barcode verification hardware, to provide guidance on how our clients can do barcode verification themselves. As part of this, SKUVANTAGE has also become certified for Barcode Verification, and can provide this service at very competitive rates, within a couple of days of receiving the product. Just select the option in the briefing form when sending us product.
It is also possible to buy your barcodes outright, rather than paying annual membership fees. Another way to save cost and effort. Just contact Barcodes Australia
If you would like more information on how to do barcode verification yourselves, or use another provider other than GS1 Australia, or to own your barcodes outright, please complete the form below. Below this form is more information on barcode verification.
What is barcode verification & why is it important?
Barcode Verification is much more than just checking that your barcode can be scanned by a barcode scanner or that it returns with the number you expect.
Barcode verification is about checking that the barcode:
- Will scan on all retailer barcode equipment, at point of sale and in the supply chain.
- Meets all the necessary ISO standards.
- Meets all the necessary retailer standards.
If barcodes fail to scan in the supply chain or at retail, this reduces efficiency and increases cost and may result in complaints or penalties from your customers.
What has changed and what is the opportunity?
Until recently, all suppliers to major grocery retailers were compelled to use GS1 Australia to obtain barcode verification reports for their products. This involved sending one of every product and associated packaging to GS1 for scanning. This can be both costly and time consuming for vendors, and increases time to market. Paradoxically it can also reduce the likelihood of barcode scanning in the supply chain because verification is only performed once in a products packaging lifecycle, not on-going.
The major retailers have now all agreed to relax this criteria to permit any suitably trained organisation to provide these barcode verification reports. This means that vendors can now do barcode verification themselves or select another provider which is more convenient or lower cost. The cost savings and simplification of business processes should be significant and the investment required will pay back very quickly for anyone but the smallest vendor.
Is it risky to do our own barcode verification?
Everywhere else in the world vendors and other third parties do barcode verification without issue. GS1 UK for example, have produced this guide (page 24) for manufacturers about barcode verification. A number of Australian vendors actually already perform their own barcode verification and have done for years, having retained the personnel that were trained to do this process before GS1 Australia ceased their accreditation service. They benefit from more frequent quality checks at a lower cost, and a shorter time to market.
In terms of barcode validity, you can check ownership of barcodes here (on the GS1 database). But nothing stops someone fraudulently copying your barcode, whether provided by GS1 Australia or not.
How do I take advantage of this opportunity?
It is necessary to be suitably trained, with the right equipment and process in order to meet the necessary requirements stipulated by retailers.
The hardware that is typically used for barcode verification is provided by Axicon, and the resellers of this hardware in Australia is Cobra Systems and Intermax. These companies are experts on barcode standards and verification processes, and provide training to a wide range of organisations.
Intermax and Cobra have put a program in place that will:
- Assess the appropriate solution based on the needs of your business.
- Advise and source the appropriate barcode verifier.
- Provide training to use the verifier and meet the retailer requirements.
- Help you maintain the quality of your process on-going.
More reference information on barcode verification can be found at: www.barcodeverification.com.au
Which other third parties can provide barcode verification?
Other than SKUVANTAGE, the following organisations may be able to provide barcode verification as a bureau service to the standards required by retailers.
- Cobra – Based in Brisbane. Call: 07 3824 8800 Email: email@example.com
- Intermax – Based in Melbourne. Call: 03 9844 3302 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NEBVS – Based in Wangaratta Victoria, border of NSW and Victoria. Call: 03 5722 3687 Email: email@example.com
SKUVANTAGE has no commercial relationship with any of these companies and does not benefit financially from them if you buy a verifier, or use their verification services.