Bar Code FAQs

What is A Bar Code?

A barcode is a font family made up of lines and spaces representing data.
They appear on books, product packages, envelopes with zip codes, labels, and many shipping papers to name a few examples. These lines and spaces are read or scanned via bar-code devices. The device contains firmware that converts these lines and spaces into human readable characters for input into a computer application.

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When do you use Bar-Codes?

Bar-codes are used to reduce or eliminate manual entry of data.
For example, when a retailer or manufacturer must account for inventory, the use of bar-codes can greatly reduce manual entry of data which reduces the number of data entry mistakes. The printed barcode is produced via an application program that converts the human readable data to barcode fonts. The program most likely has edited the output prior to printing to ensure that the correct data is being printed. The barcode reader or scanner is used to convert the data back to human readable characters. This data is transmitted to the input application without the user having to manually type the data in.

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What should a Bar Code Specialist know?

An experienced and qualified resource must also know:

  • how to program check digit routines
  • how to set up and maintain bar-code equipment
  • which bar-code fonts to use in each industry sector
  • how to create and print barcode fonts
  • how to create and modify application programs
  • how to perform printer configuration activities
  • how to set up non-supported printers with new bar-code fonts
  • how to process data from the business functional aspect
  • how to transfer knowledge to the full-time associates at a customer site

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What bar-code should I use?

It depends on the industry sector you are processing data for, what type of data you are bar-coding, and for what country.
Different bar-code fonts were developed for different industries. For example, PostNet is the bar-code font used by the post office to print zip codes. Here in the US, the most standard bar-code fonts used are Code 3 of 9, Code 128, and UPC. Each font has it's own set of standards and rules.

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What can New Alliance Associates do for you?

Here at New Alliance Associates, Inc., we have the expertise and knowledge to perform any and all the activities related to Bar-code processing.
Our company has been involved with this since 1993. During this time, we have performed all the tasks mentioned above for a number of our customers. New Alliance Associates worked closely with divisions of Xerox Corporation to incorporate bar-code font processing on their printers for SAP processing.

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