50 years of the barcode: How EDI advances business automation | Transalis Blog

It has been 50 years since the barcode was invented, supporting business automation across supply chains.

But how has this technology evolved? And how does it maintain relevance amongst the other digital transformation solutions available today?

On 3rd April 1973, the barcode was created, revolutionising how businesses operate. This invention enabled organisations to track inventory, reduce processing errors, and create efficient supply chain operations.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the evolution of barcoding technology over the past 50 years, and how Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has played a key role in advancing business automation.

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The evolution of barcoding

Barcoding technology has come a long way since the first barcode scan at a Marsh supermarket in Ohio, a year after its inception.

Today, we have a range of formats to choose from, including QR codes, RFID tags, and more. Each format has its advantages. For example, QR codes are particularly useful for mobile transactions and RFID tags provide real-time tracking and location data.

At the heart of these technologies is the ability to capture and process data quickly and accurately. Barcodes support business automation by transforming processes that were previously manual. This consequently reduces the risk of errors and significantly saves time. Barcodes ultimately help businesses to accurately track inventory levels. Therefore allowing these organisations to make informed decisions about purchasing and restocking.

The role of EDI in barcode integration

However, barcoding is but one piece of the business automation puzzle.

To truly automate business operations, organisations need to integrate barcode data with their systems. This is where EDI comes in.

EDI is a technology that enables businesses to exchange data electronically, in a standardized format. With EDI, businesses can send and receive data such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices, without the need for manual data entry or paper documents. This makes it easier to integrate data from barcoding systems with an ERP, WMS, or other systems.

At Transalis, we offer a range of EDI solutions that are specifically designed to work with barcoding technology. Our solutions enable you to automate key business processes, such as order management, invoicing, and fulfilment, whilst providing real-time visibility of supply chain operations.

The future of barcoding and EDI

Looking ahead, we can expect to see even more innovation in the world of barcoding and EDI.

One exciting area is the use of blockchain technology to enable secure, transparent, and decentralized data exchange. This could have far-reaching implications for businesses that rely on complex supply chains, where data privacy and security are critical. We are also likely to see more integration between barcoding systems and other emerging technologies, such as automated data capture and IoT sensors. This will enable businesses to capture and process data in real-time, improving decision-making and driving greater efficiency.

Today, barcodes are an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. With the help of EDI, businesses can integrate barcode data with their chosen internal systems. This improves accuracy, speed, and efficiency.

At Transalis, we’re proud to be at the forefront of this innovation, offering a range of EDI solutions that help businesses to digitise their operations and stay ahead of the competition.

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If you’re interested in learning more about how our solutions can help your business, then schedule a meeting with our team or get in touch via 0845 123 3746 (UK callers) or +44 1978 369 343 (international callers), or email sales@transalis.com

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