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Special ReportsMay 2013
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SMEs MUST TAKE TO BAR CODING
Promoted by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and registered as a society in June 1996, GS1 India is a joint Government-Industry initiative aimed at educating the Indian trade and industry on use of the GS1 numbering system for unique identification of products / services and locations in line with best international practices.
Many questions emanate from all this regarding the functions of GS1 India. In order to understand this as well as the functions of bar codes, we held an interview with the CEO of GS1 India, Ravi Mathur.
What is the importance of bar codes?
Bar Codes serve erse needs. Those of us who frequent departmental stores are accustomed to seeing the man on the counter scan a certain code while preparing the bill. These codes are bar codes, comprising black bars of varying widths separated by white spaces.
Our job is to ensure the quality of standards in the use of technologies such as bar codes in order to make businesses more accurate, simpler and faster. Supply chain management, an important aspect of a business like retail, can be made far simpler.
As far as providing standards is concerned we are the organization to approach. The scenario has been different with kirana stores. Contrary to the view that tiny enterprises do not need such technologies, they are the ones who can benefit from the advantages of bar codes.
In kirana stores, it is difficult to remember each and every item. Further it is practically
impossible for the owner to be present during each and every transaction and he/she can be duped by the helpers. Apart from the owner, the helpers can also cheat the customers. Bar coding effectively addresses these problems.
What are the benefits of bar codes that can be utilized by the customers?
From the customer's point of view, Bar Codes not only make the process of billing faster and easier but also more accurate. This enhances the ease with which one can make a payment without needing to wait for too long.
The information coded is readable by computer and contains the necessary information about the product such as the price and expiry date and serves the purpose of making sales and inventory control as well as numerous other process faster, simpler and more accurate.
How do the retailers derive the benefits?
Bar codes can considerably help in making work more organized and meticulous. With the help of bar codes one can know the level of one's inventory and thus have a precise idea of the one's that need replenishment. One can also know with certitude the number of goods yet to be sold and also the ones about to expire which can then be sold first. This can be greatly helpful to chemists for the cost of the medicines that have expired and could not be sold has to be borne by them.
How long have you been associated with GS1?
I have been associated with GS1 for over 11 years now. 11 years back no company in India except the exporters were adhering to bar codes.
- Winner of appreciation award for promoting SMEs in India.
- 1st ever Indian magazine to penetrate tier II, III cities & the rural belt.
- Industry Partnerships include CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHDCC, AIMA, ITPO, SME Network, Federation of Indian Micro Small Enterprises (FISME)
- Official Magazine Partners for several national & international MSME events.
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