July / August – Barcodes turn forty

Welcome to the July-August issue of Wholesale Manager. Much of Britain is in holiday mood and the schools are out, but at Wholesale Manager it’s business as usual. We have another selection of articles about products, services and equipment to help you get the best possible performance from your business, including your warehousing operations.

READ THE JULY / AUGUST ISSUE HERE

Wholesale_FrontThe word ‘incredible’ is overused, but it is difficult to believe barcode scanning has been around forty years. As reported on our front page, history was made back in 1974 when a 10-pack of Wrigley’s gum was scanned and purchased at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, using something now used 5 billion times every day: the Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode. To honour the occasion, Honeywell is celebrating the anniversary and its role in barcode and scanning innovation over the decades.

Of course as long serving wholesalers and for that matter, supplier sales people will vouch, it took many years after 1974 for barcode scanners to become everyday items in UK wholesaling and end the grind of wholesale staff and sales reps counting cases in warehouses. And the early systems adopted by UK wholesalers often didn’t work properly and left a lot to be desired. But let’s not go into that…

As Sprague Ackley, a Honeywell technologist, says in our article, forty years ago you could have never imagined the global impact barcodes would have on our lives, from speeding things up at the point of sale to scanning at hospital bedsides. Since then Honeywell has continued to collaborate with customers around the globe to deliver new scanning technologies that help transform business processes. In the supply chain area Honeywell offers a broad portfolio of retail-ready and ruggedised scanners to capture, process and analyse barcode data. Watch this space to see where this fascinating technology goes next!

Finally, the delivered wholesalers serving urban customers near the UK’s major sporting venues have their work cut out at the best of times. Britain’s road and motorway network is clogged like a sick artery, and the rulers of our towns and cities have been taking tough measures to ease congestion, with punishing effect on road users. So it was heartening to hear that logistics operations in the city of Glasgow, including delivered wholesalers, were well prepared for the recent Commonwealth Games. Presumably valuable lessons have been learnt which will make urban deliveries run more smoothly from here on in.