If your company prints labels which include barcode images, don’t forget that there are a number of factors which can materially affect how that code will scan when your product reaches your customer. For example, if you change your label supplier or the grade of thermal transfer ribbon (if any) you use, put a new label printer on-line with whose printing characteristics you are not familiar, change your manufacturing / packaging methods or simply have a print head that’s reached the end of its’ life, your barcode quality can suffer. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious with the naked eye (or a standard barcode scanner) to spot when a barcode has slipped below the quality threshold. You must periodically have your barcodes verified to check that they meet the necessary ISO standards, particularly if these items are entering into the retail supply chain. The best solution is to purchase a recognised barcode verifier. Prices vary from about £1600 to £6300 depending on whether you are verifying small retail codes or the latest 2D codes such as Data Matrix or QR codes. Another alternative is to use an external barcode verification service. Using a standard barcode reader/scanner is no substitute for fully verifying your codes. Certainly a reader will prove that a code scans, but if it does not, then that reader can’t analyse the code and tell you what has gone wrong!