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We’ve heard of a few clients still having trouble getting to grips with GS1-128 bar codes for traded units.

The most common fault is using the wrong symbology on your label printing program. Although GS1-128 is a type of code 128, it has some notable differences from the standard code 128 such as the addition of a ‘Function1’ character at the beginning of the code and correct utilisation of industry standard Application Identifiers such as expiry dates, weights and batch numbers. Errors such as including the brackets in your encodation, can really mess up the scanning at your customers warehouse!

It is important therefore, to ensure that the codes you are printing on your label printers are going to be of an acceptable format and quality before you ship goods to your clients. Ideally, you should have a recognised Barcode Verification System in place which will highlight any errors. Barcode Verifiers such as the Axicon PC-based system, can not only check the integrity of codes like GS1-128 but can also create an audit trail for your internal quality control which you can demonstrate to your customer base in the event of any anomaly.

Using an offsite Barcode Verification Service can often suffice if you do not wish to make the investment in your own hardware.

Some of the older label printing software packages do not include the latest symbologies and industry variants like GS1-128 so you might consider upgrading your program to one of the leading makes such as Seagull Scientific’s BARTENDER.