Got Objections to Barcode Implementation? Here are Some Responses


Got Objections to Barcode Implementation? Here are Some Responses

By Randy Fry, Ceres Solutions

Has your company implemented AIDC (barcoding)? We hear all kinds of reasons why ag supply companies haven’t implemented tools and systems to utilize the accuracy and efficiency of AIDC. Here are just a few:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • Not all of my partner manufacturers add barcodes to their products.
  • I don’t know how to start.
  • It’s too complicated for our little business.
  • We implemented it once, but retailers didn’t use it.
  • My software hasn’t included it in their system.

These are just a few of the issues we hear. The AgGateway AIDC working group has worked the past several years addressing the many issues. Here are some quick responses to common objections:

  • “It’s too expensive.” Well, you can buy a used blue-tooth barcode reader online for as little as $75 (although we recommend working with a systems integrator).
  • “I don’t know how to start,” or “it’s too complicated.” Well, loads of information exists on the AgGateway website and wiki to help you.
  • “We implemented once, but retailers didn’t use it.” Times have changed. Retailers have grown in size and sophistication.
  • “My software hasn’t included it in their system.” Well, have you asked for it?

We all know the current changes in agriculture are challenging. We have been through price downturns before. Many companies’ responses are to find ways of cutting back. But in today’s environment, new companies are attempting to enter the ag retail space, and their strength is data and logistics. The “Amazons” of the world don’t use hand-written forms or trust employees to capture the transaction. They are built on software systems that maximize efficiency and accuracy. Why are we not? If we are going to feed a growing world, we will have to be efficient. Not just some of us, all of us.

The last time you went to the grocery store, did you check out with a cashier or did you do it yourself? I assume either way they used barcoding systems. If you did it yourself, the first time you did it, what was the learning curve? – it wasn’t too hard, right?! So why hasn’t agriculture fully adopted barcoding? We all agree one of the biggest issues with precision agriculture today is accurate data capture. What went into the planter or spray tank? Why can’t we get good standardized information to work with? Well, WHY HASN’T AGRICULTURE ADOPTED AIDC? We all have to adopt to capture the full benefits of the technology.

Some will say this is a “chicken/egg” scenario: If “ALL” manufacturers would put on barcodes, we would adopt, or if retailers and farmers would use them, we would add barcodes. We say – enough! The time is now.

The AIDC group is embarking on another initiative to drive us forward. We are in the beginning stages of capturing information to add to a public dashboard to inform the ag community of who has implemented barcoding, what type of barcodes, and on what product segments … and who hasn’t. If you are interested in being involved in this project, join us at the Annual Conference next Wednesday, November 8 at 8:00 am for a working group session. If you can’t be there, challenge your company, trading partners, and software providers to get involved. The grocery business did it, why not agriculture?