Barcode software management

Barcode software management

Do you plan to implement a barcode system to ensure the traceability of your products?

Barcodes are an efficient way to automate the tracking of your packages, raw materials, or finished products...

barcode label advantages

  • System reliability: 99.99% accuracy! Only 1 in every 20,000 to 2,000,000 barcodes are misread, depending on the code used.
  • Time savings: Reading the barcode with a handheld scanner or imager instantly provides a lot of information without having to enter product numbers.
  • Ease of use and low cost: with LABEL MATRIX it’s easy to design your barcode labels. You can ensure the traceability of your products at a very modest price.

The benefits of a management system with barcode labels are numerous and attractive, but you still need to know how to use it:

To create your own labelling solution, please visit the following links:

General principle

Which barcode should I use?

Linear barcodes editable in LABEL MATRIX


General principle

A barcode encrypts information, using the contrasts between the black and white bars. This information can come from various sources. It is transcribed by the handheld scanner or imager that scans the label.

The handheld scanner reads the information, converts it into numeric or alphanumeric characters and automatically transmits it to your Information System or Software in use (warehouse management system, database, etc...).

The handheld scanner acts like a computer keyboard; scanning a barcode label with a reader is effectively the same as keying in all the information that is stored in the barcode design.

LABEL MATRIX, thanks to its database connections, allows you to generate serialized labels using data from an Excel file, for example.

LABEL MATRIX and database connection

You will then find the same data by reading the barcode label, which allows you to transmit that data automatically to your connected system:

barcode label integrating IS

The use you make of the information transmitted through the barcode label can be wide-ranging. See the next section for some sample barcodes and their different applications.


Which barcode should I use?

View all linear barcodes editable with LABEL MATRIX

In most cases, a barcode is used to trace a product or its components, and it remains the same from the beginning of the assembly line until the finished product goes to market. In this case, the barcode is standardised between the different supply chain entities and therefore the type of barcode is ‘imposed’ by the system.

If you’re reading this, it’s more likely you have no specific barcode ‘imposed’ by your industry. So how should you choose your barcode?

The first question to ask yourself is what requirements must be met? Quite often, the answer to that will narrow down the list of barcode types that you can use, it may even narrow it down to a single type.


Supply chain constraint

Internal logistics management

Example 1: Supply chain constraint

Producer marketing products via a supermarket network

A frequent scenario for an SME wanting to develop its distribution network. Supermarkets will ask you to label your products yourself and your labels will need to include a barcode for traceability. If your product is to be scanned at the point of sale, you will need to use the EAN / UPC barcode.

The EAN (European Article Number) is the European equivalent of UPC, the universal American barcode. The use of EAN is widespread, and its design is standardised based on the rules below.

EAN 13 barcode explained

EAN 13 barcode explained

  • The first two or three digits are the country code of the company headquarters or its subsidiary that manufactures the product, whichever is appropriate. The numbers are 500 to 509 for companies in the UK.
  • The Manufacturer ID is unique to each business: for companies in the UK, your ID is assigned to you by GS1. You can obtain an ID online from the GS1 site
  • The item ID is free for you to determine: this is usually your product reference.
  • The last digit is called a checksum digit; it is calculated based on the 12 other numbers in the barcode and ensures the code’s validity. LABEL MATRIX calculates this checksum automatically.


To summarize, an SME that wants to distribute its products in supermarkets should first get its unique identifier from GS1 UK.

The company will then be able to edit its own EAN barcode labels using its barcode label design software.

Example 2: Using barcode labels for INTERNAL management

Another scenario for using barcode labels in a microbusiness or SME can simply be for internal purposes, for example to track inventory. In this case, the constraints to define the type of barcode are different.

The criteria for selecting the type of barcode to use will vary depending on why and in what context you want to use a barcode management system, and what type of production environment you have. We cannot list all possible scenarios, as the use of barcodes can be vast.

Here are examples of issues you need to consider when choosing which barcode to use:

  • Is the information to be printed in the barcode variable (serial number, batch number, expiry date, price, weight, etc.)?

In this case, you should choose variable length symbologies such as GS1-128.

Editable in LABEL MATRIX.

  • Are there any size constraints for the products that will receive the barcode labels?

Some barcodes consist of fewer characters and are therefore smaller in size; there is, for example, a shorter version of the EAN code with eight digits called EAN8.

Editable in LABEL MATRIX.

  • Finally, you may have material constraints to consider. For example, if you already have your scanner, you should check which types of barcodes the scanner can read.

View all barcodes that are editable in LABEL MATRIX.