Committee 2 - Bar Code

Committee Members

Bryan Chambers - Mastercraft Fabrics
Chris Rawda - Raymour-Flanigan
Dan Baran - Art Van Furniture
Dwight Ball - Rose Furniture
Elaine Bruce - LSFI
Ira Bakst - Storis
Jeff Baker - Carls
John McCloskey - Furniture Land South
Morris Cornwell - CMD Systems, Facilitator
Rick Killen - Thomasville

Committee Comments and Notes

This is a very critical topic in the industry today. There are two very different philosophical approaches to the subject which put adherents on opposite sides of the discussion.

  • One group believes that through technology every bit of data about every piece of furniture can be compiled and put on a bar code label. Very detailed information including manufacturing specifics, shipping and retail records can be contained on a label that stays with a product from "cradle to grave." In order for this to work however, a new bar code label and system will need to be adopted by the industry. Adherents are pushing for a 2-D bar code system, or RFID/Smart labels. The "pros" of this view is that products carry a complete history and portfolio of themselves wherever they go. No matter who has the product that information is readily available by simply scanning the bar code. The "cons" are that both manufacturers and retailers have to acquire new equipment to utilize the system to its potential. There is also no precedent or standard, as of yet, from the UCC to support universal adherence to the labeling.
  • On the opposite side of the argument are those who believe the industry should follow the lead of the global community and use the existing bar code standards as contained in UCC documentation with international support. The argument says that most companies already pass a  retailer's and manufacturer's purchase order information along with an assigned  SKU number. This combination generates a unique ID for each product that is statistically impossible to duplicate. Adherents argue that the solution to the bar code issue is 95% possible today with existing technology already in use - it requires only an agreement between parties to adopt a procedure. The "pros" to this side are that almost anyone using a scanner today can implement the process and it can be started as soon as procedures are agreed to. Also, standards for the UCC-128 are already in use and adopted globally. The "cons" are that if someone doesn't follow the procedure everything falls apart. 2-D or RFID/Smart labels take all the guess-work out because it's all done by the system software.

Learn more about Smart Products Labeling and how it is being implemented.