Written by Erich Kaiser, One Step’s Implementation Specialist

It is best practice to use barcodes as much as possible to avoid selecting the wrong item. Sometimes printed barcode tags are not formatted correctly, are difficult to scan, and cause cashiers to key the item in manually, slowing the sales process. The following are some tips to help make barcode printing more reliable.

Test Printed Barcodes Frequently
Before attaching tags to your items, randomly test them with your scanner at the register. If there is a problem scanning, it will give you a chance to resolve it before it becomes a real problem at the register or during a physical inventory.

Use the Manufacturer’s UPC
While receiving your items on vouchers, check that the UPC is stored in your system. If it does not exist, add it to the item record by using your barcode scanner.
By storing the UPC, it can be used at the register to locate the item when the UPC barcode is scanned. It can also be used for all other functions to lookup an item such as transfers and physical inventory.

Print Dark and Complete Barcodes
Verify the printed barcode is black and not grey. If needed, increase the darkness setting in the tag printer’s printer preferences.
Also, verify the entire barcode is appearing on the tag and not too close to the edge. It is best to maintain at least a ⅛” gap on each side of the barcode to ensure all the vertical lines are included on the tag. The barcode position can be changed using the POS system’s Document Designer.

Check Tag Alignment
Tags should consistently print in the same position.
Verify the tag printer guides are snug to the tag stock edges. This will lower the chance of the tag stock drifting horizontally causing the barcode to print incomplete.
If the tags are drifting vertically, or skipping, the tag printer may need to be recalibrated to the installed tag stock. This usually is performed using the power and feed buttons and/or a command sent from the printer driver. The procedure varies with tag printer make and model.