Barcodes exist to eliminate the errors and
time it takes to key data into a terminal. But applying and maintaining barcodes can also
be expensive and time consuming.
Studies have shown that an average error
rate of 3% can occur with keyed data entry. By scanning a barcode, this error rate can be
reduced to under 0.03%!
In situations where barcodes are
impractical or too expensive, the accuracy of keyed data can be greatly increased by
adding one or two extra "check digits" to the slot or product number to be
The chance that ten information digits plus
two check digits will be entered in error, but be accepted as valid is 0.07%, almost as
good as a barcode. Of course keying in 12 digits will take some time, so the saving from
not bar-coding must be balanced against the keying labor.
In cases where only 3 or 4 characters (plus
one or two check digits) is required, keying of digits is probably quite practical,
especially if product is not already bar coded during manufacture (Most retail items are
made with pre-printed UPC barcode labels.)
Barcodes for Business.
Barcodes = accurate