Barcode label technology is transforming from a somewhat simple model to one that’s more powerful, flexible, and mobile. This will contribute to strong growth in the barcode label technology market over the next few years, according to VDC Research, the leading authority on the connected world and the business opportunities it creates for technology vendors and their customers.
In the company’s recent report, “The Global Market for Barcode Label Generation Software,” VDC indicated that innovation has become key for barcode label vendors.
“Vendors are not limiting themselves to enhancing software functionalities alone,” the report said. “Their go-to-market strategies and service delivery models are also evolving to keep up with enterprise requirements.
“Labeling solutions now integrate with enterprise applications while also facilitating distributed printing, scalability, and database integration and management.”
Where is labeling headed? To the cloud.
Vendors of barcode label technology are offering a wide range of services to help their products stand out from the competition. These include consulting before and after the purchase, expanded technical support, and training for both the channel and end users–all services currently offered by System ID.
Broader technology market trends are affecting change in the barcode label arena as well. For example, companies have grown increasingly interested in accessing business data and applications via the cloud and a software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model.
As a result, enterprise labeling solutions are developing cloud-hosted applications. This increases flexibility and mobility, while also reducing total cost of ownership.
“When it comes to software, having fewer moving parts translates to better reliability,” the report said. “Flexibility, configurability, and customizability are critical criteria influencing enterprise end users’ label software purchasing decision.”
Enjoy seamless integration with existing systems to improve supply chain management
Just as significant is the drive for seamless integration with enterprise applications. Barcode label technologies now must integrate with ERP systems, and consulting services are part of ensuring the pieces all work together properly.
“Software developers, value-added distributors, value-added resellers, and systems integrators all stand to capitalize on the growing integration service and support needs of end users,” the report said.
“For vendors who opt for more indirect sales strategies, strategic partnerships with channel members are critical, particularly to ensure that they have proper training to guarantee end-user satisfaction.”
The report expounded on the rising demand for regulatory compliance support. Thanks to the global nature of supply chain and their many interdependencies, traceability has become a necessity. This includes finding product recalls and market withdrawals, determining accurate inventory figures, performing safety and quality assurance checks, and more.
Mobile adoption slow to catch on
Finally, the report noted that many barcode label technology vendors are failing to keep up with the trend toward mobility.
“While not a requirement in the marketplace today, this will be critical to continued product adoption, particularly among large, global enterprises,” VDC said.
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