Episode 146 – Barcodes with IBM
In this episode, I was joined by Takshay Aggarwal of IBM to discuss barcodes and their evolution. IBM covers a vast array of industries and I have been lucky enough to talk to a few of their brightest from the supply chain department on the podcast including Jeanette Barlow and Jonathan Wright. Takshay and I get into barcodes and talk about their origins, standardization, and how they have evolved over time.
- Barcodes are ubiquitous in our world whether we realize they are there or not. As a consumer, we may not notice the barcode so much but as supply chain professionals we are highly aware of this powerful tool. The barcode was invented in 1949 and has been around for a very long time and with that, it has become even more powerful over time. Takshay gives a brief history of barcodes themselves and how they first developed and got to a point of standardization. What is interesting about the history is that they were not so widely adopted initially.
- As someone with a background in inventory control, barcodes are a big deal for me and a definite necessity in my eyes. This is from the simple ability to be able to track products within the supply chain and have a better sense of where it is located. Takshay goes more in-depth into how the life cycle of barcodes help to track and trace products. The ability to trace is incredibly important when it comes to recalls or quality issues that need to be addressed to prevent potential consumer issues.
- Barcodes have evolved over time to harness more data and also come in different variations such as QR Codes. Our discussion leads to how the barcode has now been utilized in the supply chain of COVID vaccines as well. When we look at something of this importance we want to be able to track it through the supply chain and understand where it ends up before it is injected. Takshay discusses how the barcode can be utilized at several points of the vaccine distribution process to ensure that everything is happening safely and the way it is supposed to happen.
Listen to the episode below and let us know your thoughts on barcodes in the comments.