When you scan a barcode, SmartScan uses the following progression to try and interpret the associated values:
- Compare barcode value to SKU values in the system. If the value isn't recognized as a SKU, proceed to #2.
- Compare barcode value to UPC values in the system. If the value isn't recognized as a UPC, proceed to #3.
- Send barcode to GS1 processing. If the value isn't recognized as a valid GS1 barcode, proceed to #4.
- Compare barcode to static Barcode Definitions. If the value isn't recognized as a valid barcode definition, return an "unknown value" error.
While the first two steps are straightforward comparisons of the barcode value to existing values in 3PL Warehouse Manager, the last two steps are a little more complicated.
What are GS1 barcodes?
GS1 is a global standard for self-defining barcodes that lets SmartScan accurately interpret data elements in a scanned barcode without any up-front configuration. GS1 uses Application Identifiers (AI) to provide specific instructions on how to read the barcode data—the result being that you can scan any GS1 barcode and automatically populate its relevant data into the SmartScan application.
While AI values are not actually encoded with parentheses, they are included in the barcode for basic human recognition.
Currently, SmartScan supports the following GS1 data elements:
- UPC or GTIN, AI 01
- Secondary UPC or Packaging UPC, AI 02
- Lot, AI 10
- Expires, AI 17
- Serial, AI 21
- Quantity, AI 30
- SKU or Part Number, AI 240 & AI 241
For more information about the GS1 standard, visit https://www.gs1.org/standards/barcodes.
To learn how to set up items in 3PL Warehouse Manager in accordance with GS1, see Getting Started with GS1 Barcodes.
What are barcode definitions?
The Barcode Definitions page in 3PL Warehouse Manager lets you create static barcode definitions, or data maps, that SmartScan can use to interpret a scanned barcode. Each barcode definition specifies the overall barcode length, and the length and starting point of each data element contained in that barcode. With that information, SmartScan can parse the contents of a scanned barcode, extract the data, and store it in the proper place.
This solution does not offer the flexibility of variable lengths that GS1 offers, and each barcode definition must be manually configured and updated as needed to keep it current. For more information, see Managing Barcode Definitions.