Guiness World Record for Scanning Proves Power of the Bar Code

GS1 UK supported by Wincor Nixdorf has set a new Guiness World Records title, outlining the efficiency benefits the bar code has been delivering since it was introduced 40 years ago. The Guiness World Records title achieved was for the Fastest time to scan 50 items, which was completed in just one minute and 15 seconds by Ben Clarke and Samantha Wroe from GS1 UK, with technology provided by Wincor Nixdorf. To provide a comparison of how technology has moved on, the fastest time achieved to ring 50 items through a 40 year-old till was two minutes and 22 seconds.

In addition to almost halving the time consumers now need to spend waiting for their weekly shop to get rung through the supermarket till, the use of bar codes compliant with the GS1 System of Standards has revolutionised the supply chain, delivering a range of measurable benefits including:

•32% fewer out-of-stocks for retailers – a lack of awareness of stock levels and locations often led to bare shelves
•21% shorter lead times for warehouse operators – replenishing stock levels has to happen rapidly to meet the expectations of the modern demanding customer
•42% lower costs for distribution centres – the cost savings and boost to efficiency levels for retailers and suppliers alike has been profound

In a survey of consumers old enough to remember shopping in the days before the bar code, these time-saving benefits were highlighted by almost 40% of respondents as being one of the main advantages of the standardised system. Not having price stickers on every item was also a popular response. Other benefits included having an itemised receipt (30%) and an accurate bill (18%), while a small number of people (2%) highlighted that they enable coupons and other promotional offers.

Gary Lynch, CEO, GS1 UK, comments: “We’re delighted to have achieved the distinction of being Guinness World Records record-holders to coincide with the 40th anniversary year of the bar code. Its introduction has enabled supply chains supporting all industry sectors to reduce costs, save time and increase accuracy and efficiency for the customers they serve.”

“Wincor Nixdorf’s Beetle hardware and TP.net software really are the Ferrari of supermarket checkout solutions,” says Martin Smethurst GM Retail UK&I Wincor Nixdorf. “The systems have come a long way since they were first introduced and continue today to save retail stores and their customers both time and money. No-one wants to wait in supermarket queues anymore and as this record shows, no-one has to.”

Looking to the future, GS1 is focusing on developing standards to enable the efficient and highly accurate sharing of information in the digital age. GS1 UK is working with its members to ensure that they can communicate effectively with their customers and clients, irrespective of the channel and platform they choose to engage through.

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