Saturday, September 17, 2005

"I am now bald..."

I've been spending the last day or so poking and prodding my POS (Point of Sale) system to work correctly. Yesterday I finally rec'd a cable that was missing from the POS bundle I purchased about two months ago (and finally started putting together last week). It's a cable that connects the bar code scanner to the computer. It's a cool little gun-like device that goes 'bleep!' when it reads a bar code. Hooked it up yesterday and it works. No fuss required.

Unfortunately, I could not get the scanner to read all the price labels I've been printing for the past several weeks! I've gotten as far as labeling most of the knitting needles and a tiny bit of the yarn. I spent all evening yesterday trying different settings, reading and re-reading the scanner's manual, tweaking, poking, and prodding, to no avail. The scanner can read bar codes printed on other things (like books and grocery items) but not the bar codes I print. Grr. After much hair-pulling (I am now bald), I determined that this scanner cannot read very small bar codes. I'm using price stickers that are 1" x 1" square. In order to fit, the POS software shrinks the bar code down quite a bit, and this scanner doesn't like it. If, however, I keep my item numbers to no longer than 6 characters, the scanner works just fine. But wouldn't you know, most of my item numbers are in the form of XXX-NNN (ie. SEVEN characters long). Ugh. So now as I print price labels, I must change the item number by removing the hyphen. It's not a lot of work but it's still annoying.

Today I put that all behind me and have been happily printing price stickers and stickering GGH yarn. I've also been TESTING each batch of stickers to make sure the scanner can read them. It's not a huge loss if the scanner cannot read a sticker; the item number can be manually entered into the computer. Manual entry will be necessary for ringing up the batch of knitting needles already stickered; I am NOT restickering those needles!

1 comment:

Lisa Pascale said...

Hi Warren -

I'm trying to catch up on your postings... Got an idea for you. I don't know if this would save you time or not but, for those items where the scan labels are too big to fit on the item. What if you had them in a book near the cash register and you just scan the label in the book. I've seen this done in stores with small rubber stamps and scrapbook items.

I know how cranky those scanners can be when it comes to reading labels. Even the very best printers use to give us trouble in the warehouses back when I was work for the big red "K".


- Lisa