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The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)


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Bar Code And Data Collection Ann Arbor

Barcode And Data Collection | Thermal Barcode Labels

Uses and Features

Barcodes and Scanners have a multitude of applications including:

  • Product label printing 
  • Shipping labels 
  • Inventory tracking and control 
  • Ticket printing
  • Theft deterrence  

Benefits to Your Business

Barcode scanning tremendously increases the accuracy of data collection since it removes the possibility of human error associated with data entry.  Cost savings are realized as a result of less time spent entering data and more time running your business.  Most business owners would prefer to see their employees spending their time serving customers rather than researching data entry errors.  Learn more about how barcodes can improve your inventory management process here


There are several considerations when choosing barcode equipment and supplies.  They include:

  • Media created - Thermal / Direct Thermal Labels; ID cards /bracelets; Paper/Synthetic material
  • Working environment – inside/outside; hot/cold; dry/moist
  • Fixed or Mobile Application 
  • Frequency of use 
  • Connectivity of device
    • Ethernet
    • Wi-Fi
    • Bluetooth
    • USB
    • Serial
    • Parallel

Thermal Printing

A thermal printer produces a high quality 2D image that must be read with a scanner.  There are two types of thermal barcode labels, direct thermal and thermal transfer. The difference is in the type of printer and the type of label they're printed on.

  • Direct Thermal - No ink is used to produce the image.  An image is burned into a heat sensitive layer of the paper.  This type of label will fade over time (1 year) and is not recommended for use in high temperatures or when there is exposure to sunlight.
  • Thermal Transfer - A heated ribbon is used to print onto a label.  The image produced is long-lasting and durable.

Types of Barcode Printers

  • Desktop
  • Industrial
  • Mobile
  • Wristband
  • Ticket

Printing Accessories and Add-Ons

  • Cutter – essential for non-perforated labels
  • Peeler – Best for uses that print one label at a time, not for large runs
  • Re-winder – winds printed labels back up onto a roll
  • RFID – includes chip for tracking
  • In-Line Verifier – maintains print quality for compliance needs

We provide barcode equipment and supplies by Zebra, Honeywell, Motorola, Dymo, and more!

Need help determining what type of printer or scanner would best fit your business needs?  Send us an email or call today!

We have purchased printer ink cartridges from MCS and I believe also copier toner. We have ordered color paper with them in the past. They donate white copy paper to us as a non-profit. The folks at Michigan Computer Supplies are remarkably easy to work with, super nice, and quick! They get back to me right away and deliver immediately it seems. And as a non-profit theater, they are very supportive. They are generous to all of us in the non-profit world. This is the ideal business model, as far as I'm concerned: really friendly people, great customer service and support of us little guys.

Suzi Peterson, Managing Director Ann Arbor Civic Theatre


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