When you use Sage 100 barcoding software like Scanco Warehouse, you may have noticed that little number at the end of the barcode beyond the last line. It’s called a check digit, or part of a checksum, and its purpose is, as you may have gleaned from the name, to “check the sum” of characters within the barcode and prevent barcode errors. Check digits are required in UPC and barcode 128 labels. They “check” the block of data that precedes it and compute its value.
Of course, Sage software and other barcoding systems automatically create UPC and other barcodes for you based on the data entered into the system. You don’t have to manually calculate anything. But it’s fun to learn how to read bar codes, and calculating the check digit is a good parlor trick to learn.
Calculate a Check Digit
Your barcode system does all this for you, of course, but it’s fun to learn about the things we take for granted like barcode printing. Barcode-Labels provides information on how to compute the checksum yourself on any UPC barcode. If you enjoy math, it’s a puzzle that’s fun to solve.
- To compute the check digit, add the odd-numbered position elements together in the barcode, then multiply the answer by 3.
- Add the even-numbered digits together.
- Add the answer calculated from the odd-numbered elements and the even ones together.
- The checksum or check digit is the smallest number needed to round the answer to the nearest multiple of 10.
It’s often easier to understand things with an example:
- Let’s say that on a given barcode, the odd numbered elements add up to 5. Multiplied by 3, that gives you an answer of 15.
- If the even numbered values add up to 2, that yields an answer of 17.
- The nearest multiple of 10 is 20.
- 20 minus 17 is 3.
- The check digit on the barcode will be a 3.
Next time your kids complain during grocery shopping that they’re bored, get them to compute the check digit values of the items in the cart. They’ll practice their math and stop complaining—or both!
Barcode Scanning Made Easy
Fun and games aside, barcode scanners and software such as Scanco’s Sage 100 barcoding software have made a warehouse manager’s life much easier. This software lets your staff collect and receive data from incoming and outgoing shipments quickly and easily.
Inventory counts, item quantities, lots, and serial numbers can all be automated, virtually eliminating the cost of manual data errors. Barcoding can also automate procedures for many routine tasks. It takes guesswork out of your system, and makes it easier to keep track of items, record them accurately, and locate items within your warehouse system.
Scanco’s barcoding software works with a wide range of devices, including Windows, Android, and iOS systems. Choose from among your existing computers, tablets, and smartphones to automate your whole warehouse. With Sage 100 barcoding software, barcode scanning is made easy.
Fortunately for all of us, barcode software calculates and prints UPC and other codes for us. We don’t have to manually calculate the check digit or the rest of the label. It’s a fun party game, or a good way to entertain kids and get them to practice their math skills, but it’s better to automate the whole process. With Scanco’s Sage 100 barcoding software, nearly every task throughout your supply chain is easier.
Warehouse Management Systems from Scanco
Scanco is on a mission—a mission to transform how companies handle warehouse management. We offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software and label printing, and much more. Learn more about our services online or contact us.