Universal Product Code (UPC)
The universal product code or UPC code for short Is a type of tracking code that is printed on almost all retail products, on the packaging. There are two main parts to a UPC code; the first is a machine readable barcode which you may recognize as a set of black bars that is unique to the item it identifies. The second part of the UPC code is the 12 digit number beneath the barcode. A UPC code serves many purposes but the main purpose is to make it easier for products to be identified along with their features, brand name, type of item, color, unique features and quite possibly the size. The UPC code can be helpful in tracking inventory in Retail Stores, grocery stores, warehouses or any other organization. Organizations can apply with the global standards organization which was previously known as the uniform code council. They manage and assign the universal product codes within the United States of America.
What are the parts of a UPC code?
To once a company has made the choice to apply for a UPC code from the global standards organization they first must pay a fee to join the GS1. Each manufacturer is assigned a six digit manufacturer identification number, which ultimately becomes the first six digits in the UPC on all of the company's products. This helps distributors, customers and other retailers identify who the manufacturer of an item is.
The next five numbers in a universal product code are called the item number. This number gives reference to the actual product and is unique to the product itself. Although the global standards organization does not assign this number each manufacturer is responsible for assigning item numbers to each of their products.
The final digit in the 12 digit universal product code is called a check code/digit. A check code multiplies different digits within the universal product code, when the UPC code is stand the check digit helps ensure the UPC is valid. If the check digit is not correct, the UPC code will not scan.
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