After an initial ‘wait-and-see’ period in the mid-1970s, barcoding quickly revolutionised the retail industry. And, now 40 years on, it’s unthinkable to imagine any form of retail product without a familiar and iconic pattern.
In fact, globally, barcodes and their extended family of automatic identification and data capture cousins (AIDC) are to be found on just about every product, from chewing gum to breakfast cereals and from magazines to toys.
But today barcodes have transcended the retail space to be employed in countless industries and workspaces, to capture, track and crunch data in an endless list of fields including mail and package tracking, healthcare and hospital settings, the car hire, hospitality and airline industries, wildlife and environmental preservation, nuclear and waste management, and personal identification documents.
In South Africa, Johannesburg-based Kemtek was among the first local companies to read between the lines and see the boundless growth potential for this technology. Having established a sound and enviable foundation in the traditional printing industry, Kemtek’s management team embraced barcoding as part of an integrated world of interrelated technologies.
From the outset, the Kemtek Bar Coding Solutions (AIDC) division has followed a business philosophy and strategy similar to the parent company and the team, led by CEO, Mark Broude, has scoured the world to identify the very best original equipment manufacturing partners, recruiting and training sales and technical staff to be experts in their fields, and using its national distribution and support network to full effect.
Today, as an expanding arm of Kemtek Imaging Systems, this division distributes numerous barcoding products and services across South Africa, and beyond, including retail and industrial mobile and fixed barcode scanners and handheld computers, thermal and dot matrix POS and industrial printers, and consumables such as thermal transfer ribbons and ribbon rewinders.
Kemtek Bar Coding Solutions even boasts its own ribbon slitting plant in City Deep, Johannesburg, offering customised ribbon sizes in a variety of colours.
And, just as the barcoding and AIDC field has grown to comprise 1D, 2D and QR codes as well as Wi-Fi and RFID (radio frequency identification), so Kemtek Bar Coding Solutions continues to add to its portfolio, now distributing leading global brands such as Argox, BarTender, CipherLab, Cisco, Datalogic, Epson, Honeywell (including Intermec and Datamax O’Neil), ITW and UIC, and providing sales, technical and after-market support.
Apart from the head office in Johannesburg, Kemtek Bar Code Solutions also operates from branches in Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.