As barcodes are printed and processed by machines, they are processed much faster than standard human data entry and with a much higher degree of accuracy. Barcodes have the potential of dramatically improving productivity and reliability of nearly all applications.
For an example, on an average it takes 6 seconds for an operator to enter 12 characters of data, where as scanning a 12 character barcode takes only 300 milliseconds. The error rate for typing is one substitution error in every 300 characters types. In contrast barcodes have error rates less than one in every one million barcodes scanned. A data entry error will translate into additional costs for a business that ranges from the cost of re-keying the data to shipping the wrong product to the wrong customer.