More Customization for Bar Code Label Generation Software

Integration into complex systems, lack of flexibility drives users toward custom solutions, VDC finds

Integration into complex systems, lack of flexibility drives users toward custom solutions, VDC finds

Natick, MA  October 29, 2003  Off-the-shelf packaged bar code label generation software currently dominates this segment of the market, but integration and flexibility issues are driving users toward custom solutions, according to a new study from technology research firm VDC

In its study, "Global Markets for AIDC Systems Application Software, Volume I: Label Generation/Print and Direct Marking Application Software," VDC reports that off-the-shelf packaged bar code label generation software (sold separately or bundled with hardware) accounted for nearly 80 percent of revenues in this market in 2002.

But VDC is predicting that this percentage will decline by 2007 as the need for integration into complex systems and a lack of flexibility pushes users toward custom solutions. (See table below.)

In fact, in a VDC survey, almost 50 percent of end users of bar code label generation software already indicated that some degree of customization was needed to meet specific system and application needs. While the amount of software customization varied from end user to end user, the average amount required by surveyed respondents was roughly 45 percent. (See table below.)

In addition, the largest percent of respondents cited that the amount of customization would remain the same, followed by a significant share of end users that expect the amount of customization to increase.

When asked about the need to customize their bar code label generation software users cited the following reasons:

  • smooth integration with other applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management systems (WMS) without sacrificing any of the software's features and functionality;

  • keeping up with continuously changing compliance standards;

  • software and system performance; and,

  • maintaining proprietary printer control and language code.

"Software vendors could benefit by offering the support needed to customize solutions through partnerships with hardware manufacturers, large systems providers/integrators, their own in-house technical staff or from agreements with value-add distribution partners," said Mike Liard, a senior analyst with VDC. "When I spoke with users about their level of satisfaction with vendors contributions, most indicated they were only somewhat satisfied with education and training offerings."

VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power systems markets.

Global Shipments of Bar Code Label Generation Software Segmented by Product Category (Millions of Dollars)

  • Base Year (2002)

    • Bundled Software (with Hardware): 8.8

    • Off-the-Shelf/Packaged Software: 37.3

    • Third-Party Custom Developed Software: 3.0

    • In-House Custom Developed Software: 9.8

    • Total: 58.9

  • CAGR (2002-2007)

    • Bundled Software (with Hardware): 7.7%

    • Off-the-Shelf/Packaged Software: 8.9%

    • Third-Party Custom Developed Software: 16.0%

    • In-House Custom Developed Software: 17.9%

    • Total: 10.8%

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End-User Respondents Segmented by Amount of Software Customization Required (Percent of Respondents Using Customized Software)

  • Less than 10 percent: 27.60 percent

  • 10 percent to 25 percent: 13.80 percent

  • 26 percent to 50 percent: 17.20 percent

  • 51 percent to 75 percent: 6.50 percent

  • 76 percent to 99 percent: 14.20 percent

  • 100 percent: 15.20 percent

  • Do Not Know: 5.50 percent

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