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Using Bar Codes to Simplify Record Keeping

Bar codes can help managers track, inventory, secure, or report large quantities of materials, such as hazardous wastes or supplies. MTDC has published two documents, a summary and a detailed report, to help managers decide whether a bar-code system could help them and, if so, help them set up the system.

Photo of a hand-held bar-code scanner.

The summary, Bar-Code Tracking Systems Overview (0271–2333–MTDC), explains how bar-code tracking systems work and their potential use in Forest Service applications.

The report, Assembling A Bar-Code Tracking System (0271–2834–MTDC), is an indepth look at purchasing and setting up a bar-code system. It describes the equipment, the data collection and storage software, and the methods of setting up and tailoring a system to meet your needs. It also includes tips to follow, stumbling blocks to avoid, and sources of bar-code equipment. Both documents provide valuable information to anyone considering adopting this technology.

For more information about bar coding, contact Kathie Snodgrass, project leader (phone: 406–329–3922; fax: 406–329–3719; e-mail:

To order either document, contact Cailen Hegman, MTDC publications (phone: 406–329–3978; fax: 406–329–3719; e-mail:

Electronic versions can be found on the Internet at:

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