Explore New Markets For Revenue Growth
Written by: Mike MonocelloIf you’re like many VARs out there, the GS1 DataBar “sunrise” date has been a recent source of confusion. According to GS1 U.S., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global supply chain solutions, incomplete media coverage on the sunrise date for the GS1 DataBar has generated questions and misinformation in the industry. Consequently, the organization recently issued a press release confirming that the Jan. 1, 2010 sunrise date for the GS1 DataBar in the United States remains operational. Chances are, if you’ve been working with retailers, manufacturers, and/or equipment makers, you were on top of this news, and it served to at least confirm with your customers that you should continue your efforts to help them meet the upcoming deadlines.
However, if all this DataBar information is original news, you might be missing a huge opportunity. The GS1 DataBar (formerly Reduced Space Symbology, or RSS) can be used on very small or hard-to-mark items. Despite its reduced size, it has the ability to hold more information than UPC bar codes, creating a “super bar code” with many uses. For instance, the ability to hold additional data and the small size, make the DataBar ideal for produce and healthcare applications —storing expiration dates of foods and medicines — and any other item where product authentication and traceability is desired. In short, you should be talking to retailers and grocers about upgrading to this new bar code. That’s an easy sales pitch to your existing customer base.
But what about healthcare as a new market? While you might consider the market beyond your reach and level of expertise, it might not be. From talking with VARs currently selling solutions to the healthcare vertical, they do admit that breaking in to sell to hospitals is tough work. However, there are subsets of healthcare that are equally lucrative and easier to get into. For instance, pharmacies are basically healthcare-focused retailers in need of POS systems as well as bar coding solutions. Additionally, pharmacies are experiencing the growth the rest of the healthcare market is, and often do not require the level of legwork needed to get an audience with the decision maker.
In a recent reader study, Business Solutions magazine asked resellers if, in today’s down economy, they are currently investigating the resale of new technologies (to service new markets) to help boost sales. Seventy-four percent responded with a “yes.” That tells me today’s VARs aren’t satisfied with sitting back and expecting that their “bread and butter” markets will pay the bills. That’s a winning mindset, one that Business Solutions editors preach in almost every article. That’s a mindset that will pay even larger dividends once the economy turns around. Hopefully, your not one of the minority of VARs out there content on selling the same product set. If so, your “sunset” date might be fast approaching.