Jay Steinmetz on Barcoding

Jay Steinmetz, president and CEO of Barcoding Blog’s very own Barcoding Inc., is constantly connected. With two desktops, two laptops and an iPhone often being used simultaneously, and a background in mainframe programming, he is definitely not a stranger to technology.

His journey into the world of barcodes began straight out of college, when he started developing mainframe applications. Realizing this was not his true calling, he moved toward portable technology, which landed him a job in barcoding, tracking and tracing – where he’s been focusing his efforts ever since.

Steinmetz landed a job in Southern California, and when the company was acquired by a Maryland-based firm, he moved to Maryland and managed software operations. After sensing the company was going nowhere fast, primarily due to a lack of realization in the importance of the internet, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

While managing software operations at a new company, Steinmetz was slowly but surely building his empire. In 1997, he recruited a friend to start CaptureTech, which would focus on reselling barcode scanners and inventory tracking software, but the partnership went down-hill. It took a legal battle and 24 hours in jail, but Steinmetz was able to acquire full rights and ownership of CaptureTech.

Two years later, with only a handful of clients, Steinmetz started Barcoding Inc., which currently employs approximately 90 people and has offices in Chicago, Colorado, Florida and Texas. Over 2,500 organizations depend on the company for barcoding and radio frequency identification applications, and projections reach approximately $50 million in revenue for 2011.

Now, if you’re thinking that barcoding is simply scanning a barcode, you’re wrong – its so much more than that. “We’re an integrator – we invented our own technology,” Steinmetz said. “In the case of trash collection, for instance, we built a device that’s about the size of my hand, which has GPS on it and you put it on the back of the truck magnetically and it tracks where the truck has been. It tracks each container when it was emptied, if it was emptied, where it was emptied. We can even track the weight, and we know if somebody was collecting trash on a route they weren’t supposed to cover, or if they aren’t collecting trash at all.”

In his twelve years of being in business, Steinmetz has been the recipient of numerous awards and has also been appointed as Chair of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), and was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Small Business Commission earlier this year.

As far as the future of Barcoding is concerned, “In conjunction with a partner company, we are actively marketing a bi-state display card – it’s the size of a credit card and uses radio frequency identification,” Steinmetz said. “It could be used for boarding passes, gift cards, coupons — you name it.”

In addition to the future of Barcoding Inc., the future of barcoding as an industry is constantly evolving. The need for immediate access to information is rapidly increasing, but with a recovering economy, its tough to say what companies will invest in. Here’s what Steinmetz had to say to Point of Sale News:

“I am predicting continued conservative spending from businesses that continue to ponder economic and political changes. Many companies realize that the long term economic outlook for the US is uncertain and are afraid of stranding significant capital in large scale expansion. That being said, smaller projects are getting funded aggressively. The large
projects are typically technology replacement orders or low cost proof of delivery.”

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This story was adapted from a piece by Christine Hansen.