Where Do You Put a Barcode on a Zebra?

Nature is so cool, and it’s even cooler when you combine it with science. For example, a group of scientists and biologists recently created a system for turning zebra stripes into barcodes. Instead of catching, tagging and releasing animals to track them, they simply take a picture of them and have a computer read their unique stripe pattern like a scanner reads a barcode.

Zebra closeup, Fishbowl BlogZebras are some of the easiest animals in the world to use in business. They come with built-in barcodes! But you probably don’t have much use for zebras in your company, so you’ll need to make your own barcodes for your products. Let’s talk about how to do this by comparing inventory tracking to catching, tagging and releasing animals.


Instead of catching animals in the wild, you’re probably more interested in creating products your customers want to buy. To find out which products and how much of them you should keep in stock, you can use barcode software. This software helps you track product locations, levels, sales and more. Armed with this data, you can make educated guesses about your inventory.


Barcode software won’t do you much good if you don’t properly tag all of your products with barcodes. Unless you sell zebras and tigers, your products don’t come with their own natural barcodes. You have to make them yourself. Luckily, barcode software can solve this challenge by generating unique barcodes for each product that you can print and scan whenever you need.


Once you have the right products and you’ve tagged them, you can then start to release your products into the hands of customers. These three steps can be repeated over and over because as you sell products, you’ll be able to keep track of changes in popularity and make sure your inventory levels reflect those changes.

Whether you specialize in wildlife or electronics, you should definitely use Fishbowl’s barcode software to keep your inventory under control. You need to stay updated with the latest information because your business is always changing. I guess that’s just its nature.


About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
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2 Responses to Where Do You Put a Barcode on a Zebra?

  1. InFlow says:

    Interesting indeed – I wonder if some zebras have the same display of stripes… or at least too similar for even a barcode to be able to tell the difference.

    • I think zebra stripes are probably analogous to our fingerprints. Even though everyone’s fingers are basically the same shape, they have grooves that are different enough that a person can be identified based on them. It’s so amazing how much variety there is in things that are so similar!

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