Jay Steinmetz is the CEO of Barcoding, Incorporated. Since 1998, Barcoding, Inc. has provided barcoding and data capture solutions to businesses on an enterprise scale. The company has designed and implements warehouse management systems, mobility systems, inventory control, asset tracking, and more elements of the supply chain. Headquartered in Baltimore, Barcoding, Inc. also has major offices in Chicago, St. Louis, and San Diego; as well as additional locations nationwide. Each year, the company hosts an Executive Forum: a one-day conference aimed at educating organizations in the use of mobile technology.
Q. It’s been over 16 years since you started Barcoding, Inc. Can you take us back to the early days?
JAY STEINMETZ: I started Barcoding when I was working for another company. They were heavily debt ladened and they brought in a new CEO who was cutting and cutting. I found that the Internet was coming around, and I approached the company’s leadership saying, “I want to get your Internet-based business working.” They didn’t really see the vision. They didn’t want anything to do with the Internet. So, I said, “Well, okay,” and I quit. I did some traveling and when came back I started my business.
Q. What do you attribute to Barcoding’s enduring success?
A. I have constantly tried to innovate and develop. We have built some amazing tools to help our customers perform better. The reason why we work with some of the number one companies in multiple categories of industry is because we have built platform tools that allow us to provide the services at a level that nobody else has been able to.
Q. What technologies are you investing in these days?
A. We’ve always been doing advanced radio frequency identification—that’s proximity detection technology. We’ve been working with Bluetooth and a lot of wearable stuff, but we saw another company in Chicago that was doing it and had some amazing RFID technology. Plus, an RFID innovation center right in the heart of Chicago—that was very impressive. So we bought them out.
Q. Tell us more about acquiring that company.
A. They were at 40% capacity utilization when we acquired them and within six months they were at a 140% capacity utilization. They drink through a firehose. It’s been a phenomenal success, we have a great relationship. It’s a very jelled organization. It’s been the best acquisition. We’ve had many acquisitions but this is both the biggest and the best one we’ve ever done.
Q. Besides buying companies, how else do you keep up with ever-changing trends and technology?
A. I have always considered myself somewhat of a visionary and I’ve been fortunate to really stay ahead of the technology. Like I said, we’ve been working with Bluetooth for many years and it’s only now getting more interesting. We’ve been involved with wearables for ten years, if not more, and now wearables are becoming the fad. But we understand that business and we’re pretty good about understanding what’s coming down the pike and trying to utilize it when it’s effective—and not getting caught up in quagmires.
Q. What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
A. I would be unsuccessful if I hadn’t surrounded myself with people who could see the things I’m bringing to the table and allow me or them to weed the chaff from the grain—basically, identify what we can work on and what we really need to just wait on. So that helps, if you surround yourself with a team, and we’ve got a phenomenal management team. It helps tremendously in making sure that you are picking the right fruits, so to speak.
Q. How is the business doing now? What are your plans looking ahead?
A. We are in a renaissance period of innovation and technology. There are all sorts of fantastic new things that are being built and designed and integrated and standardized. Its moving so fast. Its hard for anybody with any technology to really get their sea legs before they’re already outed by the next technology. The opportunities are unbelievable right now. We’re having a great year. We had a great year last year, we’re having a better year this year, and we’re evaluating some great opportunities for acquisitions and all sorts of good stuff.
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