About IBCA

Introduction and Overview

The Integrated Business Communications Alliance (IBCA) is an organization of associations who are interested in bringing the benefits of bar code, electronic commerce and other related technologies to their members. IBCA has involved 30 different associations since it was founded in 1985. Many of IBCA's former and current members are also members of National Association of Wholesaler/distributors (NAW).

In addition to meeting the needs of Associations, IBCA provides support for individual companies implementing or maintaining systems that use the latest technologies necessary to drive cost out of the supply chain.

The Founding of IBCA

In 1985 the associations that would later form IBCA, conducted research to determine the user needs and applications served by bar code. The U.P.C. (a widely accepted numbering system and symbology) was then being used solely in the grocery stores. The application guidelines supporting its use were not designed for industrial/commercial (IC) applications. While the U.P.C. filled the important requirement of product identification, it did not meet the other industrial and commercial requirements to encode elements of information like serial number, lot number and purchase order number. Research conduced by the original group of associations resulted in the publishing of bar code guidelines and the founding of Industry Bar Code Alliance (IBCA) in March of 1986.

Continuing Service From 1985

With IBCA as a spearhead and the input of many other non-retail groups and companies GS1 (formerly the Uniform Code Council UCC) who administers the U.P.C. realized the expanded needs and broadened its old guidelines to meet IBCA requirements. IBCA now serves as a clearinghouse for information related to bar code and communication issues for industrial and commercial supply chains. IBCA, serving the interests of its constituents, continues to tailor the very broad and all encompassing UCC guidelines for the uses of its members. IBCA responds to input form member associations or companies regarding changes that might result in problems for the established user community.

Since the beginning, in 1986, IBCA has educated thousands of people about the benefits of bar code use. As awareness of the benefits of EDI became more widely known, IBCA began to underscore the leveraging effects of using both technologies together. In 1996, IBCA's Standard Practices Committee recommended that IBCA broaden its scope to include education about the implementation of all technologies related to the IBCA purpose. This includes bar code, EDI, electronic commerce, CD ROM, the Internet and other related technologies. The Board of Directors then approved a change in IBCA's name to Integrated Business Communications Alliance.

Today, in addition to acting as a clearinghouse, the emphasis is on education and facilitating forums dealing with technology. In 1996 IBCA hosted the "Efficient Channel Integration" conference. It provided standard setters, technology providers and the companies using the technology an opportunity to discuss how to use technology to drive costs out of the supply chain and to debunk some of the myths. IBCA, through its relationship with Insight (a vendor independent users group) has developed a series of workshops, provided over the Internet and in live telephone conferences. On an as needed basis, with input from the member companies and associations, IBCA facilitates electronic commerce and bar code task forces to provide an ongoing forum addressing the questions and problems that surround the use and maintenance of systems using business communication technology.

Phone: 215.489.1722

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