Behind every carrot is a seed, behind every peach there is a tree, and behind the successful delivery of a product, is a barcode.
Some may be surprised to know that one of the largest barcode and product tracing companies in the country was started, and remains based here in Penticton.
Next time you pick up wood from your favourite hardware store, purchase a bottle of wine, or grab a bag of local fruit, there’s a good chance the barcode or label was made here in Penticton, by IBC International Bar Coding (IBC).
“Penticton’s been home ever since we started,” said Matt Pedersen, business development manager with IBC.
Started in Penticton in 1993, in Chris Pedersen’s basement, IBC has now grown to an international level. Their latest accomplishment; starting the construction of a new production facility in Penticton.
Located on Highway 97 on Penticton Indian Band land, behind the Nissan dealership, the new 13,000 square foot facility is many times the size of their current 3,000 square foot facility, located in Penticton’s industrial district. The majority of this new space will be for production, allowing them to bring in more people, aquire more equipment, and store more goods appropriately.
By August, the company hopes to be moved into their new space.
“This gives us an opportunity to produce a little quicker, produce a little more, add additional features, and functionality in the solutions we provide… we do think this is an opportunity for us to expand into new product lines,” said Pedersen.
IBC is largely responsible for the successful distribution and tracking of many products in Canada; from lumber, to fruit, beer, wine, marijuana and more. They also work with companies to iron out issues with distribution, automation, and promotion of products.
|Chris and Matt Pedersen of International Bar Coding Systems & Consulting, in their new future space, currently in the construction phase. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)|
Although they started by providing barcoding and product tracing solutions to B.C.’s forestry sector, they have now expanded their reach. IBC currently assists four of the ten largest marijuana companies in the country in labeling and tracking their products. Between 80 and 90 per cent of cherries exported from B.C., utilize IBC in doing so.
“We’ve taken something that was designed for one industry, and we realized if we make it bulletproof, we can roll it out to other industries,” said Pedersen.
“There’s a couple of different ways of looking at barcodes. You can look at it as purely the operational side, the tracking side, when were parts installed, when were they used… but for us it’s a mix of the operational and the marketing. You have to get a barcode onto a product, an asset, an item, while you’re doing that you’re probably going to want to make it look nice as well.”
Each label is custom made to suit the environment of the product. IBC has even made recyclable labels for companies that disintegrate in lukewarm water in five seconds.
Seedling tags, produced by IBC, can track a product (tree) throughout the growth stage, when it is harvested, turned into lumber and delivered to the retailer.
“Traceability is becoming really important in a lot of industries. It started with food traceability, and now it’s moving into all the issues we’ve been having with supply chains, with COVID-19 and everything like that… your consumers want to know where your stuff is coming from,” said Jamie Case, with IBC’s marketing department.
Traceability, they explained, helps companies improve their products, creates efficiencies, and also nurtures transparency. It helps companies tell the story behind their product. Pedersen said this is especially important in the food industry, where a consumers taste in product is incredibly personal.
|The future 13,000 square foot home of IBC Bar Coding Systems & Consulting, off Hwy 97 in Penticton. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)|
Pedersen said Penticton’s industrial district is full of budding, or very well established, innovative businesses.
“Everyone looks at Penticton as this agro-tourism town, but then you look at the industrial side, and you have world-class businesses that (provide) unique solutions.”
IBC is excited to more forward. Many hands are on deck, working to complete their new facility.
“We feel pretty blessed, we’re definitely pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to grow and expand. There’s some businesses that are being hurt by COVID-19, and so… this a blessing for us to be able to expand,” said Pedersen.
This expansion is something IBC has been looking at, and planning for, for many years.
“Thankfully our clients are putting their trust in us, and saying hey we need help, what solutions do you have – that’s what has fueled the new building, and allowed us to look at putting that facility together.”