In 1973, the founding year of AIM Global, the Universal Product Code (UPC), now the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN-12), was introduced in North America. It is based on the barcode 'Code 39'. The supermarket chain Marsh used a scanner to identify a barcode on a pack of chewing gum for the first time in history in 1974 in the North American city of Troy in Ohio.
After this first transaction, things moved quickly. In 1976, the European Article Number (EAN) was introduced in Europe. Then in 1994, the robust and error-correcting QR code was developed in Japan. The QR code heralded the crucial evolution of the barcode.
As widespread retail adoption of the UPC progressed beginning in 1974, AIM Global took on the task of promoting standards and dissemination to ensure global interoperability of the barcode.
AIM Global's original goal was to further the purposes of its parent organization, the Material Handling Industry, and to optimize the transportation of packages and boxes. Performant barcodes and readers were and are the basis for an efficient supply chain.