Barcodes have revolutionized the Logistics and Supply Chain Management across the globe and are very-much visible on almost every product. This humble collection of lines on a piece of paper is deemed as one of the most valuable inventions of the twentieth century.
The invention of this approach is credited to Joseph Woodland. His friend Bernard Silver shared this idea and he became obsessed with the idea that he even dropped out of school to focus on building a viable product. Later, he came up with the idea of using a modified version of Morse Code on paper, by transforming dots and dashes of Morse Code to series broad thin lines forming barcode. Both, Woodland and Silver also developed a scanner that could read the broad and thin lines. Typically, created as a grocery store retail solution, because of its exponential benefits have spread into sectors like Supply Chain Management. Many organizations implemented the barcode system as a means to track their fixed holdings. Even the libraries participated in the charade by labelling books with bar codes. And today, the barcoding system has become a course of conduct and a necessity in almost every business environment.
Logistics is in charge to provide an accurate Inventory base which leads to sales and purchase. The management of Inventory is expensive and risky for any business. Incompetence in warehouse management leads to additional costs and fulfilment challenges. Today, barcode technology with portable iOS barcode scanners can boost inventory visibility and ensures faster ROI. Digitalized supply change management has transformed retail and logistics. Mobile and web technologies have become essential realities for businesses globally.
A quick question that comes in mind, is how can we scan barcodes with mobile phones? Are there specific Android and iOS barcode scanners?
From, efficient management of inventory to consumer awareness, there are several ways to use barcode scanning technology. Also, there exist barcode scanner apps available for both iOS and Android phones. This allows you to turn any smartphone into a barcode scanning utility. With these Android and iOS barcode scanners, some applications allow users to collaborate, to maintain data accuracy by sending data to an easily accessed platform. Even, the end consumers can also use scanning applications to learn more about the products they want to purchase.
What are barcodes, how are these useful?
Whether Android or iOS, turning a smartphone into a barcode scanner is not handy unless you know how to use barcodes efficiently to cut-down expenses and spike efficiency. Essentially, barcodes are lined patterns representing encoded information. Commonly, the consumers are familiar with traditional 1-D barcodes including a serial number that relates to more information dwelling in a central database, such as remaining on-site inventory, price and more.
Lately, the 2-D or the QR codes have become very popular as these bundle more information. The QR codes are complex enough to contain more information, like reference photos. These barcodes are not perceptible by the human eye, so a scanner is required for reading and translation.
The Android and iOS barcode scanners have positively driven Logistics and Supply Chain Management. The key benefits are:
Eliminates the requirement of bulky equipment
A smartphone is a hand-held device. As compared to conventional barcode scanners, it is a lot easier and more comfortable to carry a mobile phone in the pocket. Unlike, old times there is no need to carry bulky scanners strapped to belts or slung over shoulders.
Any smart device can turn into a barcode scanner
Contrary to conventional methods, any device whether a smartphone or a tablet can turn into a barcode scanner with the right application installed to it. This eliminates the added expenses of buying dedicated scanners when any device can be converted into a barcode scanning device—including an employees’ mobile phone.
Removes the added expenses of technology repair costs
Any electronic gadget can break-down that invites huge repair costs, and the dedicated scanners are no exceptions. Implementation of Android or iOS barcode scanners let businesses save on the high costs of technology repairs.
Ensures compatibility with existing software
Whether a business decides to purchase a mobile application or build their own, compatibility with any or all existing software in use can be easily ensured.
With mobile apps, comes the ability to save and backup data. This ensures that the critical data in secure and accessible always.
How does a smartphone turn into a barcode scanner?
Precisely, the OS of a smartphone doesn’t have much to do while integrating it into a businesses’ barcode system, however, it is Bluetooth and wireless capabilities. The conventional barcode scanners need a wired connection from it to the workstation they transmitted information. A smartphone with the right app can simply send information connected via Bluetooth or the internet from a reasonable distance.
With the image readers, any smartphone can decode QR codes. Conversion of a smartphone into a barcode scanner begins with the installation of a quality barcode scanning app. Appstore provides several options, each offering a variety of functions. How to imply scanned barcode information in your business is entirely customizable.
Reading a barcode with your phone is only the primary step, the next step is to interpret the information and apply it database. A smartphone can be easily synced with a PC or other workstation via Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi network. The former is more secure than the latter. Another approach to use Bluetooth technology is by investing in a portable Bluetooth scanner, which can be further synced with a mobile device. In this approach, the mobile device acts as database and the reading & scanning are performed by the Bluetooth scanner.
To conclude, barcode scanning capabilities in a smartphone can be very useful in logistics, including but not limited to maintenance of inventory; scheduling and dispatch of goods, real-time tracking of packages, check-in/check-out systems of assets such as vehicles; along with more advanced solutions implemented by large retailers. Regardless of whether a business occasional scanner (smartphones of employees) or dedicated mobile computer, the main takeaway is simple: Barcode technology is vital for those willing to compete with big fishes of the industry.