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Inventory App with Barcode Scanner Use Cases

An inventory app with a barcode scanner is a powerful tool for improving efficiency, reducing errors, and keeping data current anywhere your team uses scanners to get their jobs done. In this blog, we’ll look at use cases and examples of how a custom-built QR or barcode scanner app for inventory can make a difference. 

All of these use cases and more are easy to address with scanner apps that are custom-built at an affordable price. Learn about our development services here. 


Four Use Cases for Barcode Scanning Apps

Being able to scan barcodes or QR codes out in the warehouse or in the field provides a simple way to keep data up to date in real time. Here are a few ways that scanner apps can be used:


#1 Inventory Management for the Warehouse

This is the most common use case. Since warehouse workers need to be able to track and update inventory quickly and easily, a software solution works much better than pen and paper on a clipboard. But a really well-designed scanner app does more than save time and reduce errors. It improves the user experience on the job. 

A scanner app should be designed to reduce the # of clicks or touches required to access the right fields. The more data that can be input by scanning vs. typing the better. For example, inventory transfer might involve being able to scan the code on the inventory item itself, its starting location, the forklift # on which it is being transferred, and the destination location. 

Note: Forklift drivers will especially appreciate an app that can be used with their thumbs (while wearing gloves) and without getting off the forklift.


#2 Sales Order Entry for Remote Teams

For sales reps out in the field, on the go, or at the office, being able to scan orders for entry instead of manually typing information is a significant time saver. Whether selecting specific items or building configurations for special orders, scanning makes it simple to “point and shoot” for order entry. This type of app can also be built to access and display current inventory levels, including accessing GPS on the device to integrate location data. This means sales reps can check on availability before making lead time promises. 


#3 Capital Asset Management for Maintenance

Many organizations have complex, ongoing maintenance needs for a fleet of vehicles or pieces of equipment and machinery. With this use case, workers can scan a VIN or serial # on the vehicle’s barcode and then scan a barcode or QR code from a list of maintenance activities to track what has been done for each vehicle or piece of equipment. In this example, there might be a large board in the shop that displays QR codes for a pre-set list of common maintenance tasks and parts/supplies. 

The technician can simply scan the vehicle’s barcode and the barcode for “oil change” to instantly log that maintenance activity in the system. Scanning the codes from the list eliminates the need for tedious manual data entry on a handheld device or back at a desktop in the office. Using the device GPS can also add location data to the information being tracked for each asset.


#4 Shipping & Receiving at Ports

At entry points like ports, moving inventory on and off ships and printing labels may need to be done without a connection back to the main server. A self-contained scanning app that stores and processes data locally is essential. Instead of needing constant communication with the server to parse the barcode, the user can input and manage data offline. Then, they can simply go to a location where a brief Wi-Fi connection can be established to sync back to the server on a regular schedule or at the end of a shift. 


Scanner Apps Can Have Many Functions

As you can see from the examples above, an inventory app with a barcode scanner is very versatile. Here are a few of the functions our team has built for clients.

  • Inventory Inquiries
  • Inventory Transfers
  • Inventory Adjustments
  • Inventory Inquiry
  • Inventory Reclass
  • Inventory Issues
  • Cycle Count
  • Production Reporting
  • Sample Capture
  • Lot Status Update

Read more about improving inventory management productivity with this case study.

Getting a Custom Inventory App with a Barcode Scanner is CHEAPER Than Off-the-Shelf Software

It may sound counterintuitive, but having a scanning app built for your specific use case is actually 50-75% less expensive than trying to buy out-of-the-box software and hoping it will fit your needs. In just a few weeks, you can get a custom app designed, developed, and deployed to start making a difference in your team's productivity. We see companies cutting the time to manage inventory by 70-80% and eliminating the errors caused by manual data entry! That kind of ROI is hard to beat.

Learn about our custom scanner app development services here and book a discovery call.

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