Mobile Inventory Management With Fast, Reliable Barcode Scanning

Barcode Inventory Management With Socket Mobile Barcode Scanners

socket mobile integration
With QR Inventory mobile application, you do not need any additional hardware for barcode scanning. In many situations, scanning with a smartphone using a smartphone camera is adequate and saves you money on purchasing additional barcode scanning hardware. However, if scanning with a smartphone camera does not work for your business scenario, you can use QR Inventory Pro mobile application, which is natively integrated with a socket mobile barcode scanners.

The Difference Between Scanning With A Smartphone Camera And Connected Handheld Barcode Scanner

The biggest advantage of scanning with a smartphone is that you do not need to purchase and carry around additional hardware. However, scanning with a smartphone camera has some limitations:

  • It takes longer to scan each QR code / barcode with a smartphone camera than with the attached barcode scanner. When you are scanning with a smartphone, you need to focus camera for each scan. It takes 1-2 seconds, and won't make much of a difference if your inventory transactions typically include several items. However, for the high volume transactions the difference will be noticeable.
  • If you have items with several barcodes close together (e.g. SKU and lot number), you will not be able to focus a smartphone camera on a specific barcode. With barcode scanner you can aim and scan each barcode separately without problems.
  • Smartphones scan QR codes and UPC barcodes without problems, but there are some older 1D barcodes that are not scannable with a smartphone camera. If a significant portion of your inventory is labeled with such barcodes, it might make sense to purchase a barcode scanner rather than re-label all inventory.
  • If your inventory and barcodes are very small, barcode scanner will read them more reliably. Barcode scanners also work more reliably in a poorly lit areas.

If due to the above limitations scanning with a smartphone camera is not a good option for you, you can use QR Inventory Pro mobile application, which is natively integrated with Socket Mobile 700 and 800 series barcode scanners.

The Difference Between Using Barcode Scanner In HID Mode And Native Integration (SPP Mode)

Bluetooth barcode scanners that can be connected to the mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) can work in two modes:

  • HID - HUMAN Interface Device Mode. In this mode barcode scanner connected to the mobile device emulates a keyboard. If you use barcode scanner in HID mode, scanned data appear in the text field that has focus. This is often the only mode supported by the cheaper scanners.
    You can use barcode scanner in HID mode to scan data in any text field, instead of typing them in. No integration with a mobile application is necessary (assuming that mobile application expects data in a text field and knows how to process them). However, this kind of scanning does not give you any speed advantage as compared to the scanning with a smartphone camera. In fact, in many cases in will be more cumbersome.
    Scanning in HID mode is slower by itself, plus you need to get back to the text field (either scroll or go to another screen) and put text field in focus after each scan.
    In addition, depending on the scanner, you may lose ability to use actual keyboard when scanner is connected. If you are processing inventory transactions, and need to enter quantity for each scanned item, (and possibly enter an additional information / notes), you will have a problem. Your only choice will be to connect / disconnect scanner each time you need a keyboard.
  • SPP - Serial Port Profile Mode. If you are using barcode scanner in this mode, it must be integrated with the inventory management mobile application. However, this is the mode you need if the purpose of using a barcode scanner is faster scanning speed. In SPP mode, application is processing the scanned data internally and is producing a desired result without any action on your side. For example, for adding items to inventory transaction all you need to do is keep scanning - and all scanned items will be added to transaction instantly. Should you need to change a quantity or enter additional information, you can do so at any time with the scanner connected.

QR Inventory - Socket Mobile Scanner Integration

QR Inventory mobile application is natively integrated with Socket Mobile 700 and 800 series barcode scanners, meaning you should put your socket mobile scanner in SPP mode (for iOS it is also called ios or application mode). When barcode scanner is connected to your smartphone, you can use it on any screen that requires scanning. When barcode scanner is disconnected, you can use smartphone camera.

Processing Inventory Transactions

Adding items to an inventory transaction is the part where advantages of the connected barcode scanner come into play if you routinely process high volume inventory transactions. With QR Inventory mobile application and connected socket mobile barcode scanner each scan adds item to the transaction - no other action on your side are required. You always see a list of items in the transaction on a smartphone screen, and can make adjustments when needed: delete an item, update quantity, or record additional parameters for the item.

Once transaction is completed, submit it to the centralized cloud location with one click.

Scanning Data Into The Mobile Forms

Optionally your inventory transactions can be accompanied by filling out mobile form(s). For example, you may need to record project number or job number for which items were used, client information, take a photo of shipped out or returned equipment to document the conditions, include due dates, notes, tracking numbers and other parameters that are important for your business. In some instances, these additional parameters may include long numbers (such as a tracking number, or an ingredient batch number), which users can scan into the form instead of entering manually.

Without the connected barcode scanner, user would need to click a button next to a scannable field, and scan a number in using smartphone camera. With the attached scanner, user can scan the number(s), and data will be put in the scannable fields in the form automatically, in the order they were scanned. User can also put a specific form field in focus to scan data in this field.

Scanning Batch Numbers Against An Assembly Composition List

For the manufacturing companies that need strict traceability for their finished goods, QR Inventory has an option to easily track batch numbers / lot numbers of the parts that go into each assembly. A company can create a generic composition list for each assembly. On the shop floor, an employee pulls a composition list on a smartphone screen, then scans in lot number / serial number of the actual part that was used while building an assembly.

In the same manner as in the mobile forms, when barcode scanner is connected to a smartphone an employee can scan parts batch numbers / serial numbers in the order they are listed, or focus on a specific part field to scan in the number for this part.

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