Mobile Inventory Management With The Socket Mobile Barcode Scanner

socket mobile integration
QR Inventory mobile application has built-in barcode scanning capabilities, so you you do not need any additional hardware for barcode scanning inventory tracking. In many cases barcode scanning with a smartphone is adequate and saves you money on the purchasing of the barcode scanning hardware. However, if barcode scanning with a smartphone camera does not work for your business scenario, you can use a QR Inventory Pro mobile application, which is natively integrated with the socket mobile barcode scanners.

Barcode Inventory Tracking: Scanning With A Smartphone vs Barcode Scanner

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

  • It takes longer to scan each QR code / barcode with a smartphone camera than with the connected 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 inventory transactions the difference in speed will be noticeable.
  • If you have inventory 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 the barcode scanner you can 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 a QR Inventory Pro mobile application, which is natively integrated with Socket Mobile 700 and 800 series barcode scanners.

Inventory Mobile Application With The Barcode Scanner: HID Mode Or 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 a barcode scanner connected to the mobile device emulates a keyboard. If you use a barcode scanner in HID mode scanned inventory SKU / part number 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 the inventory management mobile application is necessary. However, this kind of barcode scanning does not give you any speed advantage as compared to the barcode scanning with a smartphone camera. In fact, in many cases in will be more cumbersome.
    Barcode 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 barcode scanner, you may lose an ability to use actual keyboard when barcode scanner is connected to the smartphone. When processing inventory transactions you need to enter quantity for each scanned inventory item, and absense of the keyboard creates a problem. Your only choice will be to connect / disconnect barcode scanner each time you need a keyboard.
  • SPP - Serial Port Profile Mode. If you are using a barcode scanner in this mode it must be natively integrated with the inventory management mobile application. This is the mode you need if the purpose of using a barcode scanner is faster scanning speed. In SPP mode an inventory management mobile application is processing scanned inventory internally and is producing a desired result without any action on your side. For adding items to the inventory transaction all you need to do is keep scanning - and all scanned inventory items will be added to transaction batch instantly. You can change a quantity or enter additional information at any time with the barcode scanner connected.

QR Inventory Mobile Application - Socket Mobile Barode Scanner Integration

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

Processing Inventory Transactions On A Smartphone

Advantages of the connected barcode scanner vs smartphone barcode scanning come into play if you routinely process high volume inventory transactions. With the QR Inventory mobile application and connected socket mobile barcode scanner each scan adds inventory item to the transaction - no other action on your side are required. You always see a current inventory batch on a smartphone screen and can make adjustments when needed.

Once the transaction batch has all inventory items added you can submit it to the centralized cloud location with one click.

Using Barccode Scanner To Scan In Data Into The Mobile Forms

Optionally your inventory transactions can be accompanied by filling out a mobile form. For example, you may need to record a project number or job number for which inventory was used, record client information, take a photo of to document assets or inventory conditions, add a due date, notes, tracking number, etc. In some instances these additional parameters may include long numbers (such as a tracking number, or an ingredient batch number). Users can scan these long numbers into the form instead of entering them manually.

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

Scanning Inventory Lot Numbers Against An Assembly Composition List

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

When barcode scanner is connected to a smartphone an employee can scan parts lot 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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QR Inventory and QR Mobile Data are brand names of inventory management and mobile forms software by AHG -- a provider of mobile and cloud-based applications for business. Our unified mobile platform improves business operations efficiency by eliminating manual tasks and physical paperwork, while providing a secure cloud storage for the business records, real time access to business data for all stakeholders, comprehensive data reporting and analytics. Headquartered in beautiful Boise, Idaho, AHG software is used to manage hundreds of millions of dollars annually in inventory and assets.

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