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Barcode Mobile App For Inventory Management

How to track field inventory efficiently, accurately and in real time using a mobile app and barcode or QR code scanning.

Using A Barcode Mobile App For Efficient Inventory Management

Mobile apps and barcode scanning take field inventory management to the next level, as compared to the desktop software systems. Smartphones are easy to carry around, and allow field technicians to record inventory updates in real time as they happen. Barcodes or QR codes speed up processing and eliminate manual entries errors. A mobile app provides an instant link to a back end cloud software, allowing for the live updates and data access.

QR Inventory is a cloud software with the supplementary mobile app for Android and iOS. Unlike many other inventory management systems, a software web interface and mobile app do not have the same functionality. Instead, each device is used for what it does best.

Smartphones and tablets are used for the inventory management tasks that are normally done in the field, and required a mobile computer before smartphones became mainstream. These tasks include recording inventory deliveries, re-location and usage, info and stock level look up. A mobile app is used for the barcode and QR code scanning, data entry and look up. It serves as a real time link to the central database, giving all software users access to the live data. Smartphone's compact size and capabilities make it a perfect device for this job. The

A cloud sofware web interface is used for the inventory management tasks that are usually done in the office. These tasks require more input and typing, and therefore need a keyboard and a larger screen. These tasks include setting up the inventory management system, printing QR code labels, reviewing reports, managing users, and similar functions.

How To Track Inventory With The Barcode Scanning Mobile App

With the mobile app field, warehouse and shop floor employees can track inventory efficiently, in real time, using barcode or QR code scanning.

Questions on using a QR Inventory mobile app

What are the advantages of using a barcode scanning mobile app for inventory management?

There are quite a few advantages in using a mobile app for inventory management. Here are some of them.

With a mobile app you can track inventory anywhere
Smartphones are easy to carry around, so company employees can record inventory updates anywhere. No matter where they are: in the field, on the shop floor, in the warehouse, on the client site, company employees can take a smartphone out of their pocket and record a transaction as it happens.

A mobile app has a lot of capabilities that are useful for inventory management tasks
A mobile app has a lot of capabilities that do not exist in other inventory management devices. Some of these capabilities include:

  • Scanning of a variety of smart tags: barcodes, QR codes, NFC tags or BLE tags.
  • Filling out mobile forms.
  • Live data access in the field.
  • Taking photos for visual documentation using a smartphone camera.
  • Collecting electronic signatures on a smartphone screen.
  • Capturing GPS location of the inventory transaction.
  • and more...

A mobile app provides a real time link to a back end cloud software
Inventory management mobile app can connect to the back end cloud software and update central database in real time. This ability gives you a centralized inventory management system where all updates are live and are available to the authorized software users instantly.

A mobile app is cost-effective
Company employees can use their own smartphone or tablets for barcode scanning. This saves a lot of money on purchasing specialized inventory management hardware.

Faster adoption of a new inventory management system
Your employees know how to use their own smartphones, so the learning curve for the new inventory management software is minimal and you become productive fast.

You can find more information on the benefits of using smartphones and a mobile app for inventory management here.

How can I capture photos in the mobile app?

In order to be able to capture photos in the mobile app you need to create a transaction property of type image. Transaction properties that you create are displayed as a fillable form in the mobile app. An image type field has a series of buttons that allow a user to take a photo with the smartphone camera, select an image from the smartphone photo gallery, review, replace or delete a photo.

All photos taken using a mobile app can be viewed in the transactions history reports. You can create as many image type fields as you need, and add unlimited number of photos.

How do I obtain and review a signature?

After you submit a transaction in the mobile app, you will see a button Obtain Signature on the confirmation screen. This button provides an option for the user to sign on a smartphone screen and save the signature, attaching it to the completed transaction. You will be able to view a digital signature in the transactions history reports.

Can I e-mail an inventory packing list / receipt from the mobile app?

Yes,you can create a PDF receipt in the mobile app, and view / print / e-mail it from a smartphone. You will be able to define a pdf document look, layout and what should be included in it using a custom template. You will need to include the Document Module for this functionality.

Which smartphones can I use for barcode scanning?

You can use any smartphone or tablet running recent versions of iOS or Android.

A mobile app tells me that there is not enough inventory to transfer, but on the cloud software dashboard I can see that stock level is higher than the number I entered?

A cloud software dashboard shows combined stock level in all of your locations. You can click on Breakdown link next to the stock number to check stock breakdown by location. When you record a transaction in the mobile app, you are moving inventory from a specific location.An error message that there is not enough inventory refers to the stock level in the from location that you selected.

I added a new transaction type and cannot see it in the mobile app?

Please click Download Forms From Server button on the mobile app home screen to download the latest data on your smartphone.

How can I undo an inventory transaction if there is an error?

You cannot undo transactions. Ability to undo a transaction would compromise accountability, which is an important part of the inventory management software. You will need to use an adjustment transaction to reverse an erroneous one. This way you will restore stock to the correct levels and preserve accountability. There will be a record of what was done, when and why.

For example, if you erroneously transferred widget A from the location B to the location C, in the adjustment transaction you will transfer widget A from the location C back to the location A. Stock level will be re-adjusted to the correct value, and both transactions will be recorded - so you will have full accountability.

Can I process an inventory transaction via a web interface?

Yes, if you are in the office near the computer you can process a transaction via a cloud software web dashboard. Click the Process Inventory Transaction link in the upper menu to do this.

Questions on using a barcode scanner for inventory management

Can I use a regular barcode scanner instead of a smartphone for inventory management?

Yes, you can use a barcode scanner if you prefer. You can connect a bluetooth barcode scanner to a smartphone, and use it with the mobile app. Alternatively, you can connect a barcode scanner to your computer (via a USB port or wirelessly), and process transactions on the computer.

What are the pros and cons of using barcode scanners vs smartphones for inventory management?

Using smartphones for barcode scanning works well in most cases. However, in some situations a barcode scanner can be more reliable. Here are some cases when you might want to use a regular barcode scanner attached to a smartphone:

  • Fast inventory scanning. A barcode scanner scans faster than a smartphone camera. For several items it won't make a big difference, but for the high volume transactions the time saving will become noticeable.
  • Several barcodes close together. If your items have two or more barcodes close together you won't be able to focus a smartphone camera on a specific barcode. You will need a regular barcode scanner in order to do it.
  • Barcodes readability. Some of the old 1D barcodes cannot be reliably read by a smartphone camera. If your items are already labeled with these barcodes, you have two choices:

    • re-label inventory with the QR codes and use a smartphone for scanning
    • use existing barcode labels and scan them with the barcode scanner

You can find more information on using bluetooth barcode scanners connected to the mobile devices here.

Is there a specific barcode scanner I should use with the QR Inventory mobile app?

A QR Inventory mobile app is natively integrated with the Socket Mobile line of bluetooth barcode scanners, so this is a preferred brand to use. You can find more info on using a barcode scanner with the mobile app here.

Mobile Inventory Tracking With QR Inventory