Scanners Need a Brain.
Think of the act of scanning a barcode as just another form of typing, but one that’s exponentially faster and more accurate.
Software for the barcode scanners comes in the form of an app that is loaded onto the scanner. The app is key to the device’s functionality. The app is the brains of the scanner.
Inventory management software needs to be powerful but simple to use. And it should be pre-designed to fit your organization.
The scanner does not know the meaning of the barcode you’re scanning unless you have a system that has already been taught to recognize it. Moreover, the laser itself has no idea what to do with the scan unless you’ve got the software that tells it whether this can is receiving the product into inventory or if the scan represents a subtraction of that product, and how many of that product, from inventory, and why it’s happening. Is it happening because you’re fulfilling an order?
So how do you know what software to choose? What kind of features should you be looking for?
Not all apps connect to a cloud-based system. They might use cloud-storage, but they don’t have a robust software system online that can be used back in the office. Stand alone apps store data in the mobile device. This limits your ability to create product data and conduct data analysis.
The Flowtrac App is connected to the browser-based system that you operate from the browser on your laptop or desk computer. That’s because Flowtrac is a full warehouse management system, and the scanner is just an extension of that. Administrators in your company control the inventory from the browser, while mobile users only scan products in and out of the locations according to receive and pick orders.
With the Flowtrac app, the scanner will always know what to do with the scan before you even scan it. Not to mention, it will direct the person on what to go scan in the first place! That makes it easy to complete task all day long in the correct order according to need. That brings me to final feature that any well-designed scanner software should include: directed picking.
Directed Picking means that the scanner will actually tell the user where to walk to get to the inventory. You want your software to do this because all the time saved in labor by moving to a barcoding system will be lost if the employees are hunting around the building in search for what they need to scan. The intelligence of knowing the right path, and even more importantly, the fastest route to go to grab all the products for the order, is a feature built into the Flowtrac app. It does not have to matter where you put the inventory when you get it. The scanner will know where everything is when it is time to pick that inventory from the shelves.
Our app is available in the Apple’s App Store as well as Google’s Play Store.
To get your staff scanning the right way, you not only need a laser scanner but also the right software for it.