In the previous articles we described benefits of using QR Codes and UPC barcodes for the efficient inventory and asset management, and how to track inventory using a smartphone as a barcode scanner. But barcode scanner mobile applications can do much more than just a barcode scanning for the inventory management and asset tracking. There are other useful things that you can do using a barcode scanning mobile application on a smartphone, but not a traditional barcode scanner. You can take photos of the assets / inventory and attach them to the inventory transactions for the visual documentation. You can fill out mobile forms, collect electronic signatures, and generate PDF documents with the signature included. You can automatically record GPS locations of the assets and display assets on the map. As a result, barcode inventory system with a barcode scanner mobile application gives you much more capabilities than an inventory management system with a traditional barcode scanner.
Using Barcode Scanner Mobile App vs Handheld Barcode Scanners for The Inventory Management
Development of the mobile technology gives us a choice for the inventory and asset tracking that was non-existentent just a short time ago. Previously, if you wanted to track assets and inventory using barcode scanning, your only choice was to purchase the barcode scanners or mobile computers, and hire an integrator / consultant to connect them to your desktop computers and inventory management software. Now you have a better choice: use a barcode scanner mobile application and a smartphone for processing inventory transactions on site in real time. Using smartphones for the barcode scanning is more affordable and productive, so small businesses can easily afford and implement barcode scanning inventory management.
With smartphones and a barcode scanner mobile application company employees can process inventory transactions in the field as they happen. There is no need to be in the vicinity of the office computers any more.
There are more advantages in using a barcode scanner moile application than the price alone. Using smartphones with the barcode scanner mobile application company employees can process inventory transactions in the field, on the shop floor or warehouse as they happen. There is no need to be in the vicinity of the office computers any more. Your employees do not have to share barcode scanners -- all employees have barcode scanners in their pockets. Any employee who deals with the assets or inventory can process a transaction on the spot, in real time by scanning a qr code or barcode on the inventory item with a smartphone. Result: an accurate real time inventory count, which is an ultimate purpose of any inventory management software.
Using Barcode Scanner Mobile App For Filling Out Forms
Often inventory transactions are accompanied by filling out forms. You may need to record what project or client the inventory was used for, record asset conditions upon return, specify due date, etc. You may also need to look up asset information in the field - specifications, instructions, pdf documentation, inventory stock and locations. Barcode scanner mobile application makes it possible - you can scan a barcode or QR code with a smartphone, access asset information and / or fill out a form and submit to the server.
Using Barcode Scanner Mobile App For Visual Documentation
There are quite a few situations when having a visual documentation during an asset transaction is really helpful. For example, you may
want to document the asset conditions at check out and check in, and be able to compare them. You may need images to illustrate what was broken and
had been repaired on the asset or equipment. Or you may need to document damages to the asset to justify taking it out of inventory.
Obviosly, you cannot take photos with a barcode scanner, but you can with a smartphone using a barcode scanner mobile application. Taking assets photos, as well as GPS location of an asset, can be an itegral part of the asset transaction. Your employees can scan a QR code or UPC barcode on the asset, record inventory transaction, then take one or multiple photos - and send inventory transaction to the server in real time. You can then view saved images via the inventory reports, and could easily access and provide supporting documentation for the asset status changes.
Using Barcode Scanner Mobile App To Obtain GPS Location
If you are having assets / inventory at multiple remote job sites, one of the main purposes of an asset tracking software for you is to
monitor where each asset is located, be able to list assets at each location and track assets movement. Traditional barcode scanner will do little to help you
with that. Another possible solution -- GPS asset tracking using special GPS tracking devices attached to the assets -- is prohibitively
expensive for a small businesses.
On the other hand, smartphone with its built-in GPS location capabilities is just the right tool for the job. Assets mapping fits right into the tracking process: when an employee scans a QR code or UPC barcode on an asset using a barcode scanner mobile application, the asset geolocation is automatically determined and saved. You can then view assets locations and track asset movements on a map in real time -- without spending a fortune on the extra hardware and software.
Using Barcode Scanner Mobile App For Obtaining Electronic Signatures, Generating PDF Documentation
If you want an employee or a customer to sign off on the inventory transaction, smartphone with the barcode scanner mobile application is a perfect tool to do this. You can capture an electronic signature right on the smartphone, and generate a pdf receipt / invoice with the signature included. You can then view pdf document in the mobile application, e-mail it to the specified addresses or print it.
Barcode Scanner Mobile Application: How Does It All Work Together
If you want to track assets and inventory using a smartphone as a barcode scanner, you need to have a barcode scanner mobile application that can do two things:
- Scan barcodes, take images, record GPS location of a transaction, capture signatures and generate PDF documents
- Send these data to the inventory management system in the cloud
The QR Inventory is a web-based
inventory management software that comes with
a barcode scanner mobile application which has all the described capabilities. Unlike barcode scanners, that can only transmit a SKU / part number of the scanned inventory item,
the QR Inventory mobile application allows you to:
- Record any information you need to keep track of
- Take multiple photos with the smartphone and attach to the inventory transaction
- Add multiple inventory items to transaction before submitting it to the server
- Automatically determine and save GPS location of the inventory transaction
- Fill out mobile forms on a smartphone
- Capture electronic signature and generate PDF documents based on your template, with the signature and captured images included
As a result, you have a smart barcode scanner capable of accomplishing much more than a traditional barcode scanner. And smartphone barcode scanners are free for you - your employees can use their own mobile devices to perform inventory transactions. Check it out!