The increasing use of mobile RF barcode scanners by warehouse and shipping staff is a significant aspect of modern logistics processes, including shipping, receiving, loading, and returns. We all know that technology has the power to greatly simplify a wide range of aspects of life and can also enhance precision and effectiveness. With the evolution of smartphones, physical barcode scanners are not the only option for supply chain professionals.
In this article, let us explore how an Oracle Mobile Inventory/Warehouse Management solution with barcode scanning functionality can help optimize and increase the efficiency of warehouse personnel.
- Importance of Barcode Scanning and Popular Scanning Options
- Benefits of RF Barcode Scanning Mobile App
- Barcode Scanning App Use Cases in the Inventory Department
- Things to Consider before Choosing a Mobile RF Barcode Scanning Solution
Importance of Barcode Scanning and Popular Scanning Options
The mobile RF barcode scanners have been useful, but they are not ideal. They are usually heavy and bulky, making them difficult to carry. These devices also lack direct editing support, which is a disadvantage. This restricts employees from submitting or editing the data. Most barcode scanners on the market do not meet the intended purpose of increasing productivity. Propel Apps being the registered Zebra independent software vendors (ISV), know how these RF guns are changing the way personnel work in warehouses.
Mobile technology enhances efficiency and productivity by addressing issues that scanners alone cannot, assisting employees in real-time task completion. Here are 2 major mobile app-based scanning options to improve warehouse efficiency:
- When compared to scanners, smartphones are far lighter, and most employees own or know how to use one. These mobile barcode apps for Android and iPhones can also display information that a standard barcode scanner cannot. This means they can show data like transfers, bins, lot numbers, restocking information, updates, and more. Employees will eventually become more productive with a smartphone app rather than a scanner, making their tasks more efficient.
- Another scanning option is through APIs such as Scandit for high-volume or industrial scanning use cases. Propel Apps tested the Scandit API in Mobile Inventory app for Oracle EBS and Oracle SCM Cloud, achieving impressive results. We scanned almost 40 barcodes in just a second. Scandit connects to smart devices’ cameras and mobile apps, offering licensed APIs for scanned data. These low-cost mobile warehouse solutions enable online and offline work, with data synced instantly upon internet connection.
Benefits of RF Barcode Scanning Mobile App
- Real-time Inventory Status: Barcode scanning apps instantly upload the data to the primary system and ensure that employees have real-time information related to inventory and shipping. This information can help employees eliminate selling items that are not actually in stock.
- Easy to Carry: Employees can use their phones to access the app. This means they no longer need to carry all that bulk manually. It is a practical and lightweight solution that simplifies app learning for end users.
- Supports QR Codes and Barcodes: The smartphone not only supports QR codes, but it can also read barcodes instantly.
- Inventory Control: Material handlers can use barcode scanning apps to view real-time information related to a particular order and perform transactions such as receiving, issuing or transferring.
- Perform Tasks Offline: Most of the time, warehouse personnel lack access to the internet to complete transactions. This is frustrating for users, as they have to perform a multitude of transactions successively. Barcode scanning apps allow the user to perform transactions offline and upload the information to the server when connected to the internet.
- Cost Savings: No significant hardware investments are needed because the majority of the workforce already owns smartphones. To avoid overspending, businesses can also forecast their future material needs.
- Automate Data Entry and Avoid Human Errors: Barcode scanning apps allow users to capture material information and ensure faster processing times.
Barcode Scanning App Use Cases in the Inventory Department
- Procure to Pay: Purchase order and goods receipt purchase order
- Manual and Automatic Replenishment: Stock transfers and stock requests
- Production: Issue to production and receipt from production
- Inventory: Stock cycle counting and lookups
- Time Tracking: Keep track of how long a material or component is used, and project your future equipment demands.
Things to Consider before Choosing a Mobile RF Barcode Scanning Solution
- Right Hardware: VDC research reveals that non-rugged devices have a five-fold higher failure rate than rugged devices, which have a longer life cycle and can withstand harsh conditions in warehouses and distribution centers. Device failures cost 30-40 minutes of worker downtime, making ruggedized devices essential for enterprises.
- Seamless Integration between Hardware & Software: Sometimes the best hardware is useless if it cannot run the required applications. In the same way, the best mobile app becomes redundant if it cannot support the hardware that it runs. So, ensure that there is a seamless integration among hardware devices, mobile applications, and your ERP.
- Barcode Readability: Occasionally, workers have to perform duties in low light conditions, scan damaged codes or blurred codes. Enterprises planning to implement barcode scanning solutions must select a solution that meets these scenarios.
- Decode Speed: In a high throughput scanning environment, low latencies in scanning are essential to perform tasks successfully and provide an efficient user experience for workers. Some factors influencing the decoding speed are device CPU, camera initialization speed and app decoding approach. Before making the final purchase, test the mobile solution in different scanning settings.
Warehouse workers in challenging conditions can greatly benefit from an Oracle mobile inventory management solution with barcode scanning functionality. This solution can save time on manual tasks like cycle counting, time tracking, and inventory receipt, thereby improving business efficiency. A good barcode scanning app can automate and streamline inventory processes, saving money on labor costs and enhancing the maturity of the supply chain. Request a demo to know how Propel Apps’ Mobile SCM solutions can boost your business operations.