Should You Use Smartphones as Part of a Barcoding Solution?

Many business owners who look into stock control or asset tracking solutions for their company are often searching for a way to reduce their overheads and general costs of running their business. Using barcodes can drastically increase the efficiency of a business that relies on knowing where their inventory is and what their stock levels are.

However, many businesses are often put-off with the thought of having to pay out for a scanner system, especially if their reasoning behind moving to a barcode solution is to save money and time.

As the majority of today’s workforce has some form of smartphone with a high quality or HD camera built in, there’s no reason that smartphone barcode scanning shouldn’t be an option for those businesses who feel that investing in a dedicated barcode scanner system is out their budget.

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The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Trend

The main benefit to allowing employees to use smartphones as opposed to investing in dedicated scanners is that it cuts a huge cost from the shoulders of the business, utilising the phones that the employees will probably already have available. By simply installing the relevant app and setting it up to meet the business needs, smartphones allow employees to quickly and effectively get on with their own work.

However, there are a few drawbacks to this solution; namely the willingness of the employees to use their personal phones during work time. It could also potentially encourage your workers to be using their phones during the day when they should be working.

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The ‘bring your own’ trend would benefit those smaller companies who want to see how effective a barcoding solution could be in their particular business area; not larger companies, who would most likely need a larger, more complex barcoding solution.

Making the Decision

In order to find the right solution for your business, you need to understand the needs and requirements that need to be satisfied by the solution. This includes:

  • Your requirements – will you be scanning items which are close up or further out of reach? Smartphones can be great for scanning small, up close codes, but those which need to be scanned further away (such as larger, heavier items) will require a scanner which can scan longer distances.
  • Your Budget – although smartphones are a cheaper alternative to a full scanner system, there may be the perfect system for you which is more in your budget range and more reliable. As these devices will be specifically designed to scan, they will have a lot more in the way of features that will help you with your efficiency and aid you in saving money.
  • Connectivity Issues – We’ve all suffered with loss of connection when it comes to our smartphones. Time is precious for many industries, and if the software that you are using on your smartphone relies on a connection, this could potentially drop at any moment. Using a device which is created for scanning and has a stable, reliable connection to a terminal can drastically decrease downtime and increase productivity rates.
  • Security – Using a smartphone for your barcoding solution can often lead to security issues, especially if the phone is used outside of work, too. Viruses and security breaches on phones are a very real threat, and it is important for the safety of your business and your stock that the information is kept secure. Dedicated scanners are a great alternative, as there is no risk of viruses being downloaded.

If you are still looking for the perfect barcoding solution for your business and want to know what your options are, feel free to get in touch with us here at GSM Barcoding. We pride ourselves on finding the ideal solution for any business requirement, so don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01582 869 000 today.

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