The ability to implement perfect barcode scanning in the field, warehouse, retail, transportation, and offices optimizes your workplace in a way that OpEx managers dream of. From a people perspective, areas like repetitive stress, fatigue, and worker satisfaction all improve from optimized scanning. From a corporate perspective, areas like asset visibility and data integrity are massively improved across all asset stages with great field data collection.
These asset stages include, among others, receipt of shipment; warehousing and spares management; picking and shipping; “minimum/maximum” settings; transfers; assembly; installation; deployment; maintenance; upgrades; repairs; returns; audits; cycle counts; and decommissioning.
Having a perfect scan requires a perfect mobile solution to provide accurate, real-time information that allows you to keep track of where every asset is – across the field, warehouse, datacenter, or back office. This mobile solution should work on any major scanner or smartphone scanning platform in any environment – online, or offline. It needs to be configurable to let any worker scan 1D or 2D barcodes with autofocus, and with the least number of attempts required, capturing data as it flows organically throughout its corporate lifecycle. There are elements like 2d parsing on any field to capture that information which help as well.
Of course, this should also require enterprise-grade security. In a world where you live and die by great data, ensuring the data you collect remains uncompromised is what keeps you protected. This includes a secure logon, user limited permissions, and encrypted password protection to safely connect to any integrated system through a secure transport layer behind your own firewall.
Every barcode scanner is different. Some are designed for warehouse use while others are best in retail stores. Before purchasing a scanner, it’s important to see how its specs and price line up with your needs. Transmission range, battery life, and scans per second are the most important things. There are also bonus features like a wide reading window, or omnidirectional scanning to scan barcodes from any angle. Whether you are using a BYOD, corporate phone, scanning hand-held, or any other IoT input, any employee should be able to collect the information needed when and where changes occur. These updates are captured in real time and communicated to the systems that rely on different types of asset information. Want to verify your serial number exists in real time? Not a problem. And after you scan, pre and post validations reconcile what you are seeing in real-time with what your business systems think they see (which is usually not as much as you would want).
Some of the best practice is to conduct initial planning to map out multiple-step processes configured for different types of users. This ensures intelligent, directed decision support and visibility into all inventory at every step, whether the field tech is offline or online. When an IoT device transforms into an intelligent decision support tool, you can see and control everything you need to accomplish your job, no matter who you are, what mobile platform you are using or where you are located. And as part of the set-up process, there is a data clean up and preload of legacy asset data into the database of record, which may require an audit of all network and warehouse sites. When that’s completed, the full software solution can be deployed, which includes integration between the field data collection and other key enterprise applications.
A number of elements can help generate the perfect scan, including software, services, asset tags and mobile hardware. Sitehound can help with any and all of that. We call it the 4 pieces of the puzzle and specialize in it.