Staying In Touch: 6 Advantages of Wireless Barcode Scanners

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When we think of barcode scanners, we typically think of what cashiers use at check-out counters—perhaps a classic handheld scanner wired to the point of sale (POS) system, or in-counter scanners that literally cannot go anywhere.  

But many different kinds of business, in a variety of industries, are starting to understand the appeal of the humble barcode and the scanners needed to read them—everything from entertainment to healthcare to manufacturing. It’s hard to find a company that wouldn’t benefit from integrating barcode scanning systems into their back-end.

Whether it’s for managing year-end inventory, POS (point of sale) systems, keeping track of important assets, or employee time tracking, nearly every industry and business, small or large, use barcodes to replace manual data entry.

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By using barcode technology, a user can enter data markedly faster than manual input, and without nearly the number of errors. Put another way: You make mistakes when you use manual data entry; barcode scanners virtually do not make mistakes—unless there is a problem with the barcode itself (rips, tears, heat-related issues, poor printing quality, etc.).

The shift to using barcode scanners isn’t entirely complete—according to the Wasp Barcode State of Small Business Report, 43 percent of small businesses do not track their inventory or use a manual process to do so, and 55 percent do not track fixed assets or use a manual process.

But as scanners become more versatile, easy-to-use, and adopted by companies across all industries, expect even the smallest businesses to recognize the value of a barcode scanner.

Depending on the application, a scanner can come in all shapes, sizes, colors and types. Wireless barcode scanners in particular are great for those small business owners looking to increase both productivity and efficiency. Here are a few advantages they have over their wired counterparts.


1. Freedom

Wireless barcode scanners become veritable workhorses, but offer the freedom to roam while staying connected to Bluetooth®. Without the entrapment of cords, this type of barcode scanner allows you to move your scanner to the inventory instead of hauling the inventory to your scanner when it comes time to count that year-end inventory.

Imagine having to bring your inventory, taking up the entirety of your warehouse to your barcode scanning mainframe computer. It would be an impossible and frankly useless task. Part of what makes barcode scanners so compelling is that you can bring them wherever you go and update inventory and asset records on the fly. Any scans you make will be added to the centralized records, so no worries about contradicting information. 

2. Increased Durability

Because wireless scanners are ideal for environments where data collecting involves moving around, many times such scanners are built to last. Accidents happen, and when you’re not tied to your computer, the odds of dropping the device are increased. To protect your investment, many scanners are tested to withstand multiple drops to hard surface areas, such as a concrete shipping/receiving floor.


Related Article: CREATIVE WAYS TO USE BARCODES AROUND THE WORLD

Some scanners can even be used in extreme conditions, such as warehouses that are kept extra cold so as not to spoil inventory, or outdoors where there can be dust, dirt, and other grime that can interfere with lesser-quality laser scanners.

  1. Cost Savings

One of the most common refrains you hear from companies that adopt wireless barcode scanners is that doing so has saved them tens, hundreds, or even thousands of labor hours over the course of a year. Tasks that used to take up entire days, from checking inventory levels to end-of-year audits, can now take as little as minutes.

When you don’t have to pay people for extra hours worked, that inevitably saves money. Sure, there’s the upfront investment of the scanner, but the return on investment there is enormous.

Other ways that barcodes have been shown to save companies money is by decreasing the amount of inventory or assets lost to shrinkage. Sometimes inventory or assets go missing because of honest mistakes; other times, employees swipe them. Having an automated system with studious records encourages transparency, accountability, and reliability. If someone checks out a laptop to use on an off-site project using the barcode scanner, you’ll known who did so, when, and for how long.

Workplace crime costs business $50 billion across the country last year, and small and medium businesses bore the brunt of the thefts. Don’t give your employees reason to take from you.

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  1. Increased Efficiency

Using wireless barcode scanners will help you stay on top of your inventory stock levels, as well as when your assets need to be maintained and eventually disposed of.

Companies such as The Sunglasses Shop in Essex find that using inventory management systems, powered by barcode systems, helped improve sales by almost 200 percent. How? Simple: They were better able to see which items were popular sellers, and increase stock of those items accordingly.

If you find yourself constantly running out of popular stock at the wrong time—particularly during holidays—or that your assets keep failing you at critical junctures, you may want to invest in systems that keep you on top of your game.

  1. Intuitive and Easy to Use

These tools are some of the most intuitive you can hand over to a new employee. They are typically intuitive—one of the most common models has the easy-to-use trigger function, with a rapid, error-free engine—and, obviously, lack wires that get tangled up, twisted, and eventually cause connection issues.

In case there are any issues, many quality scanners come with multi-year warranties as well as unlimited tech support for the life of the product. Got a problem? Just call up your provider and they can walk you through technical issues.

6. Added Range

When it comes to increasing productivity of your mobile fleet, a wireless barcode scanner is a must. Not only does it allow your employees to track inventory and manage business assets remotely (sometimes up to 160 feet!). But they also allow for additional range by providing internal memory storage. This internal storage will allow you to store multiple barcodes scans, so you’ll never be out of range from the transmitter base. And no task will ever be too much.

Barcode technology is constantly improving and allowing business owners to spend less time with manual data entry and more time running their businesses efficiently. When when the scanners are wireless, the benefits are multiplied and more evident than ever.

Have you had experience using wireless barcode scanners? What added advantages have you discovered?

 

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter