Modern Inventory Management: QR Codes + NFC + Mobile Technology


Mobile Inventory Management With Barcode Scanners


QR Inventory uses smartphones and tablets as scanners to process asset and inventory transactions. In most cases, using smartphones for barcode scanning gives you an advantage as compared to the traditional barcode scanners.
However, in some situations using smartphone camera for barcode scanning is not an option. If this is a case, you can use a traditional barcode scanner connected to a computer or mobile devices (smartphones running iOS or Android) with QR Inventory for processing assets and inventory transactions.

Traditional Barcode Scanners For Mobile Inventory Management

If you need to manage assets and inventory in the field, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are the perfect tools to use. They are compact, easy to carry around, and allow you to do everything for efficient, real time assets and inventory management: scan barcodes, enter and look up data, take photos, collect electronic signatures, determine GPS locations, create PDF documents. However, in some situations you may need faster and more robust barcode scanning than a smartphone camera can provide. If this is the case, you still can use all advantages of a smartphone, plus use traditional barcode scanners connected to a smartphone for barcode / QR code scanning.

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When Traditional Barcode Scanners Work Better Than A Smartphone Camera For Barcode Scanning

  • High Volume Inventory Transactions.You can scan faster using a traditional barcode scanner than a smartphone camera. With a smartphone camera you need to focus the camera for each scan, which may add 1-2 seconds. It makes no difference if your inventory transactions typically include several items. However, you you routinely need to process high volume inventory or assets transactions for tens or hundreds of items, gain in speed will be significant.
  • Several Barcodes Close Together. On some items, you may have sevearl barcodes placed close together (for example, and item may have SKU barcode and lot number barcode next to each other). If this is the case, you won't be able to focus a smartphone camera on a specific barcode that you need, unless you close the other barcode with a piece of paper. You will not have problems scanning a barcode that you need using a traditional barcode scanner.
  • Poorly Lit Warehouse Areas.Barcode scanners scan more reliably in the poorly lit areas. If you need to process inventory transactions in the areas that do not have adequate lighting, barcode scanners may be a better option for you.
  • Old 1D Barcodes. Smartphone cameras can read QR codes or traditional UPC barcodes without problems. However, there are some older 1D barcodes that smartphone cameras can not read. If your assets or inventory items are already labeled with this kind of barcodes, it may make sense to use traditional barcode scanners rather than re-labeling.

Using Barcode Scanner With QR Inventory: Mobile Transactions

If you need to track assets and inventory in the field, on the factory floor, in the warehouse but barcode scanning with a smartphone camera is not an option, you can use traditional barcode scanners connected to a smartphone via a bluetooth. This will allow you to have more robust barcode scanning than a smartphone camera can provide, and still take advantage of the mobile devices capabilities.

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Barcode Scanner Connected To A Smartphone In HID Mode

In HID mode barcode scanner connected to a mobile device emulates a keyboard. It means that when you perform a scan, the data encoded in a barcode are typed in the input field that has focus. If you want to use barcode scanner in HID mode with QR Inventory mobile application, you will be able to scan in barcodes / QR codes in the provided input field.

Barcode Scanner Connected To A Smartphone In SPP Mode

Using barcode scanner in HID mode is not very convenient. It disables the actual keyboard, so you cannot enter other data while you are scanning. It also requires you to do more clicking (get back to input field and focus for each scan).
In SPP mode, you can do faster uninterrupted scanning and have a keyboard to enter other information. However, mobile application that you are using must be compatible with a specific barcode scanner, and integrated with it to accept input using SDK. If you would like to use barcode scanner with QR Inventory in SPP mode, you will need to purchase a scanner that provides SDK for iOS and Android. Let us know which barcode scanner you plan to use to make sure it is compatible.

Using Barcode Scanner With QR Inventory: Online Transactions

In some cases, you may need to process high volume inventory transactions in the office (for example, when you receive a new assets shipment). In this case, you can use barcode scanner that can connect to a computer, and process asset or inventory transaction via a web dashboard without using mobile devices.

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Processing Assets And Inventory Transactions Online Using A Traditional Barcode Scanner

If you want to process high volume assets and inventory transactions in the office using QR Inventory software, you can use a barcode scanner that emulates keyboard and connects to the computer via USB or bluetooth. You will be able to do uninterrupted scanning, and also use keyboard if you need to enter data manually (e.g. specify item quantity, fill out custom fields, etc.).

High Volume Inventory Transactions - Alternative to a Barcode Scanner

If you need to do high volume inventory transactions and transaction speed is an issue, there is an alternative to using traditional barcode scanning. Instead, you can use NFC tags and regular smartphones. NFC tags do not require you to focus a smartphone camera or click extra buttons. With QR Inventory mobile application, you can scan NFC tags continuously, without any interruptions, by touching each item with a smartphone.
Labeling all your assets and inventory with NFC tags is more involved than using QR code or barcode labels, but it will allow you to do fast, high volume scanning without purchasing any extra hardware. If you have a lot of employees who are handling assets / inventory, using NFC tags may be a much better and less expensive choice than purchasing multiple barcode scanners.


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