21 Mar, 2013

Utilizing Smartphone-based Barcode Scanning in the Enterprise – A Series of Usage Scenarios

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The enterprise IT landscape is changing rapidly because of mobile devices and innovative new employee-facing apps. More and more enterprises are looking to enable a BYOD (bring your own device) environment, and empower employees through their smart devices. This presents an incredible opportunity to transform traditional business processes, resulting in reduced costs and increased efficiency for forward thinking enterprises who embrace mobile. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at a variety of industries and business processes, and discuss how smartphone-based barcode scanning apps are being utilized in each scenario.

The Occasional Scanner

Traditionally barcode scanning has required expensive peripheral hardware. Many companies have dedicated individuals who work with the scanners, but now there is a new opportunity to connect everyone throughout an organization with a scanner app. This notion of the “occasional scanner” creates a variety of new opportunities and usage scenarios for employees who may only scan once in a while.

A recent Harvard Business Review report looked at how mobility is changing the enterprise. In terms of what’s next, they noted the “increasing trend of employees bringing their own devices and the effect on IT budgets and capital expenses.” For example, a company with a BYOD (bring your own device) ecosystem could replace traditional barcode scanners and mobile computers with apps that connect all employees with the same functionality.

Replacing Dedicated Scanner Hardware

There is also a great opportunity to replace dedicated handheld scanners with smartphones for those employees who scan regularly. Throughout this blog series we’ll compare the cost and features of dedicated laser scanners and mobile computers to that of smartphone-based scanning apps, and assess the feasibility of switching to the smartphone-based solution for each given usage scenario.

These are the enterprise usage scenarios we’ll be covering in the coming weeks:

Retail

Procurement

Inventory Management

Point of Sale

Sales Force Empowerment

Logistics

Pickup and Delivery

Field Service

Entertainment

Ticketing

Automotive

VIN Scanning

Manufacturers

Parts Tracking

Inventory Management

Field Service

Healthcare

Patient Bedside Care

Health and Fitness

Pharmacy Applications

Government

Document Tracking

Asset Tracking

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