Customer Spotlight: Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK Eases Order Entry for Cardinal Health Customers

Leading health care services company Cardinal Health distributes wholesale pharmaceutical and medical products to more than 100,000 locations. Providing affordable, reliable scan-based product ordering for its numerous clients has historically proved challenging.

With a widespread client base including more than 75% of the hospitals in the U.S., Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health encourages pharmaceutical customers to place orders online. To that end, the $102.5 billion company offers an online pharmaceutical portal called Order Express. Customers can use Order Express for items including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

Customers mainly conduct Order Express transactions using a desktop PC. However, Cardinal Health seeks to ease the process of building shopping carts by letting clients scan barcode labels to add items. Initially, Cardinal Health provided pharmaceutical customers with dedicated hardware scanning devices. Leveraging the device’s built-in laser scanner or LED scan engine, clients could automatically read a wide range of barcodes.

However, this approach failed to meet several of Cardinal Health’s goals for its customer barcode scanning initiative. In addition to proving costly, the scanners only operated at a 70% accuracy rate. The company then tried leasing dedicated scanning devices to clients, but also found that method did not meet desired cost efficiency standards.

Based on these results, Cardinal Health decided to investigate options beyond dedicated scanning devices to create higher cost efficiencies and lower error rates. The company first piloted a solution based on the native scanning capability of mobile consumer devices.

Pilot results indicated the built-in scanning functionality of mobile consumer devices fell well short of desired speed and accuracy targets. Cardinal Health still sought to obtain the cost benefit of having clients scan barcodes with their own personal devices. So the company next decided to test the effectiveness of a customer app built using a software development kit (SDK) from a scanning technology provider.

Cardinal Health tested the scanning functionality of SDKs from several providers, including the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK. In terms of accuracy, speed and ease of use, the organization found Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK superior to other solutions it piloted.

In summer 2015, Cardinal Health launched its Order Express app for iOS and Android devices. The app was built by a third party using the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK as a development platform. Management is provided by in-house IT personnel.

Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK enables enterprise-grade scanning performance for all major barcode symbologies in challenging conditions, including low light and damaged or blurry barcodes. It also provides an analytical dashboard with a variety of metrics for benchmarking scan performance, such as location and time of scan.

Since initial launch, the free, cloud-based Order Express app has been downloaded 2,300 times and has about 1,500 active users. Scan accuracy stands at 95%. Other advantages of the app include working offline and the ability to be completely disconnected. Cardinal Health is experiencing some challenges in getting more of its large customer base to adopt a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy for order entry. But among clients who have used the app, response is overwhelmingly positive.

“Cardinal Health is pleased with how much better, faster, and easier order entry has become for its customers since the launch of the Scandit-powered Order Express app,” said Brendan Gardner, mobile product and market manager, Cardinal Health. “Glowing customer testimonials are a testament to overall process improvement.”

By switching to a Scandit-based app from dedicated scanning devices, the company has reduced scanning costs. Cardinal Health has been especially satisfied with Scandit’s responsive customer service, including willingness to implement new features and continually upgrade performance.

Looking ahead, Cardinal Health plans to continue converting pharmaceutical customers to the Scandit-based Order Express app. The company expects to expand its relationship with Scandit as new software versions, features and updates are released.

Learn more about how Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK helps support Cardinal Health’s Order Express app in this customer case study.