Considering Replacing Dedicated Scanners with Mobile Devices?

Barcode scanners are essential tools for a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and retail management. And while dedicated scanners offer a robust solution for enterprise operations, they’re increasingly being replaced or augmented by smartphone apps featuring barcode scanning functionality. From superior TCO (total cost of ownership) to workflow flexibility and the ability to quickly add additional software functionality, smart device-based barcode scanning software brings major advantages to businesses.

At Scandit, we’re changing the way enterprises and consumers interact with everyday objects—augmenting the physical world with real-time insights captured by scanning barcodes, text and other visual identifiers. Our proprietary computer vision solutions help enterprises worldwide support faster, smarter and more cost-efficient data capture workflows. In this blog, we’ll discuss why many enterprises are adding barcode scanning-enabled smart devices to their dedicated scanner system—and discussing how doing so may be helpful to improving workflows overall.

The Pitfalls of Traditional Scanning Hardware

It’s fair to say that dedicated barcode scanners provide one of the most dependable data capture solutions on the market. Traditional scanning hardware boasts impressive capture accuracy and speed—which are both essential to maintain efficient workflows. However, those perks come with hefty price tags. It’s no secret that dedicated scanners are expensive to purchase and maintain. And if you’re investing in barcode scanners for hundreds or even thousands of employees, those hardware investments can quickly spiral out of control. This is especially true during “peak seasons” when many enterprises need to equip temporary workers with data capture devices.

Inflexibility is another key weakness of dedicated barcode scanners. These scanning solutions often require employee training for proper adoption which raises labor costs, particularly during times when enterprises bring in seasonal workers. Most importantly, traditional scanners aren’t compatible with some emergent data capture technology—such as augmented reality (AR). In other words, it can be difficult to adapt these solutions to some of the evolving business needs the same way smart device-based barcode scanning software can. Given these issues, it makes sense that leading businesses across the world are including smart device-based barcode scanning solutions along with dedicated scanners to more efficiently manage operational workflows.

The Business Advantages of Smart Device-Based Barcode Scanning

Mobile barcode scanning software transforms inexpensive smart devices (think smartphones and tablets) into robust data-capture tools. These solutions bring powerful barcode scanning capabilities to any app running on a camera-equipped device—delivering the same (or superior) scanning performance as dedicated hardware for a fraction of the cost. The result? More intuitive, flexible and cost-efficient data capture workflows across your enterprise.

With smart device-based barcode scanning, you can improve the performance, flexibility and cost efficiency of your mobile data capture efforts. This technology is compatible with a wide range of consumer smart devices, enabling you to easily put high-performance barcode scanning capabilities in the hands of every single employee. Whether you’re looking to redefine customer experiences with an intuitive self-scanning solution or more efficiently manage assets across your manufacturing processes, smart device-based barcode scanning software is the perfect place to start.

Barcode Scanning Software: A Success Story

Here’s a perfect example of how mobile barcode scanning software can optimize your enterprise workflows. In 2017, we began working with NACEX—an express B2B and B2C courier service for parcels and documents, based in Spain—to replace their dedicated scanners with a smartphone-based barcode scanning solution. At the time, NACEX’s drivers were using handheld scanning devices to manage delivery information. However, these tools presented challenges with scan speed for drivers, and limited the types of information they could record and display.

Lower TCO

NACEX developed an Android app for mobile data capture  into which they integrated the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK and immediately uncovered key advantages over their dedicated scanners. First, the smartphone-based solution enabled NACEX to issue drivers inexpensive Android smartphone models for all workflows the required barcode scanning—or download the Scandit-powered app to leverage their own personal device for these scanning tasks. Both approaches delivered substantial cost savings compared to dedicated scanners.

Superior Performance

Once implemented, the Scandit solution doubled the scan speed of NACEX’s traditional scanners—an essential improvement considering that its last mile drivers scan over 5 million barcodes each month. And thanks to the lighting capabilities of these Scandit-powered smartphones, NACEX’s drivers could also scan codes inside darkly lit delivery vans—increasing capture speed and reliability.

Augmented Reality

NACEX also leveraged the Barcode Scanner SDK’s multi-scanning and AR features to turn their smart devices into robust data capture solutions. Each augmented reality-enabled device can locate, track and decode multiple barcodes at once—presenting key data obtained from each scan via AR overlays on the smartphone screen. These overlays offer detailed insight into parcel information and real-time instructions for drivers, fostering more economical and transparent last mile delivery.

After implementation, approximately 70% of NACEX’s 1,500 drivers had adopted the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK-supported app—driving dramatic improvements for the B2B and B2C courier service. “With the new app and multi-scanning functionality, the drivers can do the job much quicker, as they don’t need to read and confirm each code sequentially with the AR color overlays,” said Paco Ontiveros, NACEX IT Manager.

Embrace the Future of Barcode Scanning

Ready to learn more about how you can leverage the Scandit solution to optimize your mobile data capture operations? Then be sure to check out our e-book on the subject. This free resource will help you understand how mobile computer vision capture supports retail, production, logistics and other industries by streamlining crucial customer-facing, back-of-house and in-store processes—and how you can implement this technology into your own data capture workflows.

Last but not least, be sure to contact us for more information on Scandit and our industry-leading mobile computer vision solutions. We’re always here to help.