Today we’re going to continue our discussion about barcode scanning apps and usage scenarios in the Enterprise by diving into the inventory management processes of the retail industry. Similarly to procurement, designing or utilizing a smartphone app to streamline your inventory management processes can reduce both labor and hardware costs, while greatly speeding up your business processes. Here are some typical inventory management processes involving barcode scanning:
1) Scan products to add to inventory
2) Weigh products, print a barcode, and scan to add to inventory counts
3) Check current inventory levels for any product by scanning its barcode
4) Auto-update inventory levels when an item is scanned at the point of sale
Smartphone-based Scanning vs. Traditional Scanning
Traditionally inventory management was a process done by hand, where a clerk or manager counts and totals items in stock with nothing more than a clipboard and a calculator. Scarily enough, many smaller retailers still follow this model, while many of the larger retailers have moved to barcode scanning through either dedicated scanners or a smartphone-based app solution. There are a ton of benefits to utilizing smartphone-based inventory management solution, which not only include reduced costs, but also reduced human error and the ability to take inventory from any employee smartphone.
Step by Step Guide for Smartphone-based Inventory Management
So you’re convinced, it’s time to build an app what needs to happen next?
1) Decide if you want to use an existing solution, hire a solution provider to build one, or build one in house.
2) Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on.
3) Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use an integrated retail system? A point-of-sale or warehouse management system? What kind of database does the app need to store inventory levels and other attributes?
4) Identify the features you need, and find the best software components to meet your needs
(Our Barcode Scanner SDK is perfect for Enterprise-quality barcode scanning).
5) Build and test your app (or watch it being built).
6) Deploy and Enjoy.
For a great example of a smartphone based point of sale solution which incorporated inventory management functionality check out ZingCheckout.
Need help making a decision? Our sales staff is here to help. Contact us for more information.