Smartphone-Based Document Tracking in the Enterprise

Today we’re happy to present another usage scenario which explores how smartphone-based barcode scanning is being used in the enterprise.  To continue our series, we’ll look at how the companies across industries and government agencies can leverage smartphone-based barcode scanning to track document details using a simple mobile app.

Barcode-Based Document Tracking: A World of Details

Once upon a time there was a vision of the paperless office, a world dominated by the digital…and yet today we still work with tons of paper and documents. Knowing where these documents are, who’s using them, their history and their status within an organization can be a tricky task. To keep track of all these documents, many companies and government agencies use barcodes. Once upon a time all of these documents lived only in paper form, though nowadays there is always likely to be some digital copy. Barcodes can not only retrieve and allow for the modification of document metadata but they can also link to a digital copy of a document that can be modified. This process helps to ensure a chain of custody and limits unnecessary redundancy within an organization. Traditionally document tracking was completed using mobile computers and handheld barcode scanners, which can be cumbersome and expensive. In today’s world, smartphones have become a more powerful and versatile alternative to mobile computers, reducing the need to carry secondary and bulky external hardware. Using a durable smartphone-based solution, enterprise companies can replace expensive peripheral hardware with a simple document tracking app that utilizes Scandit’s unique enterprise-grade barcode scanning technology.

Here are some typical features that would be useful in a document tracking app:

– Check a document in or out of its home location
– Store data within the barcode for re-capture
– Identify the document’s intended location and user
– Transfer a document to another user and/or location
– Identify document history details
– Identify past users who worked with the document
– Request changes to the document

There are also a variety of document types that are scanned. Human resource departments utilize barcodes employee records and form submissions, accounting departments utilize barcodes on tax documents, and sales departments may label contracts and reports with barcodes. There are many more examples, since the scope of this usage scenario applies across industries and departments within an organization.

Leveraging the Bring-Your-Own-Device Trend

Companies across industries and government agencies can capitalize on the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend by providing their entire workforce with an app that can downloaded to their personal devices. Such an app can enable “occasional scanners,” those employees in your workforce who wouldn’t have otherwise have access to barcode scanner but still could use one from time to time to access information. In an environment where a lot of documents are scanned, but only as necessary, it makes sense to allow employees to utilize an app on their personal devices rather than having to provide the expensive hardware necessary to enable your workforce. This makes document tracking a perfect fit for a BYOD ecosystem.

Adding Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK to a Document Tracking App

Document tracking can involve a variety of barcode types, including QR codes, Datamatrix codes, PDF417 codes and many more. For example, PDF417 has become very popular in situations where a larger amount of data needs to be stored in the barcode, whereas Datamatrix codes are popular in situations where there is limited space on the document. Scandit’s unique Barcode Scanner SDK can scan all these barcodes and many more, including extremely small barcodes (as small as 4x4mm). The Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK also delivers the speed and accuracy required to bring true enterprise-grade barcode scanning to smartphones and tablets.  For those companies and government agencies capitalizing on the BYOD trend, Scandit’s cross-platform capabilities and ability to capture accurate readings even on devices lacking autofocus make it an indispensable addition to any document tracking app.  Watch the video to get a sense of the user experience:

Developing a Document Tracking App

So you’re convinced, it’s time to build an app. What needs to happen next?

1)      Decide if you want to build the app in house or hire a solution provider to build one.

2)      Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on. If you are considering implementing a BYOD ecosystem plan on having your app support both the Android and iOS platforms.

3)      Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use an enterprise content management system? How will the app connect to your database?

4)      Identify the features you need, and find the best software components for the job.
(Our Barcode Scanner SDK is perfect for providing enterprise-grade barcode scanning).

5)      Build and test your app (or watch it being built).

6)      Deploy and Enjoy.

Need help making a decision? We’re here to help. Contact us for more information.

Stay tuned for our continuing discussion of usage scenarios including topics such as Bring-Your-Own-Device and Scanner Replacement coming soon!