Are you tired of taking stock manually? Perhaps your inventory management system is backdated and costing you money when products expire? You may want to consider equipping your business with a barcode scanner.
Barcode scanners are fast, efficient, and come in various form factors that provide accurate tracking and storage of products within your facility. If you are in the market for a barcode scanner, here is a guide that ensures you get the perfect fit for you.
1). Which Barcode Are You Scanning?
There are two common types of barcodes that are widely used in various industries:
- 1D Barcodes
- 2D Barcodes
These barcodes are used in manufacturing, retail, warehousing, and point-of-sale systems. They are the most common barcodes and will suffice for most operations. They are simple, efficient, and can be automated for faster checkout.
This is the next generation of barcode systems and is quickly replacing the 1D barcode scanners. These barcodes are square in shape and can read data both vertically and horizontally. Apart from reading 1D barcodes, 2D scanners provide increased functionality and versatility when operating.
2). The Environment
A barcode scanner that is used for retail management will not really be appropriate in a shipping yard. It is important to consider the kind of work environment you are in that guarantees the longevity of your scanners. Luckily, manufacturers provide a wide variety of scanners. These include:
- Rugged scanners
- Retail scanners
- Shipping and warehouse scanners
3). Scanner Range
Barcode scanners are able to read data from various distances. Depending on the environment you are in and the products to be scanned, considering the barcode scan range can greatly increase your work efficiencies. Here are some of the different ranges that barcodes can scan:
- Standard Range: up to 2.5 feet from the device
- Medium Range: between 3.5 to 4 feet from the device
- Long Range: can scan from 2 feet up to 25 feet
- Extended Range: scans from 3 feet up to 60 feet
4). Connectivity of Barcode Scanner
In today’s modern world, barcode scanners are able to transmit data in real-time to computers where they can be analysed to provide valuable information. Typically, barcode scanners are either tethered or connected using Bluetooth.
- Bluetooth Scanners
These scanners are wireless and connect easily with laptops and computers. Additionally, they offer freedom of movement in environments where space is limited. However, be wary that Bluetooth scanners come with a limited range of connectivity.
- Tethered Scanners
These scanners are usually connected physically to a base unit or computer. Primarily, they connect to the computer using a USB port but various other port types are available depending on your device.
5). Scanner Form Factor
The shape and size of your barcode scanner greatly influence your operational capabilities. Ideally, you should consider a scanner that fits your everyday needs. Here is a breakdown of different scanner form factors:
- Handheld: available in both corded and wireless options
- Presentation: can scan barcodes in any direction mostly in retail environments
- Fixed Mount: applied in logistics and transportation industries
- In-Counter: mostly used in grocery shops and general stores
Barcode scanners are a proven way to increase operational efficiencies and accurately track data. They are simple, durable, and offer a wide range of use in every industry. For any kind of barcode scanner, ASP Microcomputers is here to help!