There are a lot of options to pick from when trying to find the barcode scanner that best fits your business. Considering the saturation of barcodes and barcode technology in general across most commercial and industrial fields today, it’s not surprising to see so many different choices and options to dig through. Picking the device that will work best with your business might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually not that difficult to distill your prime needs and significantly narrow down your scanner options.
So, before you even think of hitting the marketplace on the hunt for scanners, you need to sit back and consider what your business could use barcodes and their scanners for. While the final decision is yours, taking these six particular features into account can drastically help you in deciding what your business needs.
This is arguably the most important feature you think to think about. A barcode scanner’s symbology is simply a fancy term for the type of barcodes the scanner can read. There are a lot of separate barcode symbologies you can find in use today. Barcoding provides a list of well over 30 disparate code types. But wait! Before you despair of never being able to decipher all the nuances and differences between the myriad symbologies, you need to understand that all barcode types can be concentrated into two main categories (technically three according to barcoding, but stacked barcodes are not nearly as ubiquitous as the other two). Those categories are 1D and 2D. 1D codes are like the common UPC codes found on products everywhere, while 2D codes are like the QR code squares found on advertisements and the like.
If you use a 1D symbology, it doesn’t really matter what type of scanner you get as just about every type can read them. If you use a 2D code, however, you’ll need to find a more advanced 2D imager scanner.
While important when dealing with bulk scanning, the speed of a barcode scanner isn’t a top priority. It’s still important and should be taken into consideration when out shopping. Business Solutions states that scanners can have one of three scan engine types. These engines are responsible for the speed of scanning. There are laser, CCD, and imager scan engines. Laser engines scan the fastest but they are unable to scan 2D codes. Distance from the code can affect scan speed as well.
Like speed, size is one of the less important facets to think about when picking your scanner. However, it’s important to know that scanners come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. From the small, wireless scanner eCommerce vendor Shopify sells, to the large, fixed scanners found in big retail stores, the variety can be astounding.
Ease of Use
Training takes valuable time away from your business. Until your employees are properly trained, they are a drain on your businesses resources instead of being beneficial. When looking for a barcode scanner, you should definitely think about how easy the device you’re looking at is to learn. You don’t want a device that requires a great deal of practice on. Business Solutions suggests looking for a device that is ready to go and easy to use right out of the box.
Unless you’re doing an entire overhaul of your business’s systems and software, you’ll want to make sure the scanner you’re buying is capable of working with your current point of sale software and any other programs you use in running your business. Make sure you carefully review your current systems and their requirements along with the requirements for the scanner and any barcode software you’re looking to get.
Connectivity is definitely up there in importance, and it’s actually somewhat related to integration. Your first decision regarding connectivity is whether you want to get wireless or wired scanners. Wired scanners can connect to PCs and other devices using USB, PS2, and other cable types. While wireless scanners can come with Bluetooth or radio transmission and reception capabilities. You might want to test the devices connectivity capabilities before purchasing. One of the most important reasons to get a barcode scanner that both integrates well with your current system and can reliably connect to your other devices is for the sake of real-time updates on inventory and other important data points.
Getting barcode scanners for your business is an excellent idea for a few reasons. For one, using scanners reduces the chance for human error in inventory counting and other mundane recordkeeping tasks by astronomical proportions. For another, centralizing all your product data and sales information into a single databank via barcodes makes multiple aspects of business life much easier to handle. Depending on the POS system you use, connecting a barcode scanner to it is an excellent way to gather data about consumer purchasing trends and sales figures right away, without any need for frustrating counting and figuring.