How Wireless Barcode Scanners Provide Data That’s Not Just Quantitative—It’s Qualitative
When it was first introduced, the barcode label offered the promise of revolutionizing data collection—it was now possible to streamline what had been up until then an entirely manual task. What was not immediately envisioned was that well into the 21st century, it would still be offering up new possibilities beyond inventory and point-of-sale. From the wireless barcode scanner revolutionizing the warehouse, to barcode printers in hospitals and pharmacies, this simple method of data encoding is as useful now as ever despite the rapid advancement of technology.
Now, as more and more businesses push for increased visibility in all aspects of their operations, the barcode is becoming even more valuable for the role that it can play in facilitating this transition. With increased visibility of their operations, a business can find new and better ways to do things, repairing issues that before were obscured or otherwise lost in the “big picture.”
Supply Chain Management and Shipment Trails
Workers in the shipping and logistics industries are very familiar with how a wireless barcode scanner fits into their workflow—scanning items at intake, whether along the supply chain or at checkpoints on a parcel’s path to its final destination. But having an accurate and quickly-accessible “digital trail” of an item’s progress offers a number of incredibly valuable insights. It can identify weak points and blockages in a supply chain, turning a disadvantages into opportunities for improvement. This trail is also useful in international shipping, particularly in scenarios where customs or other border services will be wont to prevent a parcel from continuing unless they can see its full path from origin to destination.
Quality over Quantity
There will always be some who believe that having more is better, regardless of how valuable that “more” really is. But qualitative information is always more valuable to how a business continues to operate. When you create shipping or inventory labels from your barcode printer, you are creating opportunities to collect data that is not just quantitative—how much do you have, where is it, how much is it worth—but qualitative data as well: how is performance measuring up to projections? Where are some opportunities to improve, as mentioned above? This kind of data collection is about taking static information like facts and figures and turning it into an actionable insights.
With all that the barcode has done for us so far, it’s exciting to imagine the advances of the future and how it will continue to create opportunities for businesses. From the checkout aisle of a grocer’s to the wireless barcode scanners issued to transport trucks, to the barcode printers in medical buildings, the possibilities are limited only by our ingenuity and creativity.