Imagine you just ordered a new PlayStation console you dreamed about for several months. You have confirmed your order, but a few seconds later, you receive an email where an online retailer said that all PlayStation consoles are out of stock. How would you feel? Probably, disappointed. Such situations occur due to improper stock management. 46% of supply chain professionals still rely on excel spreadsheets for their operations which do not effectively reflect the product inventory on their online stores. 

If you are looking for a solution to convert your stock inventory information into a digital format, you are in the right place. In this article, we explain the business benefits of barcode scanning app development, highlight the most effective barcode scanning app solutions, and explain how to create a barcode scanner app. 

But first, let’s figure out the essential reasons to digitize your inventory management.  


Why there is a need for inventory management digitalization?

If you are running a supply chain business, you probably know that accurate inventory accounting is a must for business success. At the same time, inappropriate inventory accounting will result in the following:

Delivery delays. Selling products that are not in stock resulted in delayed shipped orders for 34% of businesses, which resulted in a decrease in customer satisfaction. 

Overstocking. To prevent stockouts, some retailers order too many products nobody wants to buy, which causes overstocking inventory and leads to higher storage costs. 

Inaccurate forecasting. While 43% of small businesses in the U. S. don’t track inventory or use manual records, they do not have a system to forecast demand and will always have inaccurate inventory levels.  

In a nutshell, a lack of transparency in inventory management may result in a loss of customer trust due to the long shipping period, unexpected costs caused by overstocking, and inability to forecast how many products you should order next time. With this in mind, let’s see how you can improve inventory management using a mobile barcoding app. 


Barcode scanning app to improve inventory management

If you are already using ERP for inventory management and barcode scanners, you are on the right path to success. However, such barcode scanners do not allow editing data in real-time, and to do this, the worker should go to another place in the facility. To make inventory management even more effective and convenient for your workers, consider barcode scanner app development. Moreover, such a barcode inventory app displays more information about your inventory, such as bin, restocking information, lot number, and updates. But how do barcode scanner apps work? 

As you know, each product has a striped code on the back. The barcode scanning app for inventory uses the native mobile device camera to read the barcode, and then transfers the data to your local database or ERP system. 

Now, let’s find out what advantages a barcode scanning app might bring to your business.


Benefits of a barcode scanning mobile app

A barcode scanning inventory app for your inventory management will result in the following advantages: 

Provide offline access. While warehouse personnel has limited access to the internet to make transactions, a barcode scanning app allows users to perform all the operations without connecting to the internet to upload information to a server.

Improve Inventory control. By using a barcode scanning app, you will receive instant control over critical information in your inventory. Thus, your inventory management system becomes more transparent and effective. 

Enable real-time information. Since a barcode inventory app sends data to the primary system, you have real-time information on product shipping and inventory, and this eliminates selling products that are out of stock. 

Reduce counting errors. Thanks to computer vision, an inventory barcode scanner app ensures greater inventory counting accuracy while eliminating the human factor, as well as expensive recounting. 

Reduce costs. Barcode scanning apps could be installed to your workers’ mobile devices and deliver the same performance as barcode scanners while reducing your expenditures on hardware. 


Top 3 technologies for building barcode scanning app

While there are barcode scanner app builders presented on the market, we strongly advise making a barcode scanner app from scratch. The good news is that there is no need to spend a fortune on implementing image recognition technology since you can make your own barcode app using the following ready-made solutions: 

Firebase ML kit Barcode Scanning API for Android apps

  • With ML Kit’s barcode scanning API, you can empower your app with the ability to read data encoded using most standard barcode formats. 
  • Barcode scanning happens on the device; thus, a network connection is not necessary. 
  • Firebase ML kit API has integrated automatic barcode format detection, so the user does not need to specify the format of the barcode. 
  • The API supports the most common barcode formats: Codabar, Code 39, Code 93, Code 128, EAN-8, EAN-13, ITF, UPC-A, UPC-E, 2D formats: Aztec, Data Matrix, PDF417, QR Code.

Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK for iOS and Android

  • Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK (software development kit) allows building barcode scanning mobile apps with market-leading scan speeds and accuracy.
  • This barcode scanner SDK for Android and iOS allows scanning barcodes in a bad light, with damaged labels, unusual barcodes, and with all mobile device types in less than a second. 
  • You can use this Barcode Scanner SDK for capturing labels, documents, machine-readable zones, and more around the barcode. 
  • Scandit barcode scanning system supports the most common 1D and 2D barcode formats, including QR Codes, PDF417, Aztec, Code-128, Data Matrix, as well as many others. 

Cognex Mobile Barcode SDK for both OS platforms

  • This software development kit, for barcode inventory tracking by Cognex, provides developers with total control over user experience, while building an app for all types of devices, including mobile, tablets, and even hybrid scanning tools.
  • You can use this SDK to develop a mobile app with barcode integration for different industries, including logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and commercial services. 
  • This SDK for barcode inventory management allows scanning damaged codes, using the app in challenging lighting conditions or harsh environments and also supports bunch scanning.
  • The SDK reads the following barcode formats: EAN, GS1 DataBar, MaxiCode, MSI Plessey, PDF417, UPC, and others. 

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How to make a barcode scanner app with The App Solutions

So you are ready to create a barcode app and digitize your inventory management. What to do next? 


Step 1. Ask for a quote

First, you need to fill in our contact form and tell us as many details about your project as possible. 

Step 2. Clarify the project requirements

Next, your business development manager will get in touch with you via email or phone to schedule a meeting and clarify project details. 

Step 3. Sign NDA

Now, the business development manager will send you a Non-Disclosure Agreement to sign and schedule a meeting with a business analyst so that you can start the project discovery (inception) phase. 

Step 4. Create technical documentation

During the inception phase, our business analyst and project manager will create technical documentation with functional and non-functional requirements for your app, and our solution architect will offer the most suitable technical solutions to meet your business idea. 

Step 5. Enter the development stage

Our team will create a barcode scanner app which includes the development of mockups, wireframes, and prototypes. To ensure whether our team is on the same page with you, we will show you the results at the end of each two weeks iteration via a Skype call.