By katie simpson on March 8, 2014
Tags: Data Collection
Electronic forms save businesses a lot of time and money. They skip over redundant data entry, nor have to go searching for missing forms. They get data in real time and can get more done during the week.
But some businesses still find collecting information slow. This is when many add barcode scanning to electronic forms. With a simple mobile app plugin, businesses are using their smartphones to scan barcodes. Whether you’re in hospitality or fire safety, barcode scanning can save you time. Here are a few ways.
Inventory can be a necessary evil. You have to go through your goods and meticulous note down each and every one. Even if you use electronic forms, this can take time. Still, that information is crucial to know what you have, and when you’ll need to do your next order.
Adding barcode scanning to your electronic forms make inventory a breeze. Capture the barcode for each item, and the form prepopulates your fields. Barcodes have even been used by retail to give instructions for how much certain displays must have in retail stores. For retail, barcodes take tasks that once took you thirty or forty minutes fifteen minutes or less.
Back in 2012, we helped one Nigerian port use barcode scanning to help deal with theft. At the time, they were struggling to deal with theft from vehicles as they were being off loaded from ships. With paper forms, they struggled to identify which drivers were unloading which cars.
By switching to electronic forms, the port was better able to track which drivers were in which car. This information wasn’t entered manually: they scanned the chassis of each and every vehicle. Along with time and date stamps and photo capture, they get not only which vehicle the driver was in, but also a visual ID.
Together, this system has made it easy for the port to gather information about the drivers. In addition, the new tracking measures also have led to a reduction in theft! All of this was made easier with barcode scanning.
Another customer sells toys at trade shows. But when buying became busy, customers would have to wait in line as the reps entered the information on paper. By switching to an electronic form with barcode scanning, this manufacturer has made the buying process faster for customers.
In many ways, it works just as taking orders did before. The rep takes down general information such as company name, billing information, order date and ship date. Then, they scans the toy’s barcode from the product catalog. This prepopulates the toy’s information into the app. The purchase finishes with the customer’s signature all done on the device. Barcode scanning makes these toy orders much faster and reduces the possibility of error from the order forms.
Universal Waste Management, a biomedical hazardous waste transporter and storage facility, specializes in the retrieval, transportation, and storage of hazardous biomedical waste. Before they used electronic forms, they would fill out paper forms at each site they visited. Not only was this writing intensive, but also required a lot of math. Using paper slowed down the waste disposal process.
When Universal Waste Management switched, they embraced fuctionalities to make their process faster. Not only did they use calculations but also barcode scanning to make their electronic forms faster. With barcode scanning, they prepopulate fields with company information, and appropriate waste containers. This has made retrieving waste at each site incredibly faster, allowing UWM to do more work each night.
Barcode scanning is an easy way to expand the electronic forms you already use, or to start thinking about going digital. You’ll have more accurate information, and spend less time filling out forms. No matter what industry you’re in, they may be able to help you focus on growing your business.