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Winmate Blog

How to Choose a Barcode Scanning System for Businesses?

2021-11-09
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Barcodes systems are used everywhere. They are on our groceries, Amazon packages, ID cards, even on our wrists during hospital stays, medicine bottles, tickets, mobile payment, and so on. With all the options available for barcode readers today, it's essential to find a suitable device for your business needs.

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Since it was commercially available in the 1970s, barcodes have offered many significant benefits to businesses, such as eliminating human error and providing an inexpensive, reliable, and simple-to-use system. Still, there are now more options and varieties of readers to choose from, so choosing the right one can be challenging. There are a couple of things to consider before purchasing a barcode scanner:

  • What type of barcodes will you use?

    There are two types of barcodes used now: 1D and 2D. A linear or 1D barcode uses a group of parallel lines and spaces to encode data – this is what most people think of when they hear "barcode". 2D barcode like Data Matrix, QR codes, or PDF417, uses patterns of squares, hexagons, dots, and other shapes to encode data.

    The data encoded in 1D and 2D barcodes are also different. A 2D barcode can contain images, website addresses, voice, and other binary data. Meanwhile, a 1D barcode encodes alphanumeric information, such as product number, production date, etc.

    It is important to check which type of barcode you have because there are still rugged PDA and tablet PC barcode scanners that scan only 1D or 2D barcodes.

    Although, rugged barcode scanners seem to have a relatively high price tag when compared to regular scanners. But there is a tradeoff in durability, and the cost of often replacement balances out the initial additional cost.

  • How often will you use the barcode scanner?

    If you are not likely to use the scanner frequently, then you can buy any cheap scanner. However, if you are likely to use it regularly, then you might consider a rugged scanner.

    The work environment must also be taken into account. Most scanners are designed for use in an office or in-store environment. But if you're using your scanners in a warehouse or outdoor setting, a rugged unit is recommended. The rugged units are completely sealed against dust and moisture, can withstand repeated drops of 1.5 or 2 meters onto concrete, and severe abuse.

    Although, rugged barcode scanners seem to have a relatively high price tag when compared to regular scanners. But there is a tradeoff in durability, and the cost of often replacement balances out the initial additional cost.

  • Can you stay connected to a PC?

    A barcode reader has to communicate with a computer to transmit the barcode information into the software it is using. Wired readers are the most common type that connects directly to the PC via a USB connection. This type is easy to set up and the least expensive option.

    Wireless readers also have become more common these days as their costs have become much more affordable. Most cordless scanners use BT or radio to communicate, which gives you the further distance from the PC, provides greater mobility and freedom from cable clutter in any application.

  • How will the scanner be used?

    There are four types of barcode scanners' form factors available in the market today: handheld, presentation, mounted scanners, and mobile devices. Handheld barcode scanners are the simplest to operate, but users need to press the trigger. Presentation scanners are usually mounted on a counter and can scan wider areas. Meanwhile, the mounted scanners are either embedded into a counter-top as you would see in a retail store or mounted on a kiosk or conveyor belt.

    A mobile computer scanner is a scanner and PC integrated into one mobile device, providing complete mobility. Instead of connecting the scanner with a cable like other scanners, the mobile computer scanners can use broad connectivity capabilities such as Wi-Fi to relay scanned information or check the data directly on the screen. It is the ideal choice for quick and efficient inventory handling.

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