How Does A Stocktake Scanner Work?

How does a stocktake scanner work? Want more information? Track n Trace Solutions can assist with all your stocktake scanner questions.
Stocktake scanners are generally referred to in the industry as PDA scanners, portable data terminals (PDTs) and mobile computers. They differ from a conventional barcode scanner in the way they collect data.

A cabled or cordless barcode scanner can generally only scan the item barcode #. Thats it. Nothing more. And they usually send the data into your application that you have open. So if you have a program open such as word, excel, notepad or even a software application that is open. Wherever your cursor is active, the scanned data from the barcode scanner is sent back to this point. Instead of you keying in this barcode number, the scanner replicates keyboard strokes and sends it back there for you. Cant be any simpler than that. Plug and play stuff! The technical term for this is called HID input.

A stocktake scanner works very different to this. First of all, can communicate via Wi-Fi or as a memory/batch scanner. For rentals and many sales, we sell the batch stocktake scanner. The stocktake scanner can be programmed to collect multiple fields of data or information. Such as barcode item #, location ID #, User ID #, Qty and even date/time. They can even be programmed to store a lookup table on the stocktake scanner. A lookup table is information of the product such as description, weight, packaging, unit #, qty in system etc etc. Some customers like this as it helps them identify the item when they scan it.

Once the stocktake information is collected, the stccktake scanner is brought back to a charging communication cradle where the information is uploaded back into the P.C.

You can also program the stocktake scanner to give you the kind of output file you desire. We find that most customers require the output file from the stocktake scanner to be dumped into excel. Some customers like it to be dumped into a location on their C drive as a simple text file. This can be done quite easily too. Also, the two most common requests of an output file are either comma delimited or tab delimited.

Will the stocktake scanner work with my software? - If you need the data scanned from the stocktake scanner, to go directly into your software, either, you will have to have a program written to do this. This option could cost several thousand dollars plus. Or contact your software vendor to see if they have written an application for Android or Windows PDA scanners that communicate directly  to your software's database. The preferred option should always be if your software vendor can provide an application for this as it will also be the cheapest option over having a custom made application written. You also do not want other people going into your software and losing all your data. It should always be the software vendor or a certified partner.

For programs like MYOB and Quickbooks, these are notoriously hard at sending data into. There are some certified partners that have written applications that bolt on to them for doing stocktaking and inventory control, but they are generally very expensive and can cost in the vicinity of 10K+

If you are renting stocktake scanners and you are only doing stocktakes once or twice a year, then this is not practical to spend the money on interfacing the data directy into your database. If you are purchasing stocktake scanners and you have several rolling stocktakes each year. And you can also use the stocktake scanners for other inventory control applications such as picking orders, receipting and dispatching, then investing in an application to upload straight into your software is good cost justification.

We also have shelf software packages for warehouse inventory control software. This solution already allows the stocktake scanner to talk directly to the database via batch or Wi-Fi and it also allows the scanner to carry out other functions such as receipting, dispatching and picking. This could also be a much more practical approach if the software vendor does not have any stocktake/inventory application available and would be much cheaper than getting a custom made application developed.

Want more information on how a stocktake scanner works. Contact us at -

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"Would like to give you some feedback on the how the use of the scanners has improved the accuracy and reduced the downtime whilst performing a Stocktake. As you know AirRoad Logistics is a 3PL warehouse provider.

The Stocktake performed last year for one customer took 12 hours with 15 people Involved Nationally. This year the Stocktake count was completed in 3 hours nationally. With an additional hour for reconciliation. A saving of 8 hours x 15 people. (66% Savings in Labour Costs)

The programming loaded into the scanners ensured that we were able to ensure the user was collecting the right information thus reducing human error.

We also found the service you offered met and exceeded our expectations. Thanks again for your continued support"

AirRoad Logistics Pty Ltd

"In August this year (2014) we held a roadshow seeing just over 450 clients. Previously we have manually created name badges to place into the holders for each client across each event and asked our attendee’s to record their attendance on a registration sheet upon entry.  Using Tim’s barcode scanners and barcoded name badges for this event provided an easy, stress free registration and attendance process that our staff and clients loved! We will never do this as a manual process again.  I highly recommend the company and their products/services! "

“Thank you to for providing a fantastic service. We really appreciated all your efforts in organising these scanners for us and at such late notice. Everything went well with the event and was a great success with the help of your scanners. Hope to do business again in the future.”

Kindest regards,
George P Johnson (Australia)

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