Barcode Scanner as a Service

29.07.2020 by Daniel Kunz
Warehouse employee scans a package with a Zebra barcode scanner

Barcode scanners are used in nearly all lines of business. Many firms find buying them and dealing with the finance, choosing a wireless carrier, device management and maintenance very complex. Telekom’s service bundle makes it so much simpler.

Barcodes are read on soup cans in the supermarket or on pallets in the warehouse, on tickets for concerts or on babies’ bracelets in hospitals. Life without barcode scanners has become inconceivable in the day-to-day activities of many enterprises. Every product with a barcode is on average scanned five times in the course its life cycle. If you organize logistics in your own company or with partners in, say, the automotive industry you can no longer manage without digital scanning technology. Scanners are also used in smart metering, or reading digital gas or electricity meters.

All-Purpose Device for Recording Information

Modern handheld scanners read not only barcodes and QR codes or RFID chips; they have long performed voice and messaging functions too. Couriers and delivery drivers, for example, receive orders sent straight to their device. During inventories the scanner’s display shows a plan of the store with the location of the spice shelves. In addition to the classic barcode scanner finger scanners, glove scanners and augmented reality glasses are used in order picking. Uses range far and wide: from data capture in storage, procurement and goods receipt, intralogistics, material flow and materials management to external logistics and planning in supply chain management.

A Brief History of the Barcode

The idea for the barcode arose from the Morse code. In 1948 Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver carried out in the United States the first experiments with barcode technology. The first product with a barcode was scanned in an Ohio supermarket in 1974. It was a 67-cent ten pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. In Europe the EAN (European Article Number) barcode is used. Codes beginning with numbers from 400 to 440 are from Germany. (Further reading: Useful Knowledge About Barcodes)

Once a company has decided on a manufacturer’s scanner model, it must find the right wireless carrier and a tariff that comes close enough to being customized. And devote thought to the management of hand scanners, their support and a repair service – and the right insurance cover.

All-Round Carefree Package

If you opt for a barcode scanner from Zebra Technologies, a Telekom partner and global market leader in enterprise mobile computing, you can avoid time- and cost-intensive input with the all-round carefree Telekom device-as-a-service model. The package includes, in addition to the devices, SIM cards and a data tariff (2G, 4G and, soon, 5G), an MDM (mobile device management) solution, software updates, service level agreements and device insurance cover. Telekom’s Mobile Optimization Service ensures optimal mobile network connection including data encryption. Billing is monthly per device.

Companies can have the number of scanners required delivered to any location. A beverages service, for example, ordered 15 handheld scanners for its Munich branch. The devices arrived preconfigured within a few days and the drivers were able to use them immediately to record merchandise on their delivery rounds.

Flexible Rental Model With Transparent Costs

The rental model’s advantage is that there are no high initial investments. Monthly installments make costs transparent and plannable. From the devices via the data tariff to the service, the customer receives everything from a single provider and doesn’t need to employ personnel for installation, device management and maintenance. The scanners are regularly updated to run the latest software version and if a device is defective it is replaced at short notice.

Zebra Technologies

The U.S. corporation Zebra Technologies was founded in 1969 and now has a payroll of around 7,400 employees at 100 locations in 45 countries. Its portfolio of more than 15,000 products includes, in addition to laser, camera and CCD scanners, barcode printers, mobile positioning devices, data platforms and software solutions.

When a new scanner model is marketed the customer can, if he wishes, upgrade his device pool free of charge. The offer is always flexible and scalable if, say, a new branch is opened. Scanner data is sent automatically via a secure mobile wireless connection to the customer’s merchandise management system, thereby setting up an end-to-end digital data chain for logistics and scheduling.


 

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Daniel Kunz
Daniel Kunz

Expert Digital Marketing

Digitization and the Internet of Things are among the favourite topics of Daniel Kunz. He has been with Deutsche Telekom since 2017 and regularly writes about technology trends and many exciting topics, especially for the retail trade and the logistics industry.