Mobile inventory management is a fantastic way to improve accuracy at your business and cut down on unnecessary expenses. Unfortunately, most mobile computers and inventory management software can be pretty expensive. Often times you just need to be able to grab an inventory count and import it to your POS software, and thankfully Unitech has a solution for you.

The Unitech HT630 comes with a basic inventory app preinstalled, allowing you to capture item number, quantity, and other stock data. And with the free uTransfer software, you can pull the data from the HT630, ready to import into whatever POS software package you happen to run.

uTransfer is a serial data transfer application, supporting Windows Vista and older. The data is saved as a .DAT file, though you can do some minor settings changes to switch it to .txt or whatever floats your boat. Data files are saved to your desktop by default, making retrieval easy.

I think what I like about this setup compared to, say, a batch keychain scanner, is that you have an LCD screen and nav buttons, so you can double check your work as you go. So if you need some basic mobile inventory management, the HT630 and uTransfer is a smart and affordable option.

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More companies are sharing their successes in pairing barcode scanners with iPhones & Blackberries & such, and far be it from us to deny you their videos. I imagine we’ll be soon approaching a point in which it’s odd that a Bluetooth scanner doesn’t pair to a smartphone, but for now there’s some novelty.

First up, Opticon sent us links to setting up the OPN 2002 with both an iPhone and iPad. They already had the scanner pairing to Blackberries (with a little help from some wedge software), so this definitely adds to its desirability. As a sidenote, the OPN 2002 comes from the Opticon Mobility Group. They like to refer to themselves as OMG. I enjoy getting OMG White Papers and OMG Spec Sheets.

I had already mentioned that the Socket CHS 7 series can connect to the iPhone, but I neglected to post their video.

The videos are great walkthroughs if you’re having trouble getting your phone and scanner connected.

**Update**

I talked to a fantastic resource at Motorola, in regards to their CS3070 hooking up to an iPhone. He said that this only works on the iPhone 4 hardware, so that’s why we’ve been having issues with pairing. I imagine this affects the other barcode scanners we’ve tried.

BPA In Receipt Paper

July 28, 2010

I’ve been reading Discover Magazine since high school, mostly because I’m a huge nerd, but also because their articles are tremendously fascinating. The Discover Magazine blogs are a great addendum, providing a different take on news items, and giving me something to read in the morning before work.

Today one of the bloggers reposted a study about BPA in receipt paper, and since that hits directly on our industry, I thought I’d share what we’re doing to help. I can’t make claims one way or the other on BPA, I’m not a scientist nor a statistician so my analysis would be weak at best. But if customers want BPA-free paper, we have options for them. We carry a couple types of thermal receipt paper, including BPA-free, so you can have the peace of mind that one less thing at your business has BPA in it.

So I’ve already made my claims to the problems with trying to use a cell phone camera as a barcode scanner. Mostly in that it’s lame and not good for more than a couple scans here and there. But we’re still getting customers with iPhones who want to track their inventory with the phone. So after much consternation, and two searches on Google for “iPhone Barcode Scanner”, we’ve got a couple units that should do what you need.

First up is the Socket Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) Series 7 barcode scanner. Talk about a Socket CHS Series 7 Barcode Scannermouthful. We’ve actually had the CHS up on our site for a few years, but recently they upgraded the apparatus to run in human interface device (HID) mode with a special barcode you scan to configure it to communicate with iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch (iPod Touches?) There’s also a method for it to work with Blackberries, so the CHS is a solid, rechargeable alternative to the Cipherlab 1660 barcode scanner.

This scanner comes with in 3 body designs: Standard for day to day use, rugged for rougher environments, and a rugged antimicrobial housing for healthcare applications. Tracking patient info is getting to be more important everyday, and giving employees the option to use this scanner with a smartphone they already own seems like a great alternative to buying an entirely new device. You also get your choice of standard or high-powered 1D laser or 2D imager as your scanning method, so the CHS 7 definitely can be scaled to meet your exact needs.

Not to be outdone, the Motorola CS3070, when in Bluetooth HID mode, also connects & Motorola CS3000 Barcode Scannercommunicates with iPhones. This is the combo batch & bluetooth scanner that replaced the aging CS1504 and can hold far more barcodes than is necessary while in batch mode.

Though it has only a 1D laser scanner option, the CS3070’s scanner is pretty burly. On a UPC-A barcode, what you see on pretty much every consumer product ever, I was able to scan from about 2 feet away with no problems. Motorola knows laser scanning, and the CS3070 is no exception.

We’re still hacking away on the demo units we have, in an effort to make setup as painless as possible.

Point of Care Is Go

February 16, 2009

So now that we got a few different health-care oriented barcode scanners & mobile computers on the site, we’ve finally made the push to get a point of care subsection up there too. It’s a double edged sword of awesome up there in that we wanted to focus on healthcare applications for customers, but that means writing up unique content on how the products are best used. Suffice to say, by Friday afternoon my brain was tapped out of words to use.

This new push also ties in with the front page fanciness, featuring the Zebra HC100, Unitech PA600 MCA, and Elo 1928L. We like to have all our effort work in concert to make one big fancy thing, as opposed to 3 medium fancy things. Kind of like Voltron, or the giant decepticon that was made up of construction equipment. I think he was called Devastator.

So this means we’ll be providing more information on how to best integrate our products into hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare environments. This should be a pretty fun learning experience on its own.

We’re trying to drum up support for a new-ish barcode scanner that’s out from our friends at Metrologic. They may be changing their name to Honeywell Imaging and Mobility, which I’m sure won’t confuse customers or diminish their long standing branding and image as makers of kickass barcode scanners. So for the next month and a half, we’re offering a mail-in rebate on the Metrologic VoyagerGS. The GS stands for Gun-Style, though when I first listed it I thought up a ton of other phrases that fit the acronym. I think Gorilla Slapper was the company favorite, though I giggled incessantly at Grabby Senior.

Otherwise, we’re working on trying to pretty up the site and add some features that make us unique snowflakes in the blizzard that is online point of sale retail. I’ll let you know when those hit; I’m sure you’re DYING to learn about it.

If I start getting google hits for people searching for Grabby Senior, I’ll make another post to reinforce it.

I would say that on an average day, 20% of my time is spent making sure the new content I’m creating is keyword laden. It’s no secret that sites try to game search engines, and it’s not secret that it’s a difficult balancing act between creating solid readable content and falling into the oblivion of crap squatted domains. What makes this suprisingly difficult is that every couple of weeks a new site will pop up, vying for that coveted first spot on google’s search results for “barcode scanners“, “homing pigeons“, or “words ending in q.”

Last week we dropped off the first page, and our best guess was that the product spotlight feature was not adding to the overall SEOness of the page. It was a few images with links to complete solutions with no real content. So it was up to me to hammer out a few paragraphs about some products that are fancy and try to pepper it with our keywords. Normally it takes me a couple days to pick the products, find an angle, and then write about it. Around Groundhog Day, I wanted to do a whole thing where I wrote a description then repeated some text. Apparently that joke was too esoteric for mass appeal. Though claiming our product listing scheme involved trying product names to homing pigeons and racing for what gets top nods is okay.

I’m extra worried at this point but manage to hammer out something in about an hour that makes sense to people and is still seasoned with keywords appropriately. I was proud of that speed, I’m really putting my Math background to good use. The day after the content is put up on our local site for review purposes, I notice we’ve jumped back up where we were in google rankings. I’m stoked about that. Extra stoked. Turns out one of the sites taking up two spots (I still want that sub-link below our main listing on google. That’d be so rad.) had identical content to yet another site right above it. Suffice to say, it fell off pretty quickly.

But I would be remiss to leave my 3 hours of work off the site, so there’s a whole deal on cordless barcode scanners up on the site. Pretty sweet deal, they use RF or BlueTooth to give you extra range from your equipment and to prevent you from tripping or getting into a wicked game of double-dutch. So if you got heavy products and don’t want to drop a nut, or if they’re hard to reach, Costco Employees, these cordless scanners provide a fair bit of convenience.

And, as a sidenote, in the couple days it took me to write this, our position went from 10, to 5, to 9, to 6, and now to 8 on our preferred keyword.

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