Wireless Scanning and scanners should not be confused with a wireless network, there is a subtle difference between the two.
Ok, so when you work with wireless scanners you provide your warehouse team with more flexibility. They can collate and/or pack orders as they are moving around the warehouse, which speeds up the dispatch process and they won't need to connect the handheld to the computer to transfer the data from the transactions they have just completed to your software package.
When it comes to receiving stock into your stores your team can scan the barcode location (bin) as the product is put into it. Giving you accurate (and true) information which you wouldn't necessarily get if the handheld couldn't be taken around the warehouse and you were assuming the product ended up in the correct location.
The alternative is to use fixed position scanners....
Although price might be the first consideration; functionality, your working environment
and device durability should also be evaluated.
The majority of our customers purchase the ‘mobile computer’ style of scanner rather than a tethered, presentation or fixed device and in this discussion I will focus on this range.
Functionality: this should be a key consideration and geared around your specific business. Do you know the type of barcodes you use or will need to use? How much information do they need to reference as this will affect whether you choose a 1d or 2D scanner? Do you need a long range capable scanner? Will your warehouse team be 'up close and person' to your products when scanning or will be the item be on the top racking shelf? What size will your barcode and dispatch labels need to be? How much space is there on the product packaging or racking area? Do you work with refrigerated products? Does your warehouse run 24-7?
To have a warehouse wireless survey – or not?
Providing large facilities such as a warehouse with wireless is not a straight forward task and without planning can end up with inadequate coverage and suffer from low performance. To prevent this from happening you can commission a Research Frequency (RF) site survey. This enables an appropriate wireless network to be designed that will deliver the coverage, data rates, roaming capabilities, resilience and network capacity you require.
Barcode scanners come in all shapes, sizes and types from the traditional basic tethered scanner to wireless hand helds with batch capabilities to RFID based mobile computers. Each device has advantage and disadvantages but when it comes down to it when you exclude price from your comparison the key points you are looking at are; freedom of use and safety and how rugged a device you need.