Five Steps to Evaluating Embedded Barcode Scanning Software img


How to Ensure Your Recommendation is What’s Best for Your Organization

There are a lot of details you have to consider when looking for the right embedded software for your barcode scanning solution. Getting overwhelmed might seem inevitable. It pays to have some helpful guidance from a company that has been down this road multiple times.

Code’s engineers and customer service team developed this checklist to guide you in choosing your scanning SDK. We have over 20 years of success helping clients implement barcode scanning into manufacturing processes and business applications. This checklist helps you research and identify a scanning solution and the vendor that will best deliver on your requirements.

You can request a free Barcode Scanning Software Proof-of-Concept document by speaking with a sales representative.

Step 1: Develop Your Requirements

At the beginning of your search, you may not have a complete picture of what you’re looking for. All quests begin with the first step. Start by developing your barcode scanning requirements and affirming them with the stakeholders in your company. Determine up front the non-negotiable requirements and the mission-critical requirements. You should also include the “we’d love to have this” options. This list can save headaches down the road. Connect with team members who'll be involved with the decision and those who'll rely on your decision for their job. It’s important you verify terms and terminology and reach a clear understanding of what everyone involved wants in this solution. You don't want to be arguing semantics near the end when you thought you’d already reached an agreement.

Try to reach consensus on:

  • What is the issue this barcode scanning software is primarily intended to address?
  • Who will be using the product?
  • How will the software be implemented?
  • Are there minimum requirements the software must meet?
  • What are parameters of the data capture?
  • Are there goals your organization hopes to achieve with the addition of this embedded software solution?
  • What deadlines do you have that will impact this process?

As you work with your team and stakeholders, you’ll find other questions to be addressed as well. Designate someone to record the additional questions you’ll uncover and be sure to ask them. You can also ask us here at Code what the most important factors are for you to address. We will provide you with straight-forward, honest answers as you begin your search. When you’ve got answers to as many questions as you could identify, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Begin Your Research

Finding a vendor that is the right fit for your needs can seem like finding that one sock that’s gone missing in the dryer.  Start by reviewing any marketing materials collected at tradeshows or received in your inbox.

Perform an internet search for “barcode decoder” or “barcode scanning software.” This will result in pages of topics and include the top barcode scanning choices. Focus your search on these top-listed vendors. Check out the company websites and read customer testimonials. Add to your list of questions things you want to ask, and ask others to review the materials and sites.

All of this should give you a feel for who might be a good fit. It will help you identify whether or not you think they can provide the barcode scanning software you need. There are other sources you can look to as well, including:

  • White Papers – a chance to look at in-depth topics relating to the company and their scanning solutions.
  • Blogs - topics the company feels knowledgable on enough to share with the public.
  • LinkedIn – a good place to learn how the company conducts business. You can read some of their press coverage and see how they interact with their employees and other companies.

Once you’ve gathered the data you need, develop a list of your top candidates to move to the next step. Three or four candidates are typically sufficient.

Step 3: Demonstration and Test Drive

You’ve determined what your needs are.

Image result for demo

You’ve investigated potential vendors to see how they can meet your needs. Now it’s time to kick the tires and take the software for a spin.

When you’re ready for the software demo, review your list of questions and create a checklist of performance expectations. Take thorough notes and make sure anyone who is joining you for the presentation does the same.

The more information you collect from the demo, the more thorough your understanding will be of this software solution. Work through the demos from your short-list of candidates, helping further narrow your list. When you settle on a company and solution that seems to meet your expectations, set up a free trial.  This will let you gauge the actual performance of the software within your environment.

During your trial period, create challenge scenarios for the barcode scanning software to see how it performs under the best, and worst, case scenarios:

  • Low light or changing light situations
  • Repeated, rapid scanning
  • Multiple code types
  • Damaged codes
  • Hard-to-read/faint codes
  • Curved surface reads
  • Uneven surface reads
  • Small/blurred codes
  • Data collection and accuracy

This is an opportunity to find other areas you may want this solution to address that hadn’t previously been discovered. This is also a good time to evaluate the customer support and service the vendor provides. It’s important to know the level of responsiveness and expertise long before you have an actual need for it.

For example, Code offers a free trial of the barcode scanning SDK that can integrate with your specific needs and with your existing systems. This includes systems such as the Android, IOS, Windows, MacOS, Linux or other operating systems. You can decide which barcode symbologies to include in your free trial, plus much more. We fine-tune the software for your evaluation so you can experience first-hand how the software performs under your circumstances. And we will provide feedback on how you can optimize for the best possible performance even under less than ideal scanning environments.

Step 4: Recommendation

So, all your research, demos, trial tests, and team feedback have compressed into the final evaluation steps. However, there may be a few parts of the evaluation that have yet to fall into place. Some of those final pieces may include:

  • Software licensing options and flexibility
  • Price quotes for various software configurations
  • Implementation costs and customization additions
  • Support, maintenance, or upgrade costs
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements signed
  • Contracts prepared and signed

Attending to these finishing pieces will help you move into the final vendor recommendation with clarity and confidence. They will also make the transition to onboarding your new barcode reading software much easier.

Step 5: Implementation

Implementation is really where the rubber meets the road. If you’ve done your homework and selected the best vendor, then implementation should hum along like a finely-tuned engine.

Sometimes, however, misguided vendors try to use a one-size-fits-all approach. They want to pull your software from their standard box-of-solutions and apply it to your company. After all, it worked for the companies that came before you. If you complain, they become hard to work with and hard to get support from. This will slow or even stop the implementation you envisioned.

Code customizes implementation and support to meet the needs of each individual client whether that company is large or small. Code gives you access to an experienced technical team and engineers who make implementing your software easy and smooth. We provide additional consultation and training to make certain that your staff is knowledgeable on your solution. And we are available for ongoing support, so your adoption and integration are flawless.

Conclusion

Many companies claim they can supply and support an enterprise-grade barcode scanning and decoding software solution. Not all of them specialize specifically in this application like Code does. It’s important to be clear about your expectations and needs, to conduct a thorough evaluation of the vendors, and to test the software in the conditions it will be used.

Your barcode scanning SDK research and evaluation should uncover exactly what you’re looking for. This checklist will help take you down the recommendation road.  For more help, let Code show you how our years of experience in barcode reading algorithms, dedication to service, and superior quality can benefit your organization. We are data capture experts. To learn more, contact us at: 1+ 801-495-2200.

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