Published on September 6th, 2020 | by Sumit Bhowal


Handheld Scanner: Pros and Cons in inventory management

A handheld scanner is an easy-to-use device that scans the assets tags for their stored information and data for the asset’s identification and to keep track of various other information. A handheld scanner is a physically handled electronic device, used to scan a physical document and an asset code and convert the stored information electronically that can be displayed on computers or other electronic devices that are attached to the handheld scanner. Working through these attached devices you can edit, transfer, or update the asset information.

According to Coherent Market Insights, a global Barcode scanners market was accounted for USD 5,960.1 million, in 2019. This market is expected to grow CAGR of 7.6%, for 2020-2027 period.

Inventory management requires a proper control system to automate its inventory details regarding its packaging, shipping, and receiving the item. The inventory management solution is easy to access from every device such as desktop, laptop, android or iPhone. Scanning of inventory tags is an important function to mark the availability of parts and items in the warehouse. Scanning of inventory items in the warehouse allows your business to achieve the following aspects:

  • Eliminate paper pen method to track inventory
  • Reduce errors in the data
  • Save time locating inventory items at their locations
  • Save money from traditional scanners as smartphones also work as a handheld scanner
  • Easily to use software solution, no need for a specific training program
  • Use from anywhere around the world with an internet connection

Pros of a handheld scanner in inventory management.

There are numerous advantages of the popular handheld scanners in inventory management.

1. Can be Remotely Used

The benefit of a handheld scanner or a wireless scanner is that you can work with it away from the centralized operating system. The implementation of an automated solution provides an effective and practical use for a large number of inventory items to be scanned in a wider area.

2. Power Saver

As handheld scanners work on battery source, there is no need to plug them in an electric outlet all the time. It saves you a lot of power and money spent on it. It also saves you from the chances of blackouts in adverse weather conditions. With electricity-saving it minimizes your bills and decreases the energy consumption, which is also good for the environment.

3. Cost Savings

Use of handheld scanners can deliver you much more efficient work than any other restricted device on-board. It not only reduces labor efficiency and related costs but also helps to improve the company’s bottom line. Scanning of items through handheld scanners takes less time to capture the data and its reflection on the attached electronic device like desktop or laptop. It reduces the number of hours utilized to capture and read data for inventory tracking.

4. Track inventory items at all points

There can be a chance of missing item between the purchase and utilization of it, in the production process. This is called by a term inventory shrinkage which could result in business loss because of theft or misplacement at multiple points of the process chain. To manage inventory there is a need for proper hardware, software, technology, etc. set in a combination to work effectively.

The handheld scanners are also the part of this combination which scans the information stored in the asset or inventory tags and capture it which is further displayed on the attached system through which it can look at the information like location, stage of utilization, remaining stock, etc.

5. Automated process to avoid human error

Inventory tracking is a totally automated process these days which is much beneficial and effective to reduce human errors. The handheld scanners help to automate this process at the next level as no human entry is done in the process till any information is added or removed. The whole process is centralized and connected to a central database which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere, with the login credentials.

An automated inventory management system helps the organization to fully utilize the facility at maximum level with surplus control systems, reduced human errors, eliminated spreadsheets, etc. This saves you more time, effort and money at the same time.

6. Smartphone as a Handheld Scanner

These days with high technology implementation, all the smartphones are manufactured with the feature to scan any kind of barcode, NFC, BLE, etc. So, running along with the technology preferred world, there is no such need of purchasing special barcode scanners, if not necessarily required. The point here to catch is you can use the smartphones as the scanners.

Almost all your employees must have a smartphone so they can use them to scan the item code. You can further implement BYOD policy in your organization. This can save you a lot of investment and maintenance costs as well.

Cons of a handheld scanner in inventory management

  • Handheld scanners cost a lot of money. For a small business, it is difficult to invest such a huge amount on software application plus the accessories involved.
  • Leasing of scanners for potential benefits.
  • Subject to breakdown and involved maintenance costs
  • Short reading range (to capture the stored information)
  • The feature as its own disadvantage, handheld scanners are not hands-free. It can be hectic and painful to hold the device for a long period of time.


Handheld scanners are handy enough to carry easily at different locations at work efficiently. They come with numerous advantages to fulfil formal as well as informal purposes. There are some of the drawbacks also but nothing is as major as that can’t be neglected. They are of incredible use when used for bulk scanning’s such as stock or inventory.

Handheld scanners are effectively used in the inventory management system to pull out a maximum advantage and minimum errors. These scanners are built to ease the process of inventory and stock management and supremely cover the problems associated with tracking and managing if inventory items. It is far better than the manual system of counting and recording of data and information.

Also, asset management software can help you build an effective solution to further maintain and track your inventor, stock or even asset with their maintenance schedules, alerts for re-orders, etc.

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An Internet addict and a MASTAN , Also a lazy Freelancer . I don't try to reinvent the wheel I just like to soak things in Steroid's :p Thanks (y)

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