Oct 06, 2021 2 Min READ

Mobile Barcode Scanning for 3PLs

Chad Kleiman

Chad Kleiman is a member of the marketing team experienced in various aspects of marketing and the supply chain as he seeks to share his knowledge with the third-party logistics industry at large in an easily digestible format.

2 Min READ
Mobile Barcode Scanning for 3PLs


The pandemic provided supply chains with unprecedented growth and acceleration. With rapidly increasing order volumes, many third-party logistics companies (3PLs) felt the growing pains associated with the boom. With the supply chain supercharged, moving towards efficiency and transparency have become the utmost priority.

When it comes to transitioning a paper-based warehouse into a fully functioning paperless environment, having mobile barcode scanning that fits the needs of your warehouse will be of the utmost importance. Therefore, there are a few questions you should first consider. What are the needs of my customers? What are my growth plans for the future? How can I create the most efficient warehouse environment? What are my inventory management goals?

Warehouses rely on their 3PL partners for efficient processes. Through increased productivity, accuracy, and visibility, new and existing customers gain a sense of security. As manual processes turn into automated practices, warehouses can offer complete visibility and optimized efficiency where a brand or customer can grow.

How Barcode Scanning Improves Productivity

Mobile barcode scanning tracks and communicates the actions of employees back, often times, to a warehouse management system (WMS) to allow for instantaneous tracking. Real-time tracking allows for warehouse systems to:

  • Automate manual tasks
  • Reduce employee training with instructions sent to scanning devices
  • Manage order and picking tasks in real-time

How Barcode Scanning Ensures Accuracy

Transitioning from a paper-based warehouse to a paperless warehouse creates and fosters better data practices to minimize errors and reduce mis-picks. Validation from scanned data creates more systematic processes which promotes efficiency. In turn:

  • Orders continuously flow from the WMS directly to your mobile device
  • Scanned barcodes validate correct bin and products on picklists
  • Product receipts are confirmed, and direct inventory put away

How Barcode Scanning Provides Visibility

Real-time scanning allows for inventory information to be uploaded directly to the cloud, ensuring that the data is up to date. Transparency is key to a fully functioning, effective, and efficient warehouse. With scanning, warehouses can see as they:

  • Record item movement and locations within the warehouse
  • Perform inventory counts to ensure transparency
  • Identify pallet destinations and locations

Picking the Right Scanning Hardware

There are many different scanning devices, so make sure you select the best type for your organization and ask the question: What are my growth plans for the future?

  1. Consumer Grade Scanners offer an ideal solution to 3PLs who want to introduce scanning into the warehouse. For scanning, these devices can be paired via Bluetooth for better accessibility. This solution offers ease of use at a lower cost.
  2. Retail Grade Scanners offer reliable mobile scanning. Ideal for ecommerce 3PLs, this ‘all-in-one’ device features smartphone factors and a built-in scanner. This type of scanner is built for midsize warehouses seeking to better operate processes.
  3. Warehouse Grade Scanners are built to service long term use. These devices can withstand even the harshest warehouse environments and are ideal for large warehouse environments. From long lasting batteries, Wi-Fi, and long-range scanning, these devices are built for the extreme.

Learn More About Mobile Barcode Scanning

Mobile barcode scanning presents new opportunities for modern warehouses looking to optimize their warehouse management systems. For outdated, paper-based warehouses, barcode scanning can help transition old, manual workflows and provide increased productivity, accuracy, and transparency. Enabling B2B, ecommerce, and omnichannel fulfillment workflows, mobile barcode scanning delivers data to access and measure warehouse performance in real-time.

SmartScan, Extensiv’s scanning solution, can improve productivity, accuracy, and visibility for any 3PL warehouse. Paired with Extensiv 3PL Warehouse Manager, SmartScan delivers in all the ways mentioned above while integrating well with our robust WMS.

Mobile barcode scanning can change the way your warehouse works. To learn more about what SmartScan can do, request a demo today.

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