Barcodes – boring but brilliant

Imagine going back to supermarket checkouts where every price is entered manually!

In a few years time, we will probably be saying the same about other repetitive data entry tasks.  A few years ago estate agents were putting QR codes on For Sale signs and some adverts are doing the same in a bid to make it easier and easier for consumers to find the products retailers want us to buy – even Covid tests had a code to link with NHS Track & Trace.  On a personal level, very few of us remember phone numbers anymore and when we highlight text, our devices use the pattern of numbers, letters and characters to try to guess what we want to do with it – make a phone call, access a website, send an email.  Barcodes and QR codes similarly recognise patterns and, with so many free code generators around, it is very easy to create a dictionary of your own.

None of our customers use magic5 software as a replacement for POS (although a few use it to manage stock) but barcode functionality is increasingly used for deliveries and other on-site operations.

Running on iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android smartphones, we have also set magic5 up a system on dedicated barcode readers to service on-site amenities.  A list of amenities is sent to each operative’s device and, as the servicing is undertaken, the operative scans barcodes to confirm completion.  With options to colour-code, lock or show/hide rows as well as drop-downs or text to explain any difficulties, operatives can give real-time feedback on their on-site work.

An older magic5 customer undertakes deliveries and uses an ‘exclusive’ barcode match to prevent the same code being scanned twice.

Another way magic5 barcodes are used is for compliance inspections of on-site assets.  This customer supplies equipment to on-site locations and is responsible for daily inspections.  When a barcode is scanned, existing details are shown along with date/time stamp and options for comments and photos.

Thanks to the increasing sophistication of smartphone cameras in recent years, magic5 can build barcode and QR code reading into most situations, increasing accuracy and speed for operatives.

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