SKULabs uses barcode scanning to make inventory and fulfillment tasks faster, easier, and more accurate. Receiving, counting, and picking items is made more efficient by scanning barcodes using a handheld scanner and getting instant feedback on the SKULabs screen.

Choosing barcode scanners for your team

Most barcode scanners will work just fine with SKULabs, regardless of whether you're working on desktops or mobile devices. Over 99% of barcode scanners support Human Input Device or "Basic" mode, but you can confirm with the manufacturer by asking if the scanner supports "HID" compatibility, "Basic", or "HID Mode".

Still, we recommend a USB scanner for desktops and laptops, and wireless Bluetooth scanners for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Socket Mobile's SocketScan S700 and S800 are great examples of ergonomic scanners intended for use with wireless mobile devices. They are easy to set up and use and have enough battery life to get through a full workday.

Scanning with a mobile device camera

SKULabs designers and developers have worked extensively with warehouse teams around the world to find what works and what doesn't. In our testing, we have found that barcode scanning with a smartphone or tablet's rear camera is not up to the demand of a full-time ecommerce business.

How to connect scanners

To connect your USB scanner to a desktop or laptop:

  1. Plug the barcode scanner into an available USB port on the computer. The computer should recognize the device right away.
  2. Open a text editor or web browser and select an input area where you can type and enter text.
  3. Scan an available product barcode and confirm that the barcode's value correctly appears in the selected input area.

To connect your Bluetooth scanner to a tablet or smartphone:

  1. Ensure that the scanner is in "Basic mode" or "HID mode", if applicable.
  2. Power on the scanner and make sure it is discoverable (unpaired).
  3. Turn on Bluetooth from your mobile device's settings and scan for devices.
  4. In the list of found devices, tap the device ID that matches the scanner to pair it. The scanner should beep or otherwise signal that it has paired successfully.
  5. On the device, open a note app or web browser and select an input area where you can type and enter text.
  6. Scan an available product barcode and confirm that the barcode's value correctly appears in the selected input area.

Troubleshooting scanners

In most cases, a compatible scanner will be "plug and play" with SKULabs. As a cloud-based web app, our system doesn't require intimate hardware connectivity and configuration to work. With that said, there are some circumstances where issues come up, and some recommendations we can offer when troubleshooting:

If nothing happens when you scan a barcode

Seeing no input or feedback when you've attempted to scan a barcode usually means that the barcode is not configured properly. However, we should first ensure that it's an issue with the scanner and not anything to do with SKULabs:

First, open a note app, text editor, or web browser and scan a different product's barcode in a selected input area. If the barcode's value appears on its own line in that input area, the scanner is correctly entering HID inputs to the computer or mobile device. Try scanning within SKULabs again. If after testing, the scanner is confirmed to be entering inputs but is still not executing scans in SKULabs contact the SKULabs support team so that we can investigate further.

If the test describe above reveals that no input is occurring, even outside of SKULabs, consult the manufacturer-provided manual or documentation for your barcode scanner. There is likely a barcode or input sequence available for a "factory reset", which is a good next step. From there, ensure that the scanner is in "Basic mode" or "HID mode", if either mode is available in the documentation.

If you've confirmed that the scanner is powered on, paired or connected to the device running SKULabs, and is on the correct mode (if applicable) but you are still not seeing your barcodes being entered anywhere when scanning, contact the scanner's manufacturer to see what other troubleshooting options are available.

If you get an "invalid scan" or "invalid barcode" message when scanning

Scanning a barcode only to receive a negative message means that the string of letters and/or numbers input by the scanner does not match any barcodes that SKULabs was looking for. To address this, try the following steps:

  1. Obtain a user manual or other documentation provided by the manufacturer for your scanner.
  2. Perform a factory reset, if one is available per your documentation.
  3. Ensure that the scanner is in "Basic mode" or "HID mode", if applicable.
  4. Check the documentation for "command barcodes" or other settings that enable or disable the following:
    - Suffix carriage returns or tabs
    - UPC/EAN supplemental characters
    - UPC check digit
    - UPC prefix or preamble
  5. Test the barcode scan again to see if the negative message occurs again.

If you've tried the above steps and are still getting an "invalid scan" or "invalid barcode" message when scanning a particular item barcode or order number, contact the SKULabs support team so that we can investigate further.

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