Mobile data collection – requirements and areas of application

Symbolic image of warehouse work with MDE

With the help of MDE devices, companies can save a lot of time. © simonkr, GettyImages

Many companies rely on economically relevant data for their business success. Marketing-relevant data helps to increase sales numbers because it provides more precise data about the target group and their needs. With extensive knowledge about prospective customers and buyers, appropriate action is easier. This makes it easier to control the company's success. Mobile data capture (MDE) also has a very practical use, for example in logistics companies, in warehousing or in shipping. This allows processes to be accelerated and simplified. Mobile touch computers enable flexible data collection. This eliminates the need for permanently installed recording devices. Data transmission is possible from anywhere without any problems.

How does MDE work?

Mobile data plays a major role in many industries, such as mail order and logistics. There are various ways to collect data on mobile devices. It's very classic scanner for application. These are mainly small hand-held devices that have the following features:

  • Reading device
  • Number pad with menu buttons
  • display

In retail today, small hand-held scanners for mobile data collection are in use almost everywhere. This makes it possible, for example, to order goods directly from the goods shelf in the store. As an alternative, there are touch computers, some with many functions. An example of this are the MDE devices that parcel delivery companies use. The recipient can confirm receipt of their shipment with their signature directly on the device display. The delivery notification is sent to the system in real time for further use. In economics it is mobile data collection widely used and generally well accepted by customers and companies.

Logistics apps for all operating systems

Using special apps, data can be saved and verified on the smartphone. The smartphone is then the mobile scanner. Logistics apps have long been available for all operating systems. Smartphone cameras are able to read a barcode or QR code. The program in the background reads the data from the image and processes it further.

Larger scanners are also data capture devices. Large mobile scanners are used, particularly in large logistics warehouses. They are very quick when processing goods receipts. The devices run over rails and reach the destination of the goods. These devices are usually bulky and heavy. Mobile touch computers are much easier to use.

Important to know

Mobile data collection can only work properly if it is connected to an inventory management system or similar. The programs provided for this purpose carry out the data evaluation automatically, forward it in real time and process it accordingly. This allows you to determine the number of items in the warehouse, plan shipping and coordinate orders.

In which areas is mobile data collection important?

Mobile data capture plays a major role in various industries, especially in the areas of shipping and selling goods. It is important in classic retail, but also in logistics companies, wholesalers and in... E-Commerce (PDF).

Mobile data collection has a central function in the following areas:

  • Shipment
    Fast shipping of goods is only possible reliably if it is possible to determine the exact location of a shipment at any time. With the help of mobile data collection, retailers, customers and logistics companies can track the goods at any time until they are finally delivered to the customer.
  • Warehousing
    Modern warehouses are no longer filled to bursting with goods. This helps companies save costs and tie up less capital. Reorders are made as needed. Real-time data collection is carried out so that companies can still respond to orders promptly. Drones are also sometimes used to quickly transport smaller shipments of goods or important components and monitor inventory.
  • Purchasing and reordering
    If a company has to regularly reorder goods, it is important to plan and coordinate the quantity and the ordering time. Using an MDE device, it is possible to scan the product codes directly on the shelves and transfer the data directly to the ordering system.

Making work easier for companies

Mobile data collection is an enormous relief for many companies. What is important is seamless data transmission. It is therefore important to update the data collection programs regularly. In addition, it makes sense to attach importance to the high quality of the MDE devices. A robust housing, the range of features and intuitive handling are also crucial for user orientation.

What are the advantages of mobile data transmission?

Capturing essential data quickly and comprehensively is advantageous in many areas, for example in a store or on the factory floor. If the data processing programs are always up to date, it is possible to use MDE to reduce the workload in day-to-day business and save a lot of time. At the beginning it can be time-consuming to reorganize the data transfer, because first it is necessary to record all inventory and list it in the program. Nevertheless, the advantages outweigh:

  • lower inventory
    With the help of MDE and the appropriate data capture software, inventory levels can be reduced. This saves space and costs remain manageable. This advantage is particularly noticeable for larger companies. A practical hand scanner helps to reorder goods at short notice. The fact that the order is placed directly from the shelf results in additional time savings.
  • Complete tracking
    Real-time data transmission is a big advantage. This makes it possible to track a delivery at any time. This is particularly important for customer and replenishment deliveries.
  • Continuous availability of goods
    In online trading, product availability is an important criterion. If goods are not in stock or only available with a long waiting time, customers are dissatisfied, give bad reviews and ultimately buy from competitors. MDE makes it possible to coordinate customer orders and product availability at any time in online retail. Retailers can immediately tell their customers the expected delivery time and accurately quantify their inventory at any time. Ordered and shipped products are automatically deducted from inventory by scanning.

October 19, 2023

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