The Bar Code Experts

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Issuing Parts to Jobs

A heating and air conditioning company was spending too much time manually recording parts and products that were issued to installation jobs; it was inaccurate, time consuming, and slow.

We implemented a barcode scanning system using Intermec CK3 hand held computers, an 802.11 wireless network, Switchboard, and SQL Server.

Technicians are issued jobs each morning and they pick the products and parts they need to complete the installation. Typically they will pick more parts than needed in case they are needed at the job site. The tech scans parts as he picks them, assigning them to the job:

Issue Parts screen

Part numbers are validated as they are scanned and the tech is prompted to enter an item’s serial number if the part is flagged in the database as a serialized item. Large components like furnaces, heaters, and air conditioners are serialized, most of the parts are not. When the tech returns from his installation at the end of the day he selects the Putaway function from the main menu:

Main Menu screen

The Putaway function is similar to the issue screen except it removes items from jobs instead of adding them. When the techs have returned all of the unused inventory we create an export file that gets imported into the accounting system and customers are billed.

Physical inventories can be taken using the CK3s. There are two inventory transactions, warehouse and truck (a warehouse on wheels):

Inventory Menu screen

Trucks are outside of the wireless network’s coverage area, so those counts are stored locally on the CK3 and uploaded when the computer is back in range. The warehouse inventory screen:

Warehouse Count screen

Seagull Scientific’s Bartender printing software is used to generate part and location labels.


This application has been running for seven years and has saved our customer one full time clerk’s hours.

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