Inventory Control Application using iCody to Scan Barcodes

The problem:  Bishop's Auto Parts in Middletown has an inventory of over 50,000 parts stored on racks in a warehouse and many more still in vehicles in the yard.  Over the years things have gotten moved without an accurate update of the database so parts are not where they are supposed to be.  In addition, several hundred parts must be added to the inventory every week.  Finding misplaced parts is time consuming and frustrating for customers who are waiting at the counter.  Placing new parts into the warehouse was also time consuming and error prone.

iCody is an App that runs on an iPhone, iPad or newer iPods. iCody uses the device's camera to read barcodes.  It has a Javascript API which has allowed us to write an application to scan first the Part's barcode, then the Location's barcode.  The operator:

  • Scans the Part's barcode
  • Responds to a prompt on the iPhone by clicking a button
  • Scans the Location barcode in the part bin or rack
  • Responds to a prompt on the iPhone by clicking a button
  • Repeats the process for the next part.  It takes approximately 15 seconds per part to correct the Part's location in the main database.

Similarly as parts are removed from a vehicle, they are entered into the database using our Picture Utility.  Then the warehouse employee scans the ticket, finds an empty bin in the warehouse, scans the location barcode of that bin and the part is ready to be sold.

An iPhone running iCody is a remarkably accurate barcode reader.  Scans are easy, quick and misreads are very rare.  If you already have an iPhone, the hardware is free and the App is only $8.00 from the iTunes store.  If you don't have an iPhone, an iPod with a camera is a less expensive alternative.  The days of spending $1000 or more for a barcode scanner should be over as iCody is better and costs much less.

If the barcode is too damaged to read, note the keyboard icon at the bottom of the iPhone in the picture on the right; you can just key it in.

iCody Barcode Inventory Application