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2013/12/12

The Barcode Scanner

Recently, we worked on a project where we had to integrate a bar code scanner into Netsuite. This is very convenient solution for companies that have copious amounts of data entries.

In our case, the customer was entering a few hundred Sales Order numbers per day; in order to reduce this manual entry we developed a solution that would facilitate the entire process using a Bar code Scanner, a Suitelet, and Sales Orders (printed using the 128 bar code format for the transaction and tracking numbers).

The initial step involved programming the bar code scanner using "Scan123" software. The advantage of this software is that it allows you to combine the set of instructions in order to fit your needs. Once you have arranged the instruction set, you simply scan the set of bar codes that were generated by the software to configure the device.

The following step involved creating a Suitelet that would be populated with the transaction and tracking numbers scanned using the bar code scanner. We added logic that would require minimal human interaction on the user interface - a simple click at the beginning to position the cursor in the sub-list, and click 'Add' add to submit the form.

This solution was developed because one of our customers found the existing process too long and not very user friendly. They were able to scan the Sales order number, but couldn't append the tracking number to the corresponding transaction.

Below is a screenshot of the old solution that was in use:



Pros: 
1. Easy to type in the Sale Order number

Cons:
1. Limited to 200 transactions per page - this means that if the bar code of a transaction that isn't on the page is scanned, it won't be picked up and the user won't be informed. 
2. There was no way to append the tracking number to the Sales Order other than looking for the transaction number and then type in the tracking number.


The solution that was developed allows the user to scan the transaction number followed by the corresponding tracking number. Up to 50 items can be scanned in a row and then, once the user is done they can simply hit the "Mark As Shipped" button and a script is triggered to change the status of all of the scanned transactions to "Marked" as well as adding the tracking number.

The process is very easy; on the sales order both required bar codes could be found. The user simply has to scan the first one, which was the sales order number, and then after running a few checks on the scanned value, the cursor jumps to the second column field to allow the user to scan the tracking number.

Once both values have been scanned, the line is automatically submitted and we restart the same process, until the user reaches 50 lines or until he's done, which ever comes first.







Pros:
1.Very quick process
2. Able to append the tracking number to the transaction

Cons: 
1. You can only scan 50 items at a time

By implementing a solution using a bar code scanner, companies are able to better leverage NetSuite to meet their exact demands, and to reduce the manual entry workload.





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