jecasc - 11:24 am on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
I also wrote a custom solution myself since most solutions I found were far to expensive.
The problem is you need either a warehousing software that comes with a built in solution or you need to create an API for the solution you buy anyway. So instead of creating an API I wrote a PHP script to do the full job.
It was pretty easy since the warehousing software I use runs on MySql. So all I did was to get Motorola MC55 handheld devices with built in barcode scanner and WLAN access and wrote a small script in PHP. The packer now scans the barcode (packing slip number) into a text field in Internet Explorer on the handheld. Then my PHP script retrieves the articles for the packing slip from the database. Then the articles are scanned by the packer and the barcodes compared to the barcodes in the database of the warehousing system.
It is true that with every system you introduce new opportunities for errors appear. I had to do some reorganizing of the workplace to prevent the scanning of multiple items. I also had to code in a 60 second delay between packing slips because one employee thought it would be more effective to first do the scanning of a bunch of packing slips and items and then do the packing afterwards of multiple orders.
However all in all for me it has been a success. We had at least one misdelivered article per week. Now we only had two complaints about misdeliveries in the last eight month. That's an error ratio of less than 0,02%.