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Barcodes in Government Departments



Barcode Datalink has assisted various local and state government departments use barcode scanners for a variety of applications.

Rate Notice Payments over the Counter

One council added a Code 128 barcode to the rate payers notice. The barcode contained the customer code, the amount due and the type of notice.

The data contained in the barcode was defined so that each field was a certain length. For example:

  • the customer code was 12 digits
  • the notice type was 4 digits
  • and the amount was 7 digits 

At the time the Symbol LS-4004i laser scanner was chosen. It was installed with a hands free Intellistand on the counter. This allowed the operator to simply scan the one barcode on the form. The interesting part of this implementation was that the LS-4004i with its "Advanced Data Formatting" function could replicate the keystrokes the operator would have to do. Without the scanner, the operator would have to key the data into the payment processing application, such as:

  • key in the customer code, 12 digits
  • then press Tab key to move to the next field
  • key in the rate notice type, 4 digits
  • then press the Enter key
  • now tab across past a field
  • finally key in the amount, eg 123.45
  • press Enter
  • press Enter to save the transaction

With the LS4004i programmed correctly a rule was created that:

  • If we scan a Code 128 barcode
  • and it is 23 characters long
  • take the first 12 characters and place them into the customer code field (the cursor has to be in this field before the operator scans the barcode)
  • send the Tab key
  • send the next 4 characters (which are the rate notice type)
  • send an Enter keystroke
  • send a Tab keystroke to skip this field
  • send the next 5 digits
  • send the . keystroke (ie, the decimal point)
  • send the last 2 characters of the amount (ie, the cents)
  • send an Enter keystroke
  • send an Enter keystroke 

As you can see from this one barcode scan did in less than one second what would take an operator 30 seconds to do - or longer if they made a typing error.

All of Motorola's barcode scanners have the ability for data formatting. Using Scan123 it is easy to create rules. Using a Windows based application you create the rule. Then print out the barcodes for that rule and then scan them into the barcode scanner. It's very easy to do.

 

Today we would recommend using the LS2208 or LS4208 laser scanner.

 

File & Document Tracking

In the past we used the Symbol PDT3100 Series scanners in batch mode which allowed the operator to walk around the office and scan each of the files sitting on the desk. This data was later downloaded from the PDT to a PC and the resulting CSV file was uploaded into the host system to update the current location of the file.

These days the same data collection can be achieved with a range of smaller, cheaper and more feature packed mobile computers.

The smallest, cheapest and simplest device for straight out scan, scan, scan functionality is the KoamTac KDC-100 and KDC-200 scanners with built-in USB interface.

Click on the image to see more details on this mobile device.

 

Other pocket sized mobile computers that can capture this data easily for you include the:

 

Asset Tracking 

Knowing what assets you have and where they are is important for any organisation. In the past we used the Symbol PDT-3100 in batch mode to capture the details about an asset. The barcode number, what it is, the location and condition. We wrote dozens of customised data collection applications for the Symbol range of PDT scanners.

More recently we have written mobile applications for the Motorola MC50 (any device with Pocket PC-2003, Windows Mobile 5/6.1 or CE5/6). The data collected could be downloaded and imported into an asset tracking application.

To help you implement an asset tracking solution Barcode Datalink supplies both plastic and aluminium asset labels in a variety of sizes.

We can tailor a data capture application to suit your requirements and provide advice on how best to go about collecting the data. Please call us to discuss your needs.