In Progress Improved barcode support
Several Feature Requests have already mentioned improving barcode support in incremental ways. For efficiency, barcodes are a huge requirement these days.
Barcodes for Products
At the moment, product records only support one barcode field. This is problematic. Ideally, a product record should capture a UPC/EAN, our assigned SKU, and then also the FNSKU assigned by Amazon (for products we sell on Amazon and ship to Amazon warehouses as part of the FBA program).
I'd like to be able to pull up a product record by scanning a barcode. I should be able to scan any one of the three potential barcodes mentioned above (UPC/EAN, SKU, FNSKU) and DEAR should be able to search for the product and present the record. DEAR could search in the following order: SKU, FNSKU, UPC; that would range from the most specific to least specific (in that multiple SKUs on our side could resolve to a single UPC on the manufacturer side--yes, they often do recycle the same UPC when they make a minor but not insignificant change to a product, like when they add 25% more product as a promotion--we like to assign different internal SKUs for product variants like that). Obviously, if whatever has been scanned resolves to multiple records present a list otherwise present the record.
Barcodes for Orders
I'd like to be able to pull up an order by scanning a barcode. ShipStation supports this where you can print a unique order# on a ShipStation packing slip. Scanning the barcode will pull up the order in ShipStation. Because we use ShipStation for shipping (but not picking or packing), I'd like to be able to add a barcode to each order, picking and packing slip, and then when the box gets to the warehouse, the order could be pulled up (in ShipStation) by scanning a barcode.
Barcodes for Box Contents
When shipping to Amazon FBA warehouses (its essentially a 3PL program) we are required to provide box contents whenever a box contains more than one SKU. We have three options to provide that information: fill out a web form, upload a CSV file, place a 2D barcode on the outside of each box. As of 2015, the 2D barcode has become Amazon's preferred method of identifying box contents when they receive the box at their end. They have a published format for the contents of that 2D barcode (it's a PDF417 or QR code, where PDF417 is preferred) but it's cumbersome to generate those codes. This is a task that DEAR could help with. I see it as part of an enhanced Stock Transfer feature where we could actually prepare a shipment inside of DEAR to create transfers of one or multiple SKUs to other warehouses in a more disciplined (and accountable) manner than is supported today.
The only last bit to tie this together would be proper thermal printer support. These printers don't like PDF files whatsoever (in my experience). ShipStation has resolved the problem by creating a utility app that runs in the background (on Windows and OSX) to poll the ShipStation server for labels to print, when it gets a label it prints it on the configured thermal printer by presumably talking to the printer in its native language (for Zebra printers that would EPL/ZPL). The solution is absolutely brilliant and also allows them to talk to USB-connected scales for the direct input of weights into ShipStation.
19 people like this idea