Modern Inventory Management: QR Codes + Cloud + Mobile Technology

Replacing Mobile Computers With Smartphones For Asset & Inventory Control

Mobile computers are a must for tracking out-of-office assets and inventory. However, inventory & asset management systems with mobile computers can be quite expensive. Now smartphones can do the same job at a significantly lower cost.


mobile computers for inventory management

What are Mobile Computers

By definition, mobile computer is any computer that can be carried around. By this definition, notebooks, laptops, tablets and smartphones are all mobile computers. However, when you hear a word "mobile computer" in one sentence with "inventory management" or "asset tracking" - these are mobile computers that you see on the image above.

Mobile computers for asset and inventory tracking are rugged devices made with the field work in mind. They are capable of barcode scanning, but also have keyboard and screen to input and read back data. Mobile computers can use Wi-Fi or cellular data to connect to the back-end inventory and asset management system.

What is a Role of Mobile Computers in Inventory Management and Asset Tracking Process

Mobile computers are usually listed as a component of any robust inventory and asset management system (along with software itself, barcode scanners, barcode printers and labels). In fact, even if you do not have any assets and inventory out in the field, a large warehouse will require employees to walk around with a device capable of reading input and providing information. This is what mobile computers are for. And if you have inventory and assets in the field, on the job sites, on the trucks or other mobile locations - having mobile computer as part of asset and inventory tracking system is even more important.

The problem is - the devices, networking service and software for them are quite expensive. Although small businesses often do have assets and inventory in remote locations, they can hardly afford such inventory systems - the total cost can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now smartphones can be used for the same purpose at significantly less expense.

How Can Smartphones be Used Instead of Mobile Computers For Assets and Inventory Management

Smartphones are a type of mobile computer family, and with the right application installed can perform the same functions:

  1. Scan QR Codes Or Barcodes

  2. Allow users to input information

  3. Allow users to access and review information

  4. Connect to inventory and asset management system via Wi-Fi or cellular connection

  5. In addition, you can use smartphones for:

  6. Taking photos and attaching them to inventory and asset transactions for visual documentation

  7. Record GPS location of scan or transaction

If you use smartphones for inventory and asset management, you will not only save money on purchasing hardware and on network consultants. It is also much easier to find inventory software that works with the smartphones, and this software will have a significantly lower price tag.


If you are just thinking about purchasing a new inventory and asset management system that can track mobile inventory, look into a web based / mobile application suit. Unless you have a specific reason to use mobile computers (e.g. you need rugged mobile devices), you can receive the same or better functionality at a much lower cost using smartphones for asset and inventory tracking.



Inventory & Assets Tracking Software Selection Topics
Small Business Inventory Software Trends - Overview
Online Inventory Management & Asset Tracking
Mobile Asset Tracking & Inventory Management
Barcode And QR Code Scanning For Inventory Management
Mobile Computers vs Smartphones For Assets & Inventory Control
Using NFC and RFID To Track Assets And Inventory
Mobile Asset Tracking Technologies: Barcodes, QR Codes, NFC, RFID, GPS Tags

Mobile Asset & Inventory Tracking In Action

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Taking Assets And Inventory Under Control: Next Steps

  Track Assets & Inventory
Use QR Inventory to track mobile assets and inventory on site in real time by scanning barcode or QR code label with a smartphone. Access up to the minute inventory stock, locations and transactions history from anywhere.
  Take Stock Fast & Error Free
Use QR Audit to do stocktaking, physical inventory count or asset audits fast and error free. Scan in items with a smartphone, submit collected information to a secure cloud.
  Use Mobile Forms To Collect Data In The Field
Use QR Mobile Data to collect data in the field using mobile forms, barcode scanning and a smartphone. Send collected data to a secure cloud, access real time information from anywhere.