I'm going to admit my bias out of the box -- I'm the Records Manager for Motorola, which owns Symbol Technologies, so I'm partial to Symbol bar code scanners. We have a wide variety of scanners for many applications. <<END OF COMMERCIAL>>

I assume that you have requirements in mind for the scanner -- wired, wireless, handheld, gun-style, ruggedized, etc.

The most simple scanner effectively replaces a keyboard and simply converts a barcode into a character string to input into a field. The wireless scanners oftentimes will be programmable and can collect data into fields on the device and pass that data to your database. In some instances, the scanners can be programmed as two-way devices and items to be picked can be queued up and sent to the scanners in the facility. 

If you have an existing records management application, talk to your vendor about what devices they support out of the box and what enhancements you may not be aware of for differing kinds of scanners.

You may also want to talk to your supply chain colleagues and see what they are using. They may have some extras that you can try out or be able to get you some optimal pricing from their suppliers.

Patrick Cunningham, CRM
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Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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