Another Cost Saving Idea
Any company who is considering changing their inventory scanning system should investigate the use of smart phones for scanning. There are numerous smart phone applications now that enable the built-in camera to read barcodes; Delicious Library has been doing this on the Mac for a while. Compared to the specialized handheld scanning equipment, smart phones are cheap and can be used for multiple tasks. They are lower cost with higher utility, win - win.
There could obviously be costs associated with acquiring software for a smart phone that interfaces with corporate systems, such as ERP systems, but there are alway software or configuration costs associated with implementing scanning solutions. If a company had followed my recommendation to switch their applications over to a web-based strategy (and they employed professionals who develop software based upon existing web standards) then minimal effort would be required to optimize those applications for the smaller smart phone screen.
In the past, business technology has been adopted by consumers, now consumer technology should be adopted by business.