Barcode Scan to Web saved time on Inventory for BEDS Plus so they could start a community garden | Business Data Collection Tools

Sounds crazy, right? How could an app like Barcode Scan to Web help a business start a garden?

Well, it all begins with saving time with inventory.

It all started in February

Our CEO, Andy Berry, received an email from Gilbert Vega asking for our help. Gil was using our app, Barcode Scan to Web, to create an inventory system for BEDS Plus.

BEDS Plus is a nonprofit in La Grange, IL that supports the homeless by serving hot meals, offering a safe place to sleep, supplying professional counseling and job services with the goal of helping individuals reach self-sufficiency.

One of their most time-consuming processes had always been managing donations of inventory items. Turns out they wanted to use the app to manage their inventory but had an old Android tablet that wasn’t cooperating with our newest app version. Gil was asking for a Scan to Web version that was compatible with an older Android.

What inventory was like for BEDs Plus

As Erin Molek, Volunteer Coordinator for BEDs Plus, told us, “Managing the supplies has been a conundrum. Being out of something as simple as paper plates can suddenly be a logistical nightmare.”

Because BEDs Plus has two locations for inventory and eight facilities Erin would have to jump in her car and physically check their supplies. Having an organized system would help keep things simplified and save time, money, and even their carbon footprint. 

Set them up with a new tablet

We couldn’t retrofit our Barcode Scan to Web app to an older Android. Instead, we offered to donate funds for a tablet that would work with our current app. On a side note, make sure that when you are purchasing a tablet or phone for scanning that it has a good quality camera. You can find more about that here.

Then Gil used Andy’s donation to purchase an iPod Touch. They also received two iPad 2s as donations from Gil’s previous employer. And they were set!

Seizing an opportunity

Not only did BEDs Plus put an inventory process in place, they also used it as a learning opportunity. They have a transitions program for developmentally disabled students and this was a great chance to teach the students and give them new job skills.

Beds plus LTHS transition kids

Beds plus LTHS transition kids

Says Erin, “They learned how to track our food and understand how to run inventory. It’s been working great. Someone called the other day and suggested we do a drive for toothbrushes. I can check in my office in real time and I immediately know that we have over 700. That saves me the drive to get to the building, and now we know we can focus on other things.”

Making time for More Important Things

And now, about that garden. As Erin shares, “You saved us so much wasted time. It’s opened up time for me to work on a community garden for our homeless residents moving into our facility. So, we’ll have fresh food.”

What! That’s incredible. We’ve heard a lot of great feedback and stories from our customers. This one takes the cake (or the carrot)!

Here's a video about the great things BEDS Plus does:

Lessons Learned with Barcode Scan to Web

We were interested to hear what worked and didn’t. As per Gil and Erin:

The app was so fast they had issues scanning just one barcode. Andy shared his handy-dandy solution, which is a piece of cardboard used to block the other barcodes from the scanning.

Gil also shared “I wish I had spoken with Andy first because he told us about the spreadsheet that makes the barcodes. That was the most time-consuming piece (of starting the process). Aside from that, the app is super simple.”

Find more important things to do than inventory

If you have inventory and you don’t have a way to organize it, isn’t it time you do something about it? What could you do with the time you save?

Scan to Web is free to download and try out. Once you’re ready, join our subscription service and be a part of our smart app user group.

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