How Much Does It Cost To Build Enterprise Barcode Scanning Software?

The market for barcode scanning software is growing steadily as businesses are taking advantage of this technology to improve their productivity. Entrepreneurs are tapping into this growing market. If you are such an entrepreneur, you are likely wondering how much does it cost to build an enterprise barcode scanning software solution. I will explain that here.

Contents

What is a barcode?
What is barcode software?
What is barcode scanning software?
Why does barcode scanning software matter?
The market for barcode scanners
What features should an enterprise barcode scanning software have?
The variables for cost estimation
Estimating a project to build enterprise barcode scanning software
Wondering how to implement a barcode system?

What is a barcode?

Let’s first understand what barcodes are. Barcodes are those thin black lines on a label accompanying a product in a store, and the person manning the check-out counter scans it. This displays the product information and price.

Barcodes are machine-readable information present on a surface that one can scan using special scanners. Barcodes are also called “Universal Product Codes” (UPCs), and they help in faster check-out, managing inventory, keeping track of items, etc. Read more about barcodes in “What is a barcode?”.

What is barcode software?

A barcode software deals with various functions with regard to barcodes, e.g., printing high-quality and accurate barcodes. Businesses use such software to design, create, print, barcode levels of different size.

Barcode software is used in different industries, and it can process static, serialized, and other data residing in databases. Wasp barcode software is an example.

What is barcode scanning software?

Businesses use barcode scanning software to scan barcodes and capture information for further processing. Such software sends the contents of barcodes to the relevant computer systems of the company.

Barcode scanning systems are quite advanced now, therefore, most barcode scanners operate in plug-and-play mode. Organizations operating them don’t need to install any software separately since it comes bundled with the scanner. You can find examples of barcode scanning software here.

Why does barcode scanning software matter?

Barcodes and barcode scanning software have made a big difference to the world of business, and their advantages are as follows:

  • The check-out process in stores was slow and manual, however, barcodes have changed that.
  • Barcodes and barcode scanners have reduced human errors.
  • Employees need less training, thanks to barcodes and barcode scanning software.
  • Businesses can use labels with barcodes on almost anything, e.g., merchandise, envelopes, packages. This improves the business processes in nearly all functions. Read more about this in “Advantages of barcodes”.
  • Above factors result in improved operations, therefore, businesses reduce their costs significantly.
  • Barcodes also help in complying with regulations. Heavily regulated industries like pharma or shipping have stringent labeling requirements, and barcodes make it easy to meet these. You can find more insights about this in “Benefits of barcodes”.
  • The market for barcode scanners

    The market for barcode scanners is experiencing robust growth. The following statistics and insights illustrate this:

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    • Experts estimate that the global market for barcode scanners will reach $3.18 million in 2023, from $2.12 million in 2016. The estimated CAGR is 5.9%.
    • Note that the above is only one segment. The industrial barcode scanners market include more varied products, e.g., 2D barcode scanners, QR code scanners, etc. Multinational logistics providers heavily use these technologies, resulting in high demand. You can read more about this analysis in “Industrial barcode scanners market: Global industry analysis 2012 – 2016 and opportunity assessment; 2017 – 2027”.
    • Technavio estimates that the industrial barcode scanner market will grow by $478.43 million between 2018 and 2022. The report from Technavio includes technologies like 2D imager, laser scanner, linear imager, mobile scanners, handheld scanners, and ring scanners.
    • What features should an enterprise barcode scanning software have?

      You should offer the following features when you build enterprise barcode scanning software:

      • Rapid scanning of barcodes;
      • Real-time validation of barcode scans;
      • Data collection with forms, images, and GPS;
      • Offline barcode scanning;
      • Overall management of barcode scanning;
      • Managing user permissions for barcode scanning;
      • Secure scanning of barcodes;
      • “Near-field communication” (NFC) features;
      • Validation of data against relevant databases;
      • Barcode generation.

      You can read more about these features here. Consider offering enterprise mobile apps for barcode scanning, and you should offer Android and iOS apps.

      The variables for cost estimation

      The cost estimation for this project will depend on several factors, e.g., the number of features, geography, local labor market, tools, platforms, etc. In this article, I will describe the variables for cost estimation, so that you can plug in your exact requirements and arrive at a cost estimate.

      The variables are as follows:

      • The cost of manpower: This is the labor cost for the software development team. I will estimate the person-months you need, subsequently, you need to apply the labor rate to arrive at the manpower cost.
      • The IT infrastructure cost: I will explain how you can get a pricing plan from a cloud services provider, and you need to determine the pricing tier you need.
      • Tools cost: This could include “Software Development Kits” (SDKs), “Application Programming Interfaces” (APIs), project management tools, and any other relevant tools. I will show how you can get the pricing plans, following which, you need to choose the pricing tier.
      • Administrative costs: This could include hiring costs, travel, etc. These costs depend on your geography, labor market, etc.

      If you need help to arrive at an estimate from the person-months and the pricing plans from various providers, please contact us at DevTeam.Space.

      Estimating a project to build enterprise barcode scanning software

      I will now elaborate on the variables I have mentioned above.

      1. The manpower cost

      A project to build enterprise barcode scanning software has specific and well-defined requirements. The software will have wide usage in various core business functions, therefore, it’s a highly important software.

      Such projects require thorough reviews at appropriate intervals, and the “Waterfall” methodology works well for such projects. You can read “Waterfall vs Agile: Which methodology is right for your project”, to understand why.

      Let’s now estimate how many person-months each phase will require. I will also explain the percentage split across different roles, and these roles are as follows:

      • Business analysts (BAs);
      • UI designers;
      • A software architect;
      • Developers, including Android and iOS programmers;
      • Testers;
      • DevOps engineers;
      • A project manager (PM).

      I will provide the person-months estimate by phases, and these phases are as follows:

      • Requirements gathering and analysis;
      • Design;
      • Development;
      • Testing;
      • Deployment;

      As for the maintenance phase, I will show the estimate for post-deployment support and warranty support only, since long-term maintenance typically requires separate long-term annuity contracts. You can get to know more about these phases in “What is software development life cycle and what you plan for?”.

      I am accounting for the 10 key features I have listed above, moreover, I am considering both web and mobile apps. Given this, the estimated person-months by phases are as follows:

      (a) Requirements gathering and analysis

      The estimate is 4 person-months, with the following distribution by roles:

      • PM: 25%;
      • Software architect: 25%;
      • BAs: 50%.

      (b) Design

      The estimate is 30-40 person-months, with the following distribution by roles:

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      • PM: 10%;
      • Software architect: 10%;
      • BAs: 20%;
      • Development/UI-design leads: 40%;
      • Test leads: 15%;
      • DevOps engineers: 5%.

      (c) Development

      The estimate for this phase is 84-140 person-months, and I recommend the following distribution by roles:

      • PM: 7%;
      • Software architect: 7%;
      • UI designers: 21%;
      • Developers: 65%.

      (d) Testing

      I estimate 36-48 person-months for this phase, and I suggest that you distribute this effort as follows:

      • PM: 7%;
      • Software architect: 8%;
      • UI designers and developers: 30%;
      • Testers: 50%;
      • DevOps engineers: 5%.

      (e) Deployment

      A significant part of this phase can proceed along with the preceding phases since the DevOps engineers need to establish an effective “Continuous Integration” (CI) environment. The actual deployment will follow the testing phase.

      I estimate 6 person-months for this phase, with the following distribution by roles:

      • PM: 5%;
      • Software architect: 10%;
      • DevOps engineers: 85%.

      (f) Maintenance

      I assume 3 months of post-deployment and warranty support, and I estimate 30 person-months for this phase. The distribution of effort by roles should be the following:

      • PM: 10%;
      • Software architect: 10%;
      • Developers and designers: 40%;
      • Testers: 35%;
      • DevOps engineers: 5%.

      We at DevTeam.Space use modern estimation methodologies as part of our processes, and we can help you with the effort estimation if you have questions.

      2. The cost of IT infrastructure and platforms

      I assume that you as an entrepreneur have not invested in large IT infrastructure, there, I recommend that you buy managed cloud services from AWS. This would involve the following:

      • You can sign-up with AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which is the “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS) offering from AWS.
      • AWS offers Elastic Beanstalk, i.e., its “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) offering. You can build and deploy your web app on Elastic Beanstalk. You can use popular programming languages like Java since Elastic Beanstalk manages the runtime environment. It’s an easy-to-use PaaS platform, and you can easily integrate databases, 3rd party APIs, and auto-scaling solutions.
      • With the same AWS account, you can also sign-up for AWS Amplify, i.e., its “Mobile Backend as a Service” (MBaaS) offering. This frees you up from developing and managing the mobile backend, moreover, it’s easy to implement features like security, user management, and push notifications.

      AWS displays its pricing plans on its website, and you can choose an appropriate tier for your application.

      3. The cost of tools

      You will likely use SDKs/APIs and other tools to expedite your project, therefore, let’s now see how you can estimate the cost for these. I recommend the following SDKs/APIs and tools:

      (a) SwiftDecoder from Honeywell

      SwiftDecoder is a robust barcode decoder SDK, which you can use in your enterprise barcode scanning software. It’s from Honeywell, and it’s one among the Honeywell productivity and workflow solutions.

      SwiftDecoder offers the following features and advantages:

      • It works for both mobile and non-mobile platforms. Among mobile platforms, it supports both Android and iOS.
      • The software offers reliable performance, and it’s fast.
      • SwiftDecoder offers a high degree of accuracy, and it can read barcodes of sub-optimal quality.
      • SwiftDecoder-S is for non-mobile systems like Windows and Linux, whereas, Swift-Decoder-M is for mobile platforms.

      You need to contact Honeywell for the pricing plan for SwiftDecoder.

      (b) pCloudy for testing the mobile app

      There are many mobile devices for each mobile platform, and then there are different versions. Your mobile app needs to work on all devices for the platforms you target, therefore you need to test it against them.

      You need a testing solution that offers a large number of devices on the cloud. pCloudy is a great solution for this, and you can check out its pricing plan on its website.

      (c) Jira for project management

      The PM needs an effective tool to manage this project, and Jira is a robust choice. You can find its pricing plan on its website.

      (d) Other development tools

      “Integrated Development Environments” (IDEs) like Eclipse, Android Studio (for Android development), and Xcode (for iOS development) are free. However, you need to check the licensing requirements for Java, and you can find the relevant information about it here.

      4. Other administrative costs

      The project involves other administrative costs, e.g.:

      • Hiring costs: This varies based on whether you hire freelancers or a field expert development team. You can read more about it in “Freelance app development team vs. field expert software development teams”.
      • Travel, communication, and other costs: This depends on the geography and your stakeholder management plan.
      • Wondering how to implement a barcode system?

        The cost estimation variables I have explained above enable you to plug-in your context-specific numbers and this way you can arrive at a cost estimate for this project. However, how to implement a barcode system?

        A project like this is a high-stakes one. Barcode scanning software is important for core business operations of an enterprise, and such projects have very high visibility. Failure is just not an option.

        You need a highly skilled and experienced team for this project, and the team must have thorough industry domain expertise. The project also requires a thoroughly competent PM to manage it end-to-end.

        It could be hard to find the necessary skills, e.g., the architect must be highly experienced in leading such high-value projects. An enterprise barcode scanning software is a heavy-duty application. The testing team needs to proficient with performance testing, load testing, reliability testing, etc.

        Given the complexity of this project, I recommend that you take professional help from a reputed software development company. Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you engage one.

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Aran Davies

Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer
I love all things blockchain and related to app development. What time I have when I am not busy writing for the DevTeam.Space blog of over 350 articles, I spend sitting around wondering what the future will look like 50 years from now.
Aran Davies