The Evolution and Uses of The Warehouse Scan Gun [Guide]


Jeremy Barth

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

As a business owner or warehouse manager, you want the distribution side of your business to run without a hitch. But unfortunately, with so many aspects of the warehouse that need to be monitored and tracked, particular item operations get pushed under the rug. 

With the advancement of scan technology, many previously unaddressed items are now being tracked and considered when planning how warehouses of all sizes will operate. 

RF scanner stands for “Radio Frequency Scanner.” Commonly known as the warehouse scan gun, “scanners,” or “barcode scanners.” It was first introduced in 1974 by Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, as a prototype system. The technology quickly caught on as it helped automate numerous aspects of the inventory process, making business faster and more profitable. 

Benefits of RF Scanners

Time Savings - Businesses can enjoy many benefits of using RF scanners. First is how much time they save compared to manually using paper pick sheets. Instead of writing everything down on paper, all that is required to input it into a WMS (Warehouse Management Software) is a quick scan that takes less than a second. When all these seconds of savings per pick are added up, it can account for hours saved. 

Businesses that could barely keep up with six employees picking all day can now comfortably do it with 1 when paired with the proper WMS.

Accurate Tracking - With the introduction of the RF scanner, many common inaccuracies in the warehousing world were significantly reduced. Misshipments were reduced, and now - when paired with a WMS - it can track employee efficiency and low inventory counts. 

Fast & Accurate Cycle Counts - It is common practice to perform cycle counts every year. Doing this process manually obviously resulted in many human errors. With the advent of the scan gun, less brain power is required; thus, the job progresses faster and is more accurate overall.

Each item location is scanned and verified by your WMS then each product is scanned at that location allowing the software to verify the number of items at that location. This simple process helps you always to keep track of what you have. 

Traditional RF Scanners

Since the RF scanner’s inception, many different models have been introduced over the decades. 

The first was a large box that allowed for items to be scanned when swiped over the sensor. This is what you see in your everyday supermarket today. This is perfect for this type of store, but it’s too bulky and unyielding for other operations, such as a warehouse. 


Another more common variation that is far more versatile is the handheld “Scan Gun.” Some have screens, and others do not. But the downside to this variation (At least for the warehouse industry) is that it uses up a hand. The Picker has to work one-handed; after hours of work, lugging around an industrial scanner can be tiresome. 

The finger scanner is far more efficient, easy to use, and lightweight. At WarheouseOS, we pair this with our proprietary inventory management software for easy-to-use guided picking routes. 

Slip your finger through the fabric strap, and The finger scanner is so lightweight you will hardly even notice it’s there, even after work hours. Not to mention it keeps your hands completely free. 


Since the invention of the RF scanner, it has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Yet, its benefits are taken for granted daily, and we often don’t stop to think of how it could be improved with slight changes. 

This technology comes in all shapes and sizes, the most compact being an easy-to-use finger scanner that easily pairs with WarehouseOS, a tablet-based cloud inventory management software revolutionizing the industry. 

Please reach out if you want a free product tour of WarehouseOS and our finger scanner.


Jeremy Barth

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