Warehouse Control Application

The Challenge

Build an Android application to increase the efficiency of warehouse operations.

The Context

Client's business is the medicine wholesale. Recent legislation amendments requested the new product tracking system to perform extra validation for boxes and pallets scanned in a warehouse.
Honeywell Scanpal EDA50K Andorid portable data terminals were selected for the application development. Client's team provided the backend including the local warehouse server and the global medicine information proxying server.

Project Summary

We have created the application to scan barcodes in all possible warehouse scenarios: acceptance, making up cargo, dispatch, rejection etc. Scanning is allowed on various Android devices meeting the minimum requirements and via Zebra SDK. Access privileges were implemented based on the staff schedule.

Technology Stack

Android Kotlin Java Zebra SDK REST API

Key Features

Barcode Scanning
Having no doubt, barcode scanning is the main application feature, it is critical to 90% of business use cases. Scanning is performed either with the main device camera or with the built-in Zebra scanner. It was a great idea to start using camera because for some reason Zebra scanner failed in complicated cases.
Label Printing
A unique label is required for every new box or pallet assembled. We have used Android SDK for Zebra printers to make printing on-the-job. Also, this feature is useful to print a new label instead of a lost one.
Eugene Komarov, Lead Android Developer:
Due to the system architecture it was hard to perform manual SDK interaction testing, and we have created a big set of automated tests. This approach allowed us to test the most of the application without visiting the warehouse and using portable data terminals.
Predefined Warehousing Jobs
The application main screen is a list of predefined jobs including products accepting, grouping, internal transporting etc. One can select a list item either to create a new label and to map it to certain products or to validate the label and to add the existing data to the database.
Built-In Data Book
Every product stored in a database can be accessed easily via the application just for reference. The information fits the screen size and is easy to comprehend.
Roll Back Functionality
Some operations were to be performed only by the shift-heads using desktop computers. We have added this functionality to the application at a late stage of the development.
Parallel Operation and Unfinished Work Continuation
In order to save time multiple operators can work with the same product item: it can be assembling the box, depalletizing etc. A new scanner can join any open operation by scanning the QR-code of the scanner that was the first to start.
We use the same approach to continue the unfinished work. The application retrieves the list of open operations from the backend allowing users to select one and to join it.
Artem Mezdrin, Lead QA Engineer:
The QA team performed the full range of testing activities, including the creation of test cases for different scenarios. We have also tested the multilanguage: the application supports Russian and English and can be used by the foreign partners. We were ending every sprint with the release notes informing about new features, functionality changes and bug fixes.

It was Effective to lead the whole QA process. Another challenge was to distribute the testing tasks between the client's remote team members while the team was constantly suffering from the staff turnover. I am proud to say that we were able to cope with this situation!

The Outcome

The new application made it possible to speed up the warehouse maintenance and to reduce the number of incorrect operations and product losses. What's even more important, the new application comply with the legal requirements modified recently.
Launch Year: 2019
5+ warehouses
are operated using the application
10,000+ barcodes
are being scanned daily
3 statutes of the law
are met with the launch of the application

Effective Team

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