Barcode Scan Macro

So I work in a warehouse that has a process that I consider time consuming. I'm not the only one that thinks this but I am the only one that wants to do something about it. I would really appreciate the help.

Here is the process that we currently have:

  1. Pick tickets print with 2 separate barcodes. One barcode contains the billing address information and the other contains the shipping address. I believe that when you scan a barcode you get 7 digits and our system knows what those 7 digits are for what company. I'm still learning how our system works.
  2. Once we grab the paperwork from the printer, we have to write down the orders, so we have 2 seperate notebooks that are for UPS and Freight orders. We write down the company we are shipping to and the location.

Now it may not seem too bad but it gets really time consuming when we have back orders (which has been happening more often) or when we just have a busier day and have to write pages of pages from the different companies that we have back orders for.

What I'd like to do is use our barcode scanner to scan the barcode on our pick tickets and having an instance of word or something, so we don't have to write down everything. But to add an additional feature is if every time we scan a pick ticket and it ends up being a duplicate or an add on, that the program can notify that it's a duplicate.

Is any of this possible?
Am I asking for too much?

As a side note, I know little to nothing about KM. I've only recently discovered it. So I may need a very detailed walkthrough.

Thank you guys!

What software are you currently using?

Do you want something like a database or a spreadsheet to replace your existing paper notebook?

Have you talked to any other users in similar departments or companies to see what they do?

We are using Prophet 21.

A spreadsheet would work just fine.

I haven't talked to other companies. To be honest I’ve never thought about it. I’m new to this job title so I’m still learning. Can I just call and ask them that?

How many separate lists do you have? Are there new lists each day (or when are the lists going to be printed/erased)?

So you write on each of (two?) lists, the destination company & location? What about the barcode?

How will you go from the barcode you can to something useful in the list?

Keyboard Maestro could probably help, but you have to be a lot clearer about the process and where the information comes from and goes to, and how you can map from the barcode to anything you need for that.


We only have 2 lists. One for UPS and the other for freight shipments. Yes, there are new lists everyday.

We write down what is going UPS on one list which becomes the UPS list and then we write down what is going to be freight on what is going to be shipped freight. We don't write down the barcode. We don't even use the scanner for that. The scanner is typically used for scanning serial numbers that we put in excel and UPS uses their scanner instead of having to type each individual address in the WorldShip program we use for UPS.

I didn't understand your question "How will you go from the barcode you can to something useful in the list?

Where is there confusion about the process so I can explain better?

I am having trouble seeing what the process you would like to have is? And how the barcodes fit in to the process (since your topic title is “Barcode Scan Macro”, I'm presuming the barcodes are important).

You have two lists, so those lists could be stored anywhere (in two spread sheets, or Pages documents, or even in two Keyboard Maestro variables).

Currently you write down the “company we are shipping to and the location”. So for this to be automatable, Keyboard Maestro would have to have a way of getting that information, as well as the choice of which shipping company, to add to the appropriate list.

So what process are you aiming for? Currently you pick up two ticket printed tickets, then write information on one of two lists. How would Keyboard Maestro get the information to append to the list? Is there a reason the system that prints these tickets cannot also append the information to the appropriate list?

Basically the process I want to have is:

  1. Order prints
  2. We scan shipping address barcode
  3. KM writes down the company name & location on spreadsheet

I want to avoid having to write down every individual order on a physical notebook day in and out.

Yes. If I can have stored on the Desktop that would be nice. I can delete the file after every day. Unless it's possible to have it deleted and it creates a new one every day. If that's possible, if not thats okay.

Can you explain this a bit more:
"Keyboard Maestro would have to have a way of getting that information, as well as the choice of which shipping company, to add to the appropriate list."

I don't know why the system that prints these tickets can just append the information to the appropriate lists exactly but from what I can tell is, this is a small warehouse owned by a small family. They don't dive too deep into things like this, they just wing everything. Since I've come in, I've tried to make adjustments to make things much faster and easier as possible. If that answers anything.

Keyboard Maestro can do that easily.

Well, you want:

OK, fine, but where does the company name and location come from? How does that information get to Keyboard Maestro?

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I honestly don't know what exactly you mean by asking where KM gets the company name or location. Can't the information come from scanning a barcode on a physical piece of paper? Is that what you mean?

Or would I have to make like spreadsheet with all the companies and locations and their corresponding barcode 6 or 7 digit numbers? Is that what you mean?

That's pretty much what he means. 6 or 7 digit barcodes do not contain company information, they only point towards an item in a database or list that actually stores the address information. Ideally you would need access to that original data, but yes a spreadsheet copy of it would work.

So how do I make that database or spreadsheet so KM can read it?

That's probably going to be difficult. You could export to a csv or something like that but then it would get outdated pretty quickly and lead to incorrect data being used.

Do you know what kind of database the original software is using to store the addresses? Do you have permission to access a live copy of that database?

I wouldn't mind getting something started and I'd have to figure out how to keep updating it.

I don't know what they use as a database and I honestly doubt they would give me access to it.