Barcode Inventory check in/check out

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Please have pity on an absolute newbie. I have been tasked with creating an inventory control system for a community theatre’s extensive prop inventory. What I would like to do is create barcodes for each item, and then devise a simple way to check them in and out. I am confused by the airtable app barcode function - it appears to allow me to scan barcodes only when creating records. Can I use it to scan the actual item in the warehouse and pull up the existing record?

In a perfect world, our users would be able to go to the warehouse, pull out half a dozen items, scan them and have the inventory location move from it’s designated shelf to a “checked out to:______________” status.

Can I get there from here, or do I need to seek another solution?


Randy Storms
Newport Performing Arts Center
Newport, Oregon USA

9 Replies 9

I’ve never tried this but…

If you set the name field of your props table to include the barcode (or be a barcode) then you create a booking in/out table with a Link to the Props table you should be able to scan the barcode in the linked field in Bookings and it should find the Prop record for you.

You would then end up with a booking in record and a booking out record and could do some work with formulae / lookup and rollup fields to work out where each prop is (i.e. in store or booked out to some one).

I hope this gets you started!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I’ve asked AirTable for something similar as I spot a possibility to use AirTable in production management.
It would be sooo awesome if it was possible to avoid having to open a record to scan a barcode.

Actually the way that you would be using it for props tracking would work really well for us too (saving a lot of time).
Good thinking! :slightly_smiling_face:

@Johan & @Randy_Storms,

It is possible. If you have a barcode Field you can scan a barcode into that field when creating a record.

Later, you can search for records by barcode by tapping the search icon and then tapping the barcode icon in the search bar. On an iOS device, the scan search will search the barcode field directly. I’ve discovered, however, that on Android, it will only search the primary field (name field), so you have to pull the barcode into the name field with a formula (I’ve already made a request for improvement in that here)

Here’s what it looks like on iOS:

I am currently using this feature to track concrete test cylinders that my technicians make out in the field. They add the barcode labels to the cylinders in the field - then when the cylinders are brought into the testing laboratory, we can scan their barcode to pull up their records and fill in testing information.

Thanks @Jeremy_Oglesby for the tip :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: !
I was asking “myself” not so long ago, if something like this was possible with Airtable or if I needed, a third party app’, like Zapier (or other) to do something like this… Now I think I’ll finally be able to see if I can make this work for one base :winking_face: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hi Jeremy,

I loved your demo. It’s exactly the type of thing I am look for.

A basic question first – how did you create the barcode? Are you able to auto-generate the bar-code?

Ideally, I would like an auto-generated bar-code for each row on my sheet. The row is populated from a form that the user fills in when they sign up.

Thank you,

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

As far as I can see from my own experience is that you need to scan a barcode in with the mobile AirTable app to create the barcode visual. Adding barcode numbers will automatically not create a barcode visual in AirTable. In order to generate actual barcode numbers you need a separate software or use a web page to do this or Excel. I would strongly recommend stand alone software if you have hundreds!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

@Randy_Storms did you ever find a solution for this?

I see how to scan barcodes on object creation and find a record in a table view via barcode search. But i really need is the ability to link a record from another table using a barcode lookup.

I have an inventory model where theres a product description with a barcode, but a separate table for tracking the movement of a quantity of that product in and out of the warehouse. The fixed product table has a barcode and I want to create a Stock Control table that records the quantity of stock moved. When I create a new stock movement record i need to lookup the product by scanned barcode. However, I can’t see anyway to get a linked table field to lookup via barcode.

It works perfectly if you settle for looking up product by text search… but i can’t work out how to make the search field use barcode.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Tutorial for Building a QRCode API and Inventory Management System with Autocode and Airtable.

Part 1: We’ll learn how to build and publish a QRcode API service with Autocode

Part 2: We’ll use our QRCode API in an Airtable formula to automatically produce barcodes for each record (row) in Airtable.

Part 3: We’ll write a script to transform a bulk of image file URLs into image attachments in Airtable.

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

We’ve built 2 extensions that can be used to solve this problem:

  1. Barcode images generator in Airtable.
  1. Barcode scanner to lookup (and edit) existing records.