Importance of Warehouse Workers During Holiday Season

Warehouse workers together for a group picture

Over the past decade we have witnessed an utter revolution in how the retail sector operates. And warehouse workers – once a small part of the process, an almost anonymous waypoint – are now perhaps the focal point of our entire commercial economy.

With that understanding, it is perhaps more important than ever to ensure optimal conditions for warehouse workers, especially during the all-important holiday season – when supply-chain solutions can make or break retail pursuits.

Doubt it?


Understand that the trend of consumers purchasing goods straight from online sources, already accelerating in the late half of the 2010s, has positively exploded over the past year – gaining particular speed in 2020 thanks to pandemic conditions that encouraged many to shop from the relative safety of home.

The numbers alone are staggering…

According to recently published data at Business Insider, warehouse and storage jobs in the United States have doubled since 2010, reaching 1.27 million such posts in October 2020. There were just 629,000 such positions in 2010.

And while the holiday season always saw an increase in warehouse workers, this year’s growth proved positively volcanic, as Business Insider reported that transportation and warehousing industries added 108,200 jobs in October 2020 alone. Those additions represented a 198 percent growth over October 2019.

When you take into account that predictions of US online holiday sales will reach $189 billion – a 33 percent increase from 2019 – it is easy to see just how important warehouse workers have become to the financial wellbeing of our economy.

If warehouse workers are not able to do their jobs with precision, speed and safety, you can expect to absorb a significant hit during the holiday season, which could, in turn, prove fatal to your bottom line.

So, how do you ensure optimal standards for both your facility and warehouse employees?

In 2020, there are certainly more challenges than ever in successfully answering that question.

The good news is that there are some steps that you can take that still apply, no matter the situation, to streamline your operation and to keep your warehouse employees both efficient and satisfied in their work – factors that will most certainly lead to short- and long-term success.

Warehouse Worker Smiling and putting on a mask

Workplace safety is always a concern – even before the Covid-19 pandemic, warehouse workers were injured at a significantly higher rate than employees in other industries due to the nature of the job, including repetitive motions and interaction with heavy machinery, numbers that always rose during the increased demand of holiday season. And with your focus placed on avoiding physical setbacks, a factor only made more difficult by the precautions enforced on all of us by a global pandemic, it may be easy to overlook other factors which can make a huge difference in your operations. This includes some rather basic steps that should always be the bedrock of your set-up.

For instance, the equipment at use in the supply-chain industry also absorbs a lot of wear and tear. And if your scanners, printers and RF terminals are not ready for the increased workload that the holidays bring, your employees will be behind the proverbial curve from the get-go.

That could mean that older equipment needs replacing or repairing, or it could mean that you simply do not have enough equipment to handle the increased workload. Or you could also face an equipment breakdown in the midst of the holiday rush, leaving your employees stuck and unable to complete their jobs without significant stress.

These are situations that require instant solutions. And when you are under the gun of the holiday rush, your warehouse employees need to know that they can count on whatever replacements or repairs that are required.

If you find yourself in this situation, Bar Code Depot is ready to help – immediately. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff knows the supply-chain industry inside and out. And we have grown right alongside it, supplying whatever equipment needs our clients require and all with a commitment to customer service that is second to none.

Whether you require the purchase of new equipment or need to repair and/or refurbish the technology you already have on hand, Bar Code Depot is ready to lend a hand and ensure a smooth operation during your busiest weeks and months. All of our technical staff have worked for original equipment manufacturers such as Datalogic, Motorola and Honeywell/LXE, and thus they can provide manufacturer-level aid in-house at a fraction of the cost while also providing both speed and precision.

As important as the warehouse employee has become to the retail sector, they are employees that are also beholden to the equipment that they utilize. Bar Code Depot can help you ensure that they are always able to conduct their jobs efficiently and successfully.

Contact us today and rest easy that your operations will always be ready to run at 100 percent.

Contact Us Today


Repairing LXE Scanners

LXE scanners, such as those in the 8500, 8800, 8900 and 8560 series, are the beating heart of many a warehouse management system.

The reason for this is their solid yet simple construction based around intuitive design and ergonomics. In other words, everything about LXE scanners feels right, and it is so simple to use that it almost becomes an extension of the operator’s hand.

If you are one of the many inventory managers that rely on LXE scanners, you know exactly what we are referring to. Now, imagine that, one day, you turn to that work horse and it does not respond…It’s a scary thought, right?

Well, despite the fact LXE produces some of the most reliable scanners available on the market, there is always that chance. And if and when that does happen, you are going to want to know who you can rely on to fix it. The good news is that repairing LXE scanners does not always require professional assistance. In fact, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to ensure the problem is not a minor one that you may correct yourself. That said, there are still times when you will need heavy-duty professional assistance, and when that occurs, it is good to know who to trust.

More on that later…For now, let’s look at some steps that you may take should your LXE scanner falter.



Just because your LXE scanner can survive the odd drop or shock without damage, does not mean that you can treat it carelessly and expect continued service. In fact, it behooves any LXE owner to treat their scanner with respect. That includes tending to its overall condition, including cleanliness – especially the condition of the scanner window.

Keep it clean

  • A dirty scanner window will lead to poor performance. In order to avoid this, simply clean the window with a soft cloth or lens tissue dampened with water (or a mild detergent and water solution). NOTE: If you do employ a detergent solution, make sure to then rinse the window with a clean lens tissue dampened with water only.
  • The same rules apply to the scanner housing and its base.
  • After cleaning, make sure to allow at least 10 to 30 minutes for any washed items to air dry before applying power.

Keep an eye on connections/cables

  • A badly worn cable (such as the power cable that supplies power to the base) or damaged connector may interfere with scanner operation. If either is damaged it must be replaced.
  • If you must replace an interface cable, please follow these steps when inserting the new cable in a corded scanner:
    • Turn the power to the host system “off.”
    • Disconnect the scanner’s cable from the terminal or computer.
    • Locate the small hole on the back of the scanner’s handle. This is the cable release.
    • Straighten one end of a standard paper clip.
    • Insert the end of the paper clip into the small hole and press in. This depresses the retention tab, releasing the connector. Pull the connector out while maintaining pressure on the paper clip, then remove the paper clip.

To replace an interface cable in a cordless scanner base, please follow these steps:

    • Turn the power to the host system “off.”
    • Disconnect the scanner’s cable from the terminal or computer.
    • Turn the base upside down and locate the pinhole for the cable release and insert a straightened standard paper clip.
    • Pull the connector out while maintaining pressure on the connector release clip.
    • Replace the new cable
    • Insert the connector into the opening and press firmly. The connector is keyed to fit in just one way and will click into place.

Sometimes, simple maintenance is not enough, however. If these solutions do not solve your problem, take the next step up to more intensive troubleshooting.

Repairing Symbols


  • Repairing LXE scanners may be as simple as repairing the material which it is designed to scan. In other words, the problem may not be the scanner itself, but the bar code that you are scanning or the manner in which you are scanning it.


With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these potential problems.

  • Problem: Selected bar codes will not scan
    • Potential solution: Barcodes on the printed page are too compact to be scanned – especially with a long-range scanner.
    • How-to: There is a difference between laser printer types and how they handle some Adobe Acrobat print functions – specifically, the “shrink to fit” option on the Print Options screen. Therefore, before clicking “print,” make sure the “shrink oversized pages to paper size” checkbox is unchecked. If the barcode is still too small to be read by the scanner engine, run the printed page through the laser printer again using the laser printer’s “zoom” feature until the barcode is large enough to scan satisfactorily.


  • Problem: Scanner beeps following a successful decode
    • Potential solution: Audible scan progress indicators are generated by the scanner driver on LXE mobile devices not the tethered decoder engine.
    • How-to: Use the Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device audible indicators.


  • Problem: Beeper tone/beeper volume
    • Potential solution: Audible scan progress indicators are generated by the scanner driver on LXE mobile devices, not the ring decoder engine.
    • How-to: Use the Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device audible indicators.


  • Problem: Event Reporting
    • Possible solution: LXE mobile devices with linked scanners aren’t designed to process events triggered by the linked scan engine. Events are processed by the operating system resident on the mobile device.
    • How-to: Use Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device event reporting parameters.


  • Problem: Scan not registering
    • Potential solution: The range of a scanner is dependent upon many outside influences including size of the barcode, quality of the barcode printing, material the barcode is printed on and angle of the beam aperture relative to the barcode label.
    • How-to: Any of these factors may result in having to re-scan the label from a different distance or angle. Try altering the angle of your scan or re-printing the bar code.


  • Problem: Barcode Quality
    • Potential solution: Check the barcode for marks or physical damage such as ripped label, missing section, correct size for the scanner being used, etc.
    • How-to: Generally, the bigger the barcode the further the distance from which it can be read. If the barcode is smaller than the specified size for the scanner being used, the distance, in almost all cases, will shrink. Hold the scanner closer to small barcodes (or with in barcodes in which the bars are grouped tightly together). Do not position the scanner exactly perpendicular to the barcode being scanned. In this position, light can bounce back into the scan aperture, and possibly prevent a successful decode.


  • Problem: Barcode symbology
    • Potential solution: Barcodes such as UPC codes and Code 128 are more complex than Code 39 and Interleaved 2 of 5.
    • How-to: When attempting to get the maximum read distance possible, particularly with reflective labels, use Code 39. The use of Code 128 or other more complex symbologies will almost always result in a reduction in maximum read distance. LXE will not support scanner maximum distances (from Decode Zones) when symbologies other than Code 39 are used.


  • Problem: Ambient lighting
    • Potential solution: High ambient conditions, particularly outdoor environments, will produce enough light to somewhat “blind” the scanner. This will result in shorter read distances.
    • How-to: Ensure that you arescanning in dimmer conditions.

LXE Scanner being used in the warehouse

  • Problem: Temperature
    • Potential solution: While small deviations from room temperature will have no impact on scanner performance, severe conditions like those found in freezers will have a negative impact on both the distance scanners can read and the speed the read is acquired.
    • How-to: Some scanner engines contain protection circuitry that shuts the scanner down in temperatures that exceed the recommended operating temperature. Check your manual to determine these ranges.
  • Problem: Software updates
    • Possible solution: If a firmware update is interrupted due to a loss of power or by removing the cable before the update is complete, the original firmware will be destroyed, and the scanner will not be able to run in normal operation mode.
    • How-to: If this event occurs, the utility on the PC indicates that the firmware upgrade was not successful. This condition can be recovered by repeating the firmware update procedure.


There are times – especially in the case of physical damage – when troubleshooting just will not solve your scanner problems.

If you find yourself in this situation, then it might be much more financially sound to have your scanner repaired or serviced rather than simply buy a new one.

In that case, Bar Code Depot is here to help.

Because of our extensive knowledge of the industry, we know that every minute spent dealing with damaged equipment sets off a chain reaction that adversely effects everything else. Therefore, we are here to provide all of your barcode equipment repair needs – including for all LXE scanners.

We conduct all of our repairs with an eye for speed and cost. In fact, everything we do is designed to provide the biggest benefit to your bottom line. Using an original equipment manufacturer for repairs can mean big costs for you. But all of Bar Code Depot’s technical staff has worked for major OEMs (including LXE). That means we can offer the same level of expertise – without the costs associated with OEMs.

We do 90 percent of our repairs – including 100 percent of barcode scanner repair – in-house. This helps to keep costs down – a factor that we pass on to our clients.

Bar Code Depot provides free estimates on all repair jobs, so that you can decide whether it is better to repair or replace the scanner.

No matter your problem with any LXE scanner we can solve it. Contact us for a quote today!


Contact Us Today