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How QR Codes Work for Inventory Management

William DawseyBy: William Dawsey

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Inventory management for retail and manufacturing has become increasingly complex. At one point, businesses tracked their inventory by manual entry. This type of process worked when there were fewer parts to count and fewer choices at the checkout counter. By the 1960s, manual entry was too time-consuming, leading Japanese businesses to adopt a bar code that workers could scan.

The UPC bar code is still in use today, but the amount of information it can hold is a limiting factor. In the 1990s, the Denso Wave Corporation developed QR codes to encode more information on a product label. This type of label helps organize complex production processes and improves consumer outreach.

What are QR codes?

UPC bar codes have a rectangular shape with a pattern of vertical lines. QR codes are a pattern of points in a square way. This shape allows scanners to read the code both vertically and horizontally, a simple change that speeds up inventory management and improves checkout times.

The pixelated pattern on the QR code increases its ability to store information. A single QR code can hold more than 4,000 characters. With this capacity, the code can include product information and links to images, videos, and dedicated websites. Employees and consumers can get important information about the part or product in front of them.

What are QR codes?

The Perks of Using QR Codes for Inventory Management

QR code inventory management has several benefits for businesses. By incorporating this technology, it will make inventory tracking faster and more accurate. Also, employees do not need special equipment to read QR codes. A smartphone camera linked to an app is all that they need.

Real-Time Inventory Management

When businesses work with up-to-date information, they can make informed decisions about the future. Managing inventory with QR codes let companies see their supplies in detail. This knowledge will help avoid production delays due to missing parts or a lack of materials.

Dynamic Information

QR codes allow a business to access and maintain detailed information about every piece of inventory. For equipment, the QR code can automatically connect to a website or database with information about maintenance and use. For production and sales, scanning the QR code will register an object's location. Employees can track products down the assembly line or shipments from the warehouse to a retail store.

Increased Speed and Accuracy

QR codes increase inventory speed by providing a simple accounting process. All an employee needs to do is scan the code, and it registers the item. One advantage of QR codes over UPC bar codes is that a scanner can read a QR code that is partially damaged. This ability eliminates mistakes during the manual entry of a damaged code. QR codes also exclude miscounts caused by multiple scans of the same item.

Simple Implementation

Most businesses already have much of the equipment they need to move to a QR code inventory system. The company can pair smartphones that are already on hand with a robust QR code inventory software solution.

The Perks of Using QR Codes for Inventory Management

The Benefits of QR Codes on Products

Part of the QR code software development process involves linking QR code scans to other platforms such as those used for POS transactions. Using QR codes on product packaging is changing the relationship between businesses and consumers. Since most consumers have smartphones, they can also take advantage of the information on the code.

Benefits for the Consumer

One of the most significant advantages of QR codes for consumers is their connectivity. When consumers scan a QR code on a label, it links them to helpful information. For example, in food items, the code can bring them to a website with expiration dates, ingredients, and nutrition information. Makers of perishable goods can send notifications when a product is about to expire. With other products, a QR code might lead consumers to a product manual or a video with assembly instructions.

Businesses can also connect QR code scans with loyalty programs and special offers. When consumers browse the code on their favorite snack, they might receive an offer for a discount, a chance at a prize, or some other benefit. In the future, businesses will connect their QR codes with augmented reality technology for an even more reliable consumer connection.

Benefits for the Business

The modern business world depends on data. QR codes open up new ways to collect consumer information. It used to be that businesses could only track their products to the point of sale. When consumers scan products, it gives information about when a product is in use and where. The company can gather data about the amount of time between the sale of the product and its use.

QR codes allow businesses to provide more in-depth information about their policies and practices. A company that engages in fair trade practices can use the QR code to link information about the sources of the materials for their products. This leads to greater transparency and increased consumer trust.

Businesses can leverage the promotional benefits offered to consumers to gain more information. A QR code scan might lead to a brief survey before it connects consumers to the final advantage.

QR codes also simplify unpleasant business processes. With real-time tracking, it is much easier to carry out product recalls without damaging the business's reputation. The company can also receive an alert when someone tries to resell a stolen product.

The Benefits of QR Codes on Products

Inventory Software Designed to Help

QR code software development is all about giving organizations the connectivity and information they need. Because these codes can hold so much information, there are many directions that a QR code software system might take.

QR Code Manufacturing Solutions

A custom software designed for a manufacturing company will use QR code technology to track raw materials and parts. They might also use QR code asset tracking to keep records of equipment maintenance. The services will include a dedicated scanning app and connections to cloud-based data storage.

QR Code Retail Solutions

Brick and mortar stores can use QR codes for inventory management. QR code software can give sales associates information about the location of an item in the store. The same software will connect to the POS system.

QR code inventory management software for online retailers will connect to mobile payment and shipping platforms. A well-designed software lets the seller follow the package from sale to shipping destination.

QR Code Marketing Solutions

A QR Code software solution focused on marketing will use this technology to draw data directly from consumers. This tool will help companies monitor the success of their marketing campaigns. The QR code is paired with a data analysis piece allowing for a broad understanding of marketing trends.

Inventory Software Designed to Help

An Experienced QR Code System Development Team

Chetu has helped thousands of clients with custom software solutions. Our QR Code inventory management solutions will benefit businesses in several sectors. We provide software solutions that focus on inventory tracking, asset management, POS transactions, and data marketing. Well-designed QR code software is a necessity as more businesses use this technology.

An Experienced QR Code System Development Team


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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