Using QR Codes For Inventory Management FAQ

QR codes and mobile devices help you automate inventory management process, become productive and efficient. You can track inventory in real time with less effort and at a low cost.

There are many benefits in using QR codes for inventory management. You can use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for the real time inventory tracking. Field workers can access stock level and asset info with one QR code scan. Mobile devices send real time inventory updates to the backend cloud software. You have a central data access point for all software users, in the field and in the office.
All in all QR codes provide a very cost effective and easy to use inventory management solution.

Pros & Cons Of Using QR Codes For Inventory Management

QR codes provide significant benefits for inventory management as compared to the manual process. Please keep in mind though that more advanced inventory management options exist. NFC tags allow for faster inventory processing. BLE asset tracking system provides even better inventory tracking automation with bulk scanning. Finally, an IoT asset tracking systems are fully automated. Company employees do not need to do anything extra for keeping track of inventory. Bluetooth IoT gateways do all the job of detecting assets and inventory, filtering out data and sending them to the back end cloud software.

    QR Codes For Inventory Management: Pros
  • Inventory management automation at a low cost.
  • Ability to use mobile devices for inventory tracking.
  • Real time updates.
  • Live information is available to all authorized software users.
  • Easy to learn and use system.

    QR Codes For Inventory Management: Cons
  • QR codes require employees to scan inventory for tracking.
  • Missed scans lead to inaccurate stock levels.
  • More advanced (yet more expensive) inventory management options exist, such as NFC, Bluetooth and IoT asset tracking. These options provide a higher degree of inventory management automation than QR codes.

A QR Inventory software allows you to select inventory management options that are best for you. You can use QR codes, barcodes, NFC or BLE tags to label inventory. You can use mobile devices or IoT gateways for keeping track of assets and inventory in real time. Regardless of the option you choose, all updates are sent to the cloud software in real time. You have an organized digital documentation, and live data access for all software users.

How To Use QR codes For Inventory Management In The QR Inventory Software

Generating QR codes for inventory management
How do we keep track of inventory with QR codes?
Using QR codes for inventory stock look up
Further automation of inventory management process

How To Create QR Codes For Inventory Management

You can create, lay out and print QR code labels by going to the Print QR Codes menu item on the QR Inventory software dashboard. From there you can select the desired QR codes printing option. You can:

  • Create and print one QR code at a time. To do this, click generate QR code link next to the item.
  • Create and download QR codes in bulk. To do this, click bulk download and layout link above inventory list.
  • If you want to print QR codes using a label printer that prints on the rolls, select zip archive download option. Unzip archive in a directory on your computer. Print QR code labels offline on a label printer.
  • If you want to use sheet labels and a regular office printer, select laid out labels download option. You will be able to enter your sheet labels dimensions, and download ready-to-print pdf file with laid out QR code labels.

Questions related to creating and printing QR codes for inventory management

Can QR codes store all the necessary information about an inventory item?
A QR code can store up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters, which is quite a lot. However, a QR Inventory software uses dynamic QR codes. It means that you always have an access to the latest information without a need to re-print a QR code label. To achieve this, only an item unique ID number is encoded in the QR code. The rest of the data is dynamically fetched from a cloud database each time a QR code is scanned.

Some of our items already have barcodes. Can we use these barcodes for inventory management?
You can use existing barcodes or QR codes in QR Inventory software. A barcode should have a unique line item ID (often called SKU, line item number or part number) encoded in it. You should also make sure that the barcode type that you have is scannable with a smartphone camera. Many barcode types are scannable by the smartphones, but not all. Or you can use a barcode scanner to scan these barcodes.

Can we create QR codes within the QR Inventory system?
Yes, you can create, lay out and print QR code labels using a QR Inventory software web dashboard. No additional tools are required. You can print QR code labels on your own, or we can provide pre-printed labels.

Do I need to purchase a special label printer for printing QR code labels?
You do not have to purchase a special printer. You can use any label printer and the roll labels. Or you can use a regular office printer and the sheet labels.


How Do We Keep Track Of Inventory With QR Codes

In order to keep track of inventory you need a mobile device, such as smartphone or tablet. When the new inventory items arrive in the warehouse, scan the QR code and enter item info in the mobile app. This step will ensure that the inventory management software knows about the new items and their details.
When inventory is issued, moved within the facility, delivered to the job site, used for the project or sold, scan a QR code to update inventory stock and status in the inventory management system.
All authorized software users have access to the central database and can review live inventory status anywhere. They can use mobile devices or office computers.
In addition to the continuous inventory tracking you can regularly perform audits to verify the accuracy of your records. QR code scanning help you do physical counts in hours rather than days or weeks. Periodic inventory audits will help you find any mismatch between real inventory count and inventory count on the books, and take corrective actions.

Questions related to using QR codes for inventory management and tracking

Is inventory tracking with QR codes real time?
Yes, all information that you see in the QR Inventory management system reports is real time. Data recorded on the different smartphones by company employees is sent to the central database on the remote cloud server. There is no delay in inventory status update. All authorized software users have access to live inventory data, on the mobile devices in the field and computers in the office.

Can we record more info when moving inventory?
Yes, and you can also specify what data you want to be recorded. After scanning a QR code you will be able to enter this information in the mobile app. In addition to the text-based data you can add images taken with a smartphone camera. You can also asl a client or a manager to sign for the inventory. This signature will be saved as part of the inventory transaction.
You will be able to view all data in the QR Inventory software reports.

What equipment should we use for QR codes scanning?
Company employees can use their own mobile phones or tablets for scanning. A QR Inventory mobile application is available for smartphones and tablets running Android or iOS. If you prefer you can also use a hand-held barcode scanner. If you want to use a barcode scanner in the field, purchase a bluetooth barcode scanner that you can connect to the mobile phone. If you want to use barcode scanning in the office you can purchase any type of scanner that can connect to your computer.
You can also use company issued android smartphones, or mobile computers running Android OS.

Can we use a mobile application to scan QR codes in the poorly lit areas of the warehouse?
Yes, you can configure a mobile app to turn on the flashlight during the scan.

If we want to use barcode scanners for inventory management, which ones can we use?
You will need a barcode scanner which is capable of scanning 2D barcodes. A QR Inventory mobile app for iPhone or iPad is natively integrated with the Socket Mobile line of bluetooth barcode scanners. An Android mobile application will work with any bluetooth barcode scanner.
If you prefer to process inventory transactions on the office computer you can use any barcode scanner that can be put in the HID mode. A barcode scanner can be connected to a computer either via USB or a bluetooth.


Using QR codes For Inventory Stock Look Up

Using QR codes for inventory stock look-up can help you be more productive, avoid delays and over ordering. A field employee who needs a specific part can instantly access its location and stock level. He can use a QR code scan or item search in the mobile app. Instead of ordering and waiting he can get a needed part from the closest location.

Questions on using QR Codes for inventory stock look up

Do I have to scan a QR code to access inventory stock level?
If an item is in front of you, the easiest way to look up its' information and stock levels is by scanning a QR code.
If the item is not in front of you, you can enter part number instead of scanning it.
And if you do not know a part number, you can use keyword search to find a required part.
Regardless of what method you use, you will be able to see available stock of this part in all locations. If your inventory have different properties, for example expiration date, you will see a detailed breakdown of how many items with different expiration dates are available in each location. This way you can pick items with the closest expiration date to avoid spoilage and waste.


Beyond QR Codes: Further Automation Of Inventory Management

QR codes provide an easy, efficient and cost-effective way to manage inventory in real time. QR code inventory management system does not require any extra hardware purchases. Company employees can use their own smartphones or tablets. This option not only saves you money but also makes it easy for them to use the inventory system.
However, there are ways to further improve and automate inventory management process. A QR Inventory software allows you to select the desired degree of automation that fits your needs and budget. The available options, from lower to higher degree of automation and the inventory management system cost, are:

  • NFC inventory management. You can use a QR Inventory software with NFC tags. You can scan NFC tags faster than QR codes or barcodes. With NFC you just need to touch an item with a smartphone to scan it. There is no need to focus a smartphone camera for each scan.
  • Bluetooth low energy (BLE) asset tracking. If your assets and inventory are labeled with BLE tags you can bulk scan everything you need to move with one click in the mobile app. BLE tags will greatly increase your productivity. You can consider using BLE tags instead of QR codes if you need to move large volumes of assets and inventory daily.
  • IoT asset tracking. If you do not want to rely on company employees for inventory management tasks, you can use BLE tags and Bluetooth IoT gateway. This IoT asset tracking system will detect and send asset data to a backend cloud software at the regular time intervals on its own. No human participation or any kind of scanning with the smartphones is needed.

QR Inventory and QR Mobile Data are brand names of inventory management and mobile forms software by AHG -- a provider of mobile and cloud-based applications for business. Our unified mobile platform improves business operations efficiency by eliminating manual tasks and physical paperwork, while providing a secure cloud storage for the business records, real time access to business data for all stakeholders, comprehensive data reporting and analytics. Headquartered in beautiful Boise, Idaho, AHG software is used to manage hundreds of millions of dollars annually in inventory and assets.

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Mobile Inventory Tracking With QR Inventory