Back in 1994 when Quick Response (QR) codes were first designed, they were intended for tracking inventory, specifically to track assembly line vehicles and scan auto components. The technology was initially feasible only for large organizations, but it didn’t take long for them to expand to a number of applications and help small businesses in diverse industries track their equipment. Today, QR codes have become universally accessible to businesses as they are easily scannable via smartphones and efficient to track in the cloud, using smartphone apps or web applications.
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QR codes in warehouses and storage facilities
If your charity organization receives and stocks a wide range of donated items from individuals or supplies from businesses meant for distribution to their intended recipients, you will appreciate the ease and cost-effectiveness of QR codes for warehouse logistics. It’s about ensuring that everyone who has a heart to make their contribution can actually make a difference through you. Being the bridge between donors and those who are in need, the responsibility of confirming receipt of items received and sent out is a big one. With QR code identification labels and a smartphone or two, the chances of confusion or errors that may arise when checking items in and out of your warehouse are low, and you can also spring to action quickly when an item is found to be missing.
How do QR codes automate warehouse logistics?
Like regular barcodes, QR codes are information matrices, the difference being that while a barcode contains data in one direction (horizontally), a QR code can hold data in horizontal and vertical directions. It can also be scanned in any direction, making it convenient to read quickly using a mobile phone. QR codes store a lot more information than barcodes, with URLs, text and geographic coordinates now commonly embedded and presented using them.
The problem with your existing logistics solutions
If you’re still using the old and antiquated method of recording information on clipboards and paper, you need to make the switch immediately. Even the smallest charitable and not-for-profit organizations have transitioned to computerized systems, and are saving time and minimizing error as a result. Empower your warehouse logistics and inventory management personnel with QR codes and cloud software to boost productivity and eliminate risk of loss or mismanagement of donated items, which can potentially affect your reputation.
Spreadsheets and barcodes (plus barcode scanners) are more efficient than purely paper-based solutions. But they are cumbersome. Spreadsheets are immune to human error while barcode scanners are expensive. There has to be a better inventory tracking software/solution that makes the task of checking in, managing and tracking items error-free and efficient.
QR codes tick all the right boxes
Save money you would have otherwise spent buying barcode scanners. All you need is a smartphone installed with a QR scanner (QR reader functionality is built into most smartphones and QR code scanner apps are available at all app stores). Particularly in a warehouse and storage environment, recording information and tracking items shipped out is a lot more convenient on a mobile device than a desktop or laptop computer. QR codes put a lot of relevant information at your disposal and allow it to be accessed or traced when items have not been received by recipients or transferred to a different location.
The business case for QR codes-driven warehouse logistics and inventory management is crystal clear. Question is – how soon will you make the switch?