All Categories

5 Uses of QR Code in Supply Chain Management

5 Uses of QR Code in Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain is the force behind timely delivery of everything from raw materials to finished goods. A robust supply chain is what drives economies. A significant part of spending by many businesses goes to supply chain and material handling and rightly so.  

The supply chain landscape is witnessing an unprecedented change in recent years due to change in customer demands, customer behavior, technological advents and the need to introduce automation in supply chain management.

Many businesses in supply chain and logistics are employing various automation tools such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and various AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) technologies like RFID, QR codes, BLE etc., to create a digital-mechanical infrastructure that is agile, capable and efficient. 

Use of QR codes is one such change that we are witnessing in supply chain management and that is due to various reasons inherent to QR code itself. 

What is a QR code?

A QR code, short for Quick Response Code, is 2D matrix barcode image that is capable of storing data vertically as well as horizontally. It can accommodate about 10 times more data than a traditional UPC barcode with vertical lines.

QR code was first invented in 1994 at DENSO WAVE, Japan for labeling automotive parts with more data that a barcode can accommodate. It was used for enabling a smooth movement of assembly line at Denso Wave manufacturing plant.

At present, a QR code can be customized with texts, images, URL to website, phone numbers and even a Lincoln speech at Gettysburg.

QR code uses in supply chain management: 

QR code is quite different as an AIDC technology in comparison to RFID. Although RFID is now being used for inventory management and tracking and identification of stocks by many big retail companies like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, H&M, Zara etc,  QR code has some unique application in supply chain infrastructure as well.

Here are 5 key uses of QR codes in supply chain:

1. QR code for more visibility of stock:

Visibility has been a common pain point for many supply chain operations, be it inside the store, warehouse or transit. An untagged item is simply hard to locate in a large warehouse and employees spend a significant amount of time on this one thing. Not only businesses but customers also suffer from this. QR code can help in this regard. 

The easy to use QR code can be used to tag assets and provide a greater degree of visibility of tagged assets, no matter where it is placed. Businesses can keep a digital record of assets, their location and expiry dates (if applicable), can just reach and find out the said asset any time.

2. QR code for identification of stock

QR code tag can severely improve the identification of stocks and it is a better choice over RFID on several occasions. QR codes, by design, are very accommodating and can be read even when slightly damaged. It has no interference issues, unlike RFID, when used on metal containers. 

Identification of stock and relevant data on time can help businesses with preventing losses that may arise due to long term storage like in the case of food items such as dairy, meat, vegetables, breads etc.

3. QR code for inventory management 

Tagging assets with QR codes can also streamline the inventory management process. QR code simply connects the stocks to a digital platform yet it creates a streamlined inventory management by allowing employees to locate and identify stock in a timely manner. It can help with stock shortage and inventory control measures such as stock replenishment etc. 

4. QR code for tracking delivery

Delivery of an asset is the ultimate goal of a supply chain and logistics business. Customers and businesses alike, need timely delivery of their articles and use of QR code can help with that. Asset tagging with QR codes can help customers and businesses with tracking needs. USPS recently started using QR code on its postal service platform for accurate reading and timely delivery of posts.  

5. QR code for preventing counterfeiting and losses

QR code can also be used for preventing counterfeiting and help supply chain businesses with potential losses that arise due to counterfeited articles that are supplied to client businesses. It not only damages the reputation of a business but impacts customer loyalty as well.

Specific QR code tagging can help with identifying fake articles and prevent them from happening in future as well.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Mar 13, 2023

Get Free RFID System Consultation.

Scan the QR code
Click to chat here