How To Use QR Codes for Inventory Management
April 24, 2023
Inventory management is a crucial part of running any business that deals with physical products. Keeping track of items, their locations, serial numbers, and other details is key to efficient operations, purchasing, and fulfillment of customer orders. However, traditional inventory methods based on spreadsheets, paperwork, and manual data entry are time-consuming, prone to errors, and can slow down your business processes. The solution is QR code inventory management.
Learn all about it here.
QR Code Inventory Management With Nest Egg
QR inventory management apps such as Nest Egg provide a modern, digitized solution to inventory tracking that can save businesses time and money. Much if not all of the inventory data is stored in readable QR (or Quick Response) codes.
These are two-dimensional barcodes that can store a variety of information through small, scannable labels. Nest Egg allows you to generate and print your own QR code labels, then scan them with your mobile device’s camera to automatically log items into the Nest Egg QR code inventory management system.
Logging Items With Nest Egg
With Nest Egg, you can instantly log items by scanning their QR codes. This includes details like:
Serial or Part Numbers
Scan a QR code to log its unique ID into your inventory. This ensures the accurate tracking of items and assets regardless of where they are.
QR codes can contain web addresses that instantly open a page with information about an item. This could be a product page on your website, an instruction manual, a safety data sheet, or anything else relevant to your products.
For business assets like tools, gadgets, or machinery, a QR code can contain the service contact information for that item. Your team can then quickly contact the appropriate vendor or repair technician by scanning the code.
The QR codes you generate and print with Nest Egg can contain any alphanumeric sequence that you want to associate with your inventory. This could be lot numbers, warranty details, age, reorder thresholds, and more.
Whatever data the QR codes on your products contain, scanning them with the Nest Egg QR code inventory management system automatically populates predetermined fields with information and logs the physical item into your digital inventory. This eliminates the need for manual data entry while ensuring the details of each item are precise and up to date.
Streamlined Stocktaking With QR Labels
Routine stocktaking or “inventory counts” are necessary to ensure your records match the actual items in your warehouses, retail spaces, or anywhere else your products are stored or used. However, counting each item manually to reconcile your counts against your records is incredibly time-consuming without technology.
With Nest Egg and printed QR code labels, regular stocktaking becomes fast and simple. Staff only need to walk through storage spaces while scanning the QR code on each item with their mobile device.
Meanwhile, Nest Egg will automatically log and count each item, then compare the count against your records to highlight any discrepancies. This digitized process reduces the time spent counting and removing inaccuracies, so your inventory data is always precise.
Seamless Chain of Custody and Asset Tracking
For valuable assets, equipment, and tools, maintaining a chain of custody record is important for operational efficiency and security. However, when items change hands or locations frequently, it can be difficult to keep records up-to-date with each transfer.
Nest Egg’s QR code labels and mobile scanning solve this problem. Whenever an item changes custody or is transported, the current handler can simply scan its QR code to log pertinent details in the app.
The QR code inventory management automatically updates the location and chain of custody for that item, creating an accurate real-time record of each high-value asset under your management.
Streamlined Purchasing and Order Fulfillment
When acquiring new stock or fulfilling customer orders, checking items manually against records is slow and subject to errors which can impact your operational efficiency. Nest Egg’s QR code inventory management eliminates this bottleneck.
When a purchased item arrives at your location, scan the QR code on each new item as it arrives to instantly log it into your inventory, automatically match it to the appropriate purchase order, and update your stock levels. This lessens the time between receiving the item and tagging them as available for using or selling.
For order fulfillment, staff can likewise pick items by scanning QR codes to ensure they grab the correct products and quantities before packing and shipping. Nest Egg will update inventory in real-time as each item is picked, maintaining precise records without requiring staff to manually enter pickup details for each product.
QR Code Labels
With each new iteration and upgrade, Nest Egg software becomes even more useful and relevant.
By empowering our users to create their own coded, readable tags, we are able to offer a full end-to-end inventory management system that starts from QR code generation to QR code scanning.
Combined with how easy it is to store and update data, Nest Egg technology is your all-in-one QR-based inventory management solution.
How To Set Up and Use a QR Code System
Setting up a QR code inventory management system may take some time and effort to set up and learn but once you have everything ready and have a feel for how the platform works, you’ll realize that it’s well worth it.
Here’s what you need to do to set up and use your new system:
- Assign a unique QR code to each inventory item. You can generate free QR codes from various websites or with the QR management app you use.
- Print the QR codes on inventory labels and place them on each item. This associates the physical product with its code.
- Store the QR code and key details about each item in your inventory management software. This will usually include the product name, stock-keeping unit (SKU), supplier information, cost, retail price, quantity on hand, etc.
- To use the QR codes, just scan them with your phone’s camera. This saves you a lot of time compared to manually searching your records.
Best Practices When Using QR Codes for Inventory Management
- Set inventory alerts in the app so you are notified when quantities reach reorder points. This ensures you never run out of important products.
- Track the sales of each item to determine how fast they move. Focus on reordering top-selling products frequently. Let sales of slow-moving items dwindle over time.
- Upon receiving new inventory, scan the QR codes on packing slips or bills to automatically update your inventory. This streamlines the receiving process.
- Perform regular inventory audits by scanning all QR codes to physically count quantities and keep your records accurate. Reconcile any discrepancies immediately.
What Are the Benefits of QR Asset Tracking?
Here are the main advantages of tracking assets with QR code inventory management:
Optimizing Space and Reducing Waste
By providing digital links to details about products, QR codes make it simpler to designate optimal shelf spaces and placement strategies. They can also flag fast-moving or slow-moving items to prevent shortages and excess stockpiling.
QR codes also eliminate the need for manual labeling on storage containers, pallets, and shelves, creating a neater storage environment and reducing material waste.
Improving Visibility and Control
QR codes give instant access to granular information about individual product components, batches, serial numbers, warranty details, and other attributes that are important for proper inventory management and accountability. They provide visibility into exactly what is stored where and make it easy to trace inventory if any issues are discovered. With so much information digitally tied to the product, managers have greater control and oversight over their stock.
Preventing Back Ordering With QR Code Inventory Management
Another key benefit is the ability to avoid back orders. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to use a QR inventory management system to do this:
Set Inventory Quantity Limits
Determine how many of each item you want to have on hand and set maximum limits in the app. This ensures you don’t overstock items that could end up back-ordered if sales drop. The app makes it easy to set limits and get alerts when quantities reach them.
Track Your Sales Rates
Pay attention to how quickly you’re selling each inventory item. Reduce or eliminate items that are selling very slowly to prevent excess stock buildup. Items that sell faster need to be reordered more frequently.
Set Inventory Alerts
Like budget limits, get alerts from the app when inventory reaches certain thresholds, for example, 50%, 75%, or 95%. These warn you that the item may be at risk of becoming back ordered if sales suddenly increase. You can then place an immediate re-order.
Track Inbound Shipments
Carefully track all incoming shipments to make sure all ordered items were properly received. This is important because if the receipt of goods hasn’t been confirmed, they may accidentally be listed as in stock when they’re actually on back order with your supplier. Regularly reconcile the inventory in the app with your physical inventory.
Consider Minimum Order Quantities
If you’re ordering from suppliers with minimum order requirements, be sure not to order so many items that they exceed your inventory limits. While you want to take advantage of volume discounts, you also want to avoid excessive ordering due to minimums that are too high. Find the right balance.
Price Items Appropriately
Pricing inventory too aggressively can lead to too much volume and the risk of back ordering as customers may stock up when deep discounts are available. Consider demand, sales rates, limits, and back order risks when determining pricing for each item. Leave margin for error.
Make a Replenishment Plan
If back orders occur, have a solid plan in place to replenish inventory quickly before customers lose interest and go to competitors. The faster you can get items back in stock, the less damage will be done. An emergency replenishment plan will help prevent future back order crises.
Combining QR code technology with an inventory management app like Nest Egg allows you to thrive with streamlined purchasing, stocktaking, asset tracking, and order fulfillment.
By digitizing mundane manual processes, a QR code inventory management system can help you save substantial costs through higher staff productivity and efficiency. In addition, maintaining precise inventory records in real-time allows tighter quality control and supports data-driven decision-making for stock management and business planning.
QR inventory management is one of the keys to scaling your operations while optimizing profits in today’s fast-paced business environment.
With scannable and customized QR code label printing, Nest Egg makes setting up and managing a full QR inventory solution simple and accessible for any organization.
What is a QR inventory system?
A QR code inventory management system uses QR codes to quickly and accurately link inventory items to their records. Each product is assigned a unique ID and QR code, allowing fast scanning to update counts, transfer stock, monitor metrics, and enhance tracking. At the same time, you can reduce errors while improving security, visibility, and control.
Can inventory management QR codes be edited on software?
White it’s possible to edit QR codes, it’s best to avoid editing existing inventory management QR codes whenever possible. Regenerate new QR codes for any items requiring an ID or category change.
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