The market for inventory management software is expected to grow with a CAGR of more than eight percent by 2020 and with barcode technology at the core of any such solution, the potential applications are many. We came across six good ideas for using inventory tracking or barcode technology.
Tablets as Scanners
For enterprise-grade inventory and barcode use, increasingly our mobile devices are used. It makes sense that using the camera of a tablet or mobile phone for enterprise-grade barcode scanning was destined to happen. The benefits remain the same. When you correctly use inventory and barcode software, you’ll save time and money, reduce errors and improve customer service.
Home Inventory Apps
Inventory and barcode software doesn’t just have to be for the enterprise. There are good home uses too and we came across one example for tracking your household items. There are iOS and Android apps to inventory items you have at home, room by room. While it might sound like overkill for many, this idea has some convincing uses. The obvious use is to catalog the items you own in case you ever need to file an insurance claim for them. But, using barcodes and inventory apps to create a library of the clothes you own can help save you from duplicating purchases too. Never buy that shirt you already own again.
Track Things That Matter Dearly
So, now that you know you can use such software to track material things, you can also use them to connect with loved ones. As noted in MakeUseOf, you can use QR codes to leave messages for the kids rather than old-fashioned notepads or voicemails. This can be used as a supplementary way to communicate with family members. And, many of us have furry little friends too. QR codes on dog tags can indeed be a good way to make sure a lost dog, cat or other pet finds its way home. With many of us having a smartphone, and thus a QR code scanner, right in our pockets connecting with someone that’s found your pet can be instant.
Barcodes in Games
The video gaming industry is worth billions and people spend a lot of time playing video games. With a video game machine now in most homes and most pockets, the use of barcodes in video games is one way many brands reach potential consumers. With such a captive audience, it makes sense. Companies have been placing barcodes in video games for a long time. Some have even made barcodes the core of the game.
Use Them in Education
Barcodes in education are also widely popular. AFESC lists a variety of ideas. Our three favorites include using a QR code within Word documents so students can check their own answers. You can make QR codes link to additional information on a topic such as a QR code on a map of Europe linking to a video on the history of the continent. Speaking of maps, another worthy idea was to have QR codes on various parts of a skeleton model so when scanned students would be linked to content about that particular part. Be sure to check out the dozens of other ideas. Edutopia also points out how QR codes can be used to better engage students to vote on particular topics. Educator Kathy Schrock recorded her students discussing certain parts of the classroom and linked them to QR codes. So, when parent orientation came about, they could scan the barcode and listen to a student tell them about that part of the classroom, not unlike an audio-guided museum tour. Barcodes might also be ideally used to track classroom inventory, such as books and computing devices.
Instead of for Sales, Use Them for Marketing
We all know barcodes are widely used in retail to complete a sales transaction but, they’re also well used in marketing too. Many popular methods include using them on business cards to link to a landing page, thus being able to track performance of passing out business cards. Many shop owners also use QR codes on their storefronts, such as to provide essential details like contact information or discounts.
Mashable points out how QR codes can be used to stream customers’ information that is subject to constantly change. They also pointed out how JCPenney used QR codes on wrapped gift boxes to link to an audio card from the gift-giver rather than a traditional card. A barcodes design could also be a driving force behind the marketing, as deMilked points out. By designing a barcode that can become part of the marketing rather than just the transaction, you can turn what might otherwise be a boring part of packing into a consumer-attractive point of reference.
Barcode and inventory software have long been helpful to companies and their clever use has found ways for them to move from the boardroom, to the classroom and now to the living room too.