QR codes vs barcodes: Which should you use for equipment?

QR codes vs barcodes: Which should you use for equipment?

What are the advantages of using QR codes vs barcodes?

If you work with equipment moving in and out of your warehouse, using a QR code or barcode scanner can help you keep better track of your inventory.

Scanning equipment with QR and barcodes reduces mistakes and allows you to keep a history for every item.

Barcodes and QR codes can both carry similar information. But while bar codes store information only horizontally with parallel lines (1D), QR codes can store it both vertically and horizontally (2D).

This is the reason why QR codes are better for most types of equipment, especially when it comes to equipment for events.

Here are more reasons why you should switch to using QR codes:


Advantages of QR codes over barcodes

  • QR codes can hold more information - While a barcode can represent up to 25 characters, a  QR code can go up to 2500. This means you can include much more information, like the URL of a product’s page on your webshop.
  • QR codes can be smaller - a QR code can be up to 10 times smaller than a bar code and still readable. So you can print smaller labels that carry more information.
  • QR codes are easier to read - to read a barcode you have to aim the scanner in line with the code, while a QR code can be read from any angle. When you have many items to scan, you won’t have to perfectly aim the scanner every time.
  • QR codes work even when damaged - QR codes have a high error correction margin. So even if around 30% of the code is unreadable (erased, damaged, dirty) the code still works.


Are QR codes always a better choice?

In inventory management, QR codes are clearly better than barcodes for many aspects. However, there is one kind of item for which barcodes are the best solution: cables.

It’s almost impossible to scan a QR code if the label is on a cable (or on any round and thin product). If you intend to track cables one by one, it’s better to use barcodes.

We also wrote an article on how to set up your QR codes & barcodes that you might be interested in.


Printing or ordering high-quality QR code labels?

When you start labeling your equipment you can either buy pre-printed labels or print them yourself. Both of these options have their pros and cons.

In our insider's guide to labeling your equipment, you can discover which option works best for your goals.

With years of experience in the live event industry, we know how useful QR codes can be for inventory tracking. This is why with Rentman you can generate and print your own QR codes.

You can also order pre-printed QR codes from us: printed on a special laminated paper, these stickers can resist sun, water, dirt, beer, and bruises.


Tracking and scanning equipment with your mobile device

With Rentman, you can use your smartphone’s camera to scan QR codes.

This allows you to book equipment in & out of your warehouse without being tied to a computer, or report a damaged item directly on location.

Start your free trial today!


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