Pros and cons of QR over barcodes to keep track of your equipment.

QR vs barcodes: what should you use for your AV equipment?

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If you work with equipment moving in and out of your warehouse, scanning can help you keep better track of your inventory. Scanning equipment with QR and barcodes reduces mistakes and enables you to keep a history for every item.

QR and barcodes can both carry similar information. But while bar codes save information only horizontally (1D), QR codes do it both horizontally and vertically (2D).

This important difference makes QR codes better for the live event industry in almost every aspect. Let’s see why.


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?

QR codes are clearly better than barcodes for many aspects, but 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.


QR codes and Rentman

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.


Scanning with your mobile device

With Rentman Mobile, you can use your smartphone’s camera to scan QR codes. Therefore, you can book equipment in & out of your warehouse without being tied to a computer, or report a damaged item directly on location.

Rentman is the all-in-one software solution for AV rental and event production companies. With Rentman you can better manage your warehouse, communicate with your crew, and generate quotes and invoices. Try it for free for 30 days!


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