Why QR Codes are Scan-tastic for Food Manufacturers and Distributors
Posted: May 23, 2012 by Mike Glue | 0 comments
When is a barcode not a barcode? When you can use more than a scanner gun and get more data, such as using a smartphone – then it is a QR code (Quick Response). And the good news for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users, such as our customers, is that there is an add-in that allows your system to create and use QR codes. A quick update to your implementation enables QR codes to be placed almost anywhere in the NAV environment – reports, forms, etc.
OK, maybe you’re thinking, aren’t QR codes just useful for consumers, or for sales people? Not so… We discussed QR codes within JustFoodERP at our user event 2012 last month in Vegas – where most of our customers and other guests “got it” as to QR codes’ usefulness. Features include the ability to:
Generate three types of QR codes directly from your JustFoodERP system:
URL of web page where any information can go .(See screen capture at end of this post.)
Map coordinates – particularly useful in food distribution: QR codes tagging run lists for drivers; scan QR code and go to map coordinates in their smart phones.
Contact information – yup, sales people will love this.
Use QR codes to streamline internal processes in the office:
Put the code on an invoice or statement, scan it and you go to information within Sales or Purchasing in NAV)
Put the QR code on a case or pallet in your warehouse, scan it, go to a web page that shows you what’s in the case.
Put the code on any NAV report – maybe it’s a pick report, and to find the item, just scan the code and see where the inventory is.
Manufacturers and distributors can scan QR code to go to product specs page – lot number, date of production, etc. – pulling this data straight from the NAV system.
Use QR codes in marketing campaigns, such as QR codes on food items scanned in-store by consumers, taking them to a web page where nutritional information is displayed –pulling data from the NAV system.
Our next release, JF12.01 – out later this year – will feature QR codes as a built-in functionality, part of JustFoodERP Foundation. But any release that uses NAV 2009 – such as JustFoodERP v.11.01 can have QR codes. That’s because NAV 2009 is the first version to have web services, which are required for QR codes to work. Oh, and whether you are using RTC (role tailored client) or Classic Client within NAV, QR codes work with both!
On top of this, QR codes make it easier for food companies to follow produce traceability guidelines – as put out by the Product Traceability Initiative (PTI) in the U.S. – since a scan of the QR code could take the user to a web page that displays all the data about the product across its supply chain.
No System like NAV for QR Codes
Why are QR codes with a NAV system superior to using QR codes within other ERP systems? Glad you asked! Because those other systems use a third-party add on for the QR code – it’s not built right in, the way that NAV is. There is integration with your existing system involved – and you’ll have to pay for that integration/customization. Oh, and did I mention that it takes literally JustFoodERP literally a minute to add the QR codes to your NAV system?! And if you’re using JF Floor – the mobile web interface that can be accessed by handheld wireless devices, like scanners and smartphones, on the floor of the plant or warehouse.
If you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM (and if you’re not, maybe you should?) you’ll be happy to know that QR codes integrate beautifully with that system, too.
At the moment, you have to download a (free) QR code reader app to your mobile device to be able to scan QR codes – but the Windows 7 phones are the first to have the QR code reader built right in, and the other phones are sure to follow!
Shown here are examples of Product Specs web pages that a scanned QR code would take a user to - on the left is a regular web page, on the right a mobile-friendly web page - this being critical for smartphone use of QR codes.
I think QR codes could be a big deal for the food industry. What do you think? Are you ready for QR codes to become the norm in food manufacturing and distribution?
Mike Glue is the Chief Architect of JustFoodERP. He is responsible for the delivery of new JustFoodERP functionality, and keeping up with the latest, greatest Microsoft platforms. He is the company's top nerd who likes to hit it out of the park. (Oh yeah, and an avid baseball fan!) He can be reached at email@example.com
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Subscribe to Our Blog
We have now made it really easy to keep up-to-date with our blog through RSS feeds and email updates!