Barcodes & QR Codes

How to Use QR Codes for Asset Tracking

June 10, 2024 • 5 min read

In an effort to more effectively manage your company’s assets, your business might be considering using a tool like QR codes to speed up time-consuming inventory processes. If so, you’ve got the right idea. After all, QR codes can help your business check assets in and out, learn more details about your equipment and investments, and share that information with others—all in an instant.

In this article, we’ll outline the benefits of using QR codes for asset tracking, how to select an asset tracking QR code tool, and how to create a QR code, both in general and within an asset management software system like Sortly.


Benefits of QR Codes for Asset Management

QR codes are data-rich, easy-to-use codes that are customizable, easy to edit, and full of the information your business needs. Here are just a few of the many benefits of QR codes for asset tracking:

1. QR codes are inexpensive

There are tons of different ways to tag assets. But QR code technology is comparatively inexpensive, making it a strong choice for every kind of business—especially those in non-retail settings where there is little concern of shoplifting. (RFID tags can work as anti-theft technology, too.)

QR codes can be scanned by a smartphone’s camera, and can be made for little to no cost using different apps and websites. To create an “asset tag” with a QR code, you can simply use a printer and some label paper—no expensive or special equipment required to generate, print, or even scan. Keep in mind that if your business already owns external barcode or QR code scanners, those will work with inventory apps like Sortly too. 

Related: What’s the Difference Between RFID and NFC?

2. QR codes are lightning fast

QR codes can save your business time in many different ways. One of the most notable is when handling your assets. Want to know how many of something you have in stock? Where a certain asset has been over the past couple years? How much that asset has depreciated in value since you purchased it? 

With a simple scan of its QR code, you can instantly unlock tons of information about an asset. That’s especially true if you keep detailed records in an inventory app or some other database accessible via QR code. 

3. QR codes hold more data

QR codes can hold far more data than traditional barcodes, which means your company can jam-pack each unique code with all the information you need to track your assets properly. This is even easier if you use an inventory app that stores and organizes all those details for you—including images, attachments, and user history.

Related: Barcodes vs. QR Codes for Inventory Management

4. QR codes virtually eliminate human error

While spreadsheets and manual asset management systems invite mistakes, asset tracking QR codes help eliminate many error-prone steps. This includes correctly identifying items, inputting details into the right asset row, and ensuring you aren’t mistaking lookalike or soundalike products with each other. 

Free Ebook: Track Equipment & Tools Like a Pro

This easy, comprehensive guide can help you:

  • Determine which details to track about your equipment and tools
  • Set a standard operating procedure for asset tracking
  • Perform physical audits of your business’s tools and equipment


How to pick a QR code tool for asset management

There are plenty of QR code creation tools to choose from online—some free, others paid. But you’ll want to select a QR code generator that’s secure, easy to use, and works with the equipment you already own. You’ll also want to ensure that the QR code generator you pick works for your company’s needs. For example, if you are going to use a QR code for asset management, you’ll want it to easily sync that QR code with item details within your inventory app.

Here are five key questions to ask when browsing QR code generators:

  1. Does the QR code generator require any equipment that I do not already own?
  2. Do I need to pay to use the generator? If so, does it offer any other value—such as inventory management?
  3. Can I print QR codes from the generator onto standard label paper using a standard printer?
  4. Can I customize how my QR code labels look—including adding company logos, choosing the size and shape of the logo, and adding other key details my team needs to know? 
  5. Is syncing the new QR code with asset details seamless? 

How to create a QR code

Different QR code generators work in different ways. It all depends on what platform you choose, and the different ways that platform allows you to create and use QR codes. For example, you can quickly create a QR code using the Share system of your Chrome browser on iOS, Android, or desktop. These are a great option for quickly generating a QR code that can lead others to a link online. 

Other QR code generators are more in-depth, allowing you to custom—to some extent—how the QR code label looks and feels. But the premise is more or less the same: open up a generator, declare where you’d like the QR code to send scanners, then customize the QR code as you see fit.


How to create QR codes for asset tracking in Sortly

Using an inventory and asset management app like Sortly to generate QR codes can save a lot of businesses precious time and money. That’s because, unlike “general” QR code generators, Sortly’s app automatically links custom barcodes and QR codes directly to the very asset you’re trying to manage. That means you skip all the steps of connecting an asset’s profile to a QR code. It’s all there, within your asset management system.

How to generate a QR code for asset tracking in Sortly’s desktop app

  • Step 1: Create a new item in Sortly, or go to an existing one.
  • Step 2: Go to item details.
  • Step 3: Select: “Add QR / Barcode”, and select: “Create New”.
  • Step 4: Your QR code will be automatically synced with the item or asset. 

How to print QR code labels (asset tags) with Sortly

When you’re ready to tag your asset with its new QR code, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Determine how many assets (or asset folder) you’d like to create QR codes for.
  • Step 2: Click the “Create Label” button—you can select either a QR code or a barcode.
  • Step 3: Choose what size label you’d like to make, or stick with Sortly’s recommendation.
  • Step 4: Select what item detail—like price, item name, or warranty end date—you’d like to appear on the label.
  • Step 5: Add a photo, if desired.
  • Step 6: Add a logo or icon, if desired.
  • Step 7: Add any customized notes to the label.
  • Step 8: Hit next, and continue with printing the labels as instructed.

Related: About Sortly QR Coding Capabilities 

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About Sortly for QR Code Asset Tracking

Sortly is an inventory and asset tracking solution that helps you track, manage, and organize your inventory—from any device, in any location. We’re an easy-to-use inventory software that’s perfect for small businesses. Sortly builds inventory tracking seamlessly into your workday so you can save time and money, satisfy your customers, and help your business succeed.

With Sortly, you can track inventory, supplies, parts, tools, assets like equipment and machinery, and anything else that matters to your business. It comes equipped with smart features like barcoding & QR coding, low stock alerts, customizable folders, data-rich reporting, and much more. Best of all, you can update inventory right from your smartphone, whether you’re  on the job, in the warehouse, or on the go.

Whether you’re just getting started with inventory management or you’re an expert looking for a more efficient solution, we can transform how your company manages inventory—so you can focus on building your business. That’s why over 15,000 businesses globally trust us as their inventory management solution.

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