Barcodes & QR Codes

Why Scanning Inventory Barcodes and QR Codes Shouldn’t Scare You

March 19, 2020 • 4 min read

Plenty of small businesses are nervous to try out inventory management software that uses barcodes or QR codes. You worry that working with expensive and maybe even finicky technology will be an enormous hassle. We get it. It’s new and unfamiliar, and you’re worried about the time it’ll take to train your staff and adapt to the new system. 

But using scannable barcodes and QR codes to track your inventory shouldn’t scare you. The technology has come a long way in recent years, making a barcode inventory system more accessible, affordable, and convenient for everyone involved. It’s shockingly easy and cost-effective. (Spoiler alert: you can use an iPhone as a scanner!)

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at three clear reasons why inventory barcodes and QR codes shouldn’t scare you, and why you might want to start using them today!

QR Codes & Barcodes Are Quick & Easy 

QR codes and barcodes are easy to implement and even easier to use on a regular basis. 

QR codes and barcodes are both machine-readable codes that can be quickly scanned to provide you snippets of valuable information. Barcodes are two-dimensional, meaning they can only be read linearly, while QR codes are three-dimensional and can be read from multiple angles. QR codes are able to store more data than barcodes, but both are effective for storing information.

They’ll automate processes that are particularly tedious and otherwise prone to human error when conducted manually, including checking products in or out of your inventory. You can scan the item for instant access to information instead of needing to scour through a traditional inventory list. 

QR codes are especially convenient, as they can be read from any angle. Even barcodes can often be read well with the high-quality cameras available on today’s smartphones.

QR Code and Barcode Reliability Can’t Be Beat

Manual tracking systems are extremely prone to human error, and even the most careful, diligent employee is bound to make a mistake eventually.

Inventory management systems that rely on scanning barcodes or QR codes aren’t subjected to this inevitability. As long as the right tag is on the right product, it’s a relatively foolproof system. 

This is crucial, because so many products may look similar or have names that sound the same. When you’re using a manual system, it’s too easy to make mistakes, especially since inventory ID numbers are easy to get wrong even when you aren’t exhausted with tired eyes. 

The information stored in barcodes and QR codes are reliably accurate; in QR codes, the data can even be protected, adding an additional layer of security if needed. 

You Don’t Need Specialized Technology to Use Barcodes or QR Codes

If you’re a business on a budget and shudder when you think about spending anywhere from $100 to $1,000 on a single tracking scanner, you can breathe easy: With the capabilities of smartphones today, you don’t need specialized scanning technology.

Some inventory management tools allow you to scan barcodes and QR codes from a  smartphone!That being said, if you do want to use specialized tech or have already spent a fortune on it, the best inventory management app sintegrate with Bluetooth scanners, too,

Sortly’s inventory management app, for example, allows you to generate custom QR codes instantly, ensuring that every product in your system can be tracked and managed–even if you make your own products or uniquely package products.


An inventory app being used on a laptop shows barcodes and QR codes being created, scanned and printed.

While it’s not uncommon for small- and even medium-sized businesses to resist upgrading from a manual inventory tracking system to something quite modern, don’t be intimidated. Barcodes and QR codes are extremely user-friendly and can actually save your business time, money and stress. QR codes and barcodes are both accessible, cost-effective, and incredibly easy to use.

If you’re torn between QR codes and barcodes, you can always choose a tool that works with both. Sortly allows you to read both barcodes and QR codes, works with Bluetooth scanners and other technology, and allows you to generate custom QR codes when needed. 

Interested in revamping your inventory management system using QR codes or barcodes? Start your free trial with Sortly today.