When it comes to organization, there are fewer and fewer reasons for a business to fail from a lack of it. Advancements in technology have made it incredibly easy to track inventories, assembly processes, deliveries and just about every element in any business's value-stream map.
New technologies, however, still have limitations. If you're feeding technology garbage, it's almost always going to give you the same thing back. Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Gates was spot-on when it comes to industrial facility organization. In fact, his quote looks like something straight out of a book on Lean Manufacturing. In industrial speak, his quote could be translated to say something like: if your facility isn't already successfully operating on Lean, applying new technology is only going to expose greater inefficiencies.
This, alone, is probably why so many industrial facilities fail to embrace new technologies. They just aren't ready for it.
|Sample QR Code|
Up to now QR codes, or Quick Response codes, have met this fate in industrial facilities. Mostly, because so few are prepared for the level of organization a system like this can bring to a process. If your facility is considering converting to a system of QR coding, make sure a solid foundation of Lean is already in place. This will make the benefits of applying this new technology easy to identify and ensure it sees continued use.
At this point you may be asking what advantage does QR codes have over barcodes. Basically, QR codes store more information, can be scanned with most smart phone devices and interface with internet. OK... those are handy things, but how do they apply to industrial facilities?
Procedure labeling and facility information are probably the most useful applications for QR codes at this point in time. As an example, a facility may wish to post a five page chemical Safety Data Sheet (SDS) on the packaging or shelving of a chemical. This would not be a substitute for having a hard copy available, but workers would have the option to instantly and easily research SDS information from the convenience of their smart phone. As another example, some facility man doors require detailed information be read before entry. As an option, workers could snap a picture of a strategically placed QR label and then instantly read everything from the screen of their smart phone. No more fumbling through some papers that were stuffed into the same manila envelope again and again.
QR codes also track your tracking. Yep ... sounds redundant, but when someone opens a webpage with a QR code, all of the same tracking information gathered on common websites can also be tracked with QR codes. Talk about efficiency!
There are literally millions of applications in facilities for QR codes that have yet to be invented. Come up with your own application and let DuraLabel help you put your idea into motion! Give us a call at 1-800-788-5572 today.