You probably see QR Code® (Quick Response Code) displays in many places – magazines, billboards, posters, product packaging, and more. These squares containing dark spots on a light background are easily scanned by a camera and interpreted by software. When decoded they can contain dozens or hundreds of characters of data. Many of us now carry cameras and software in our pockets and handbags (our smartphones) so the advertising and marketing industries are using QR Codes to grab our attention and link us to information about what they are trying to sell.
You might have noticed in the recent ClearPath Connection newsletter that Enterprise Output Manager release 9.1 now provides the ability to generate and print QR Codes from reports that you route to it from your OS 2200 and other systems. EOM 9.1 is included in Release 13.1 of the ClearPath OS 2200 operating system, so you might already have a copy on hand.
If you are using EOM to generate shipping documents, invoices, or account statements that go to your customers, you now have an opportunity to send a big marketing message in a small amount of space on those documents. Ask your advertising and marketing departments what they would want to put there.
Did you know that QR Codes were invented in the auto industry to facilitate the flow of material and documents through the supply chain and manufacturing processes? Many such processes track what is being processed at each step using bar code scans, OCR scans, or (gasp) human typing of job numbers or lot numbers. Adopting QR Codes instead of those other mechanisms can provide more information to the process steps more easily, and could enable process changes that improve efficiency and reduce errors.
If your systems are printing labels or documents that are used in the flow of material or jobs, you have an opportunity to add QR Codes that will improve the process flows. EOM can accept “print” files from ClearPath systems, other mainframe systems, UNIX and Windows systems, and more. You can use the DDA Designer capability of EOM to capture textual information from the files and encode the information into QR Codes that are printed on the final labels or documents. Since QR Codes can be reasonably small, you should be able to add them alongside the existing bar codes or numbers. That will enable a gradual adoption of QR Code usage at the various stations of the process flow.
For specific examples showing how others have used QR Codes to improve their business processes, see the case studies published by the inventor.
Whether you use them for advertising or internal process control, QR Codes enable you to respond. Quickly!
® QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.