Managing digital QR Codes

Managing Digital QR Codes - Prioritizing Use Cases & Physical Versus Digital QR Codes

In this blog, we discuss prioritizing use cases, and deploying and managing, the two types of QR codes – physical and digital.

Use Cases

From the previous blog, it is obvious that there are a growing number of use cases for QR code deployment inside and outside of buildings and building campuses.  The five general categories of use cases are:

  1. Operations & Infrastructure Support
  2. Administrative Reporting & Streamlining 
  3. On-Site Communication
  4. Emergency Management
  5. Cleanliness and Health Safety
managing digital qr codes

Each use case can bridge more than one category.  And almost all the use cases contribute to making the building operational environment more touchless (#5).  In addition, COVID has been a big driver of getting to a more touchless operation.  QR Code use cases can be prioritized in a number of ways, and each organization’s priorities may differ.

Prioritizing Use Cases

Some organizations may want to prioritize the ROI of each use case.  How quickly does it reduce cost or increase operational efficiencies?  Where are the quickest paybacks?

For others, it could be safety.  Although safety may not appear to have as big an ROI, however, mitigating or avoiding lawsuits has a strong “soft” ROI.  Soft in that it may never happen, but boy it would be good to avoid those types of situations.

Safety can also mean creating a safe and trusted facility, which again tends to be a softer ROI. But in strange times like COVID, prioritizing safety may be the only way to remain operational.

Ease of implementation, the low hanging fruit, is another way to prioritize.  Tackle something that is easy and manageable and build on it.  Similarly, it could be a use case that resonates politically at the time within the organization.  Getting a win to build on gets the organization some momentum to build on.

However the use cases for QR codes are prioritized, it is important that you deploy and manage your QR codes in a well thought out way.  The QR codes will become a key communication tool that binds your organization to the building facilities.  

QR Code Deployment at a Building Complex

Let’s assume that your organization has determined:

  1. The use case priorities for QR codes, and
  2. The IT application details have been worked out to support the use case. 

Note: The ability to Implement the full range of QR use cases will depend on the level of integration, and in turn, the flexibility of your IT sub-systems. 

More and more organizations are looking to re-architect their software application infrastructure to support IP architecture based applications.  Why? Because they integrate easily and provide a foundational platform for rapid implementation of use cases such as QR codes.  We will write a future blog to explore this in more detail. 

The next step is to determine if the QR codes are best deployed in a physical form, for instance, printed and mounted, in digital format on screens, or a combination of digital and physical.

In addition, as you think through the mix of QR code to deploy, here is a table that offers some consideration around using physical, digital or both types of QR codes for your use case.  In conclusion, these considerations are relative, not absolute, and are meant to help guide your thinking.

Managing Digital QR Codes

Managing Digital QR Codes 

Physical signs, printed or other, are something that most organizations are very familiar with.  So, we will not spend any time discussing creating, distributing, or managing the physical QR codes which are part of your QR code use case implementation.

On the other hand, digital QR codes, as we can see in the table above:

  • Address a bigger audience
  • Have more targeted messages
  • Have a wider variety of QR code outcomes (email, text, call, video, unlock, etc.)
  • Change more and can have other characteristics listed above

Our abilities in managing digital QR codes will be highly dependent on how well our IT systems are integrated. And, as per the note above, we assume here that our IT systems will not be a roadblock to use case implementation.  In other words, this means that a person on a building site can scan a QR code and the IT systems will enable:

  • A video to be launched
  • A call to be made and logged
  • A door to be opened
  • A form to open on a phone and record the filled out information to be acted on immediately
  • A text to be sent
  • A building plan to be accessed
  • etc

Underlying this IT capability is a digital media platform which will:

  1. Create the content containing the digital QR codes
  2. Manage the QR codes within the platform’s CMS, and 
  3. Distribute the content with the digital QR codes to all the different screen types, when and where desired

The next blog will talk about what to look for to manage digital QR codes on screens across the building complex, campus, or over national or global locations.