Edition 80
The Uses and Market for SQRL codes
by Ken Jacobsen, RLA Standards Committee, Reverse Logistics Association

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In the past few months, the Reverse Logistics Association’s Standard’s Committee has been recruiting pilot projects for their newly released SqrL codes. These new protocols for optimizing the amount of information that can be encoded in a QR code. These protocols have new been adopted by ANSI as MH10.8.2.12N. Initially, we are recruiting projects related to Reverse Logistics since that was the motive for creating the protocols. Applications such as product return fraud and “digital toe tags” for scan-able repair records are our lead applications. However, such applications are just the tip of the ice-burg.

Invented by Denso Waves in 1994, the technology has the capacity to store over 4,000 characters of data. Over 99% of the applications today use less than 10% of this capacity. The crazy fact is that the fata capacity of these labels can be expanded even further by increasing the resolution specifications of the standard. The protocols developed by the RLA Standards Committee provide a means to utilize this capacity, making SqrL codes an important tool for manufacturers to communicate important information to their entire supply chain.

Every department in your company can benefit from the use of the SqrL code protocols. Logistics will benefit through the ability to digitally communicate a wide variety of information such as MSDS and GHS information on a single label—consolidating the information that must be communicated.

Product support will have easier more accurate access to product data. Warranty management can be automated and by-pass the call center. Product registration can be automated. Field service will especially appreciate easier access to accurate information. QA/QC will have an easy vehicle to collect data and manage product recalls. Sustainability efforts will have tools to help with product life cycle management.

Perhaps the two greatest benefits to a manufacturer from adopting these protocols is from marketing and finance. Marketing has a new venue to directly access the consumer. Sales of accessories and after-market extended warranties will increase. Best of all Finance will appreciate the cost savings benefits of decreased costs due to automation and increased revenues from after-market sales.

This does not even mention an improvement in Consumer Promotional Scores. Your customers will be happier with the additional information and services they can access with the click of their phone. By the way, this is an open standard. There are no licensing fees to adopt the standard.

Access more information about this standard at http://www.rla.org/sqrl.
Mr. Jacobsen is the Vice President of Business Devellopement for Connexus: a silicon valley software startup focused on warranty management. He was responsible for the creation of the InfraRed Data Association (IrDA) and for the establishment of the PCMCIA. He has provided technology brokering services for HP, Toshiba, and Lockheed. He was part of the Pocket Intelligence Program at SRI, International and has been involved in numerous startups. Most recently, he was a Director of the Global Software Entrepreneurial Training Program at Oulu University in Finland.

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