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Aviation Inventory Management: QR Codes Vs. Barcodes

Updated: Feb 23

Traceability is more than special dimension of the Aviation Market: it’s a must, to ensure proper and mandatory information are stored and transmitted to Customers, from quotation to the final delivery.

This transfer of information must be affordable, comprehensive and, finally, fast: this is why more and more Parts Distribution companies around the globe still using barcodes are moving towards the implementation of QR Codes, to manage their inventories and speed-up the workflow.


What are we talking about?


The way information are managed at logistic level can make a difference: since we are dealing with alphanumeric data, these can be condensed in a machine-readable form, allowing faster allocation, inventory check and withdrawal, with just a small hardware investment: this is where Barcodes, since 1974, are of great help, and we all know what this is about; sure, these were a nice upgrade, but to keep the pace of different, evolving markets, barcodes had to evolve in turn, adding complications to store multi-dimensional sets of data and becoming what we all know to be, since 1994: the QR Codes.



As we delve into this comparison, it becomes clear that QR Codes are not just a modern upgrade but a necessity for cutting-edge ERPs in any market. Let’s then explore the key distinctions between Barcodes and QR Codes, and their application to the Aviation market.


Barcodes are a tried-and-true method for encoding data, utilizing parallel lines of varying thickness to represent information. While effective for basic identification, their limited data capacity poses challenges in the multifaceted world of aviation inventory.


Indeed barcodes are well-suited for straightforward identification tasks but fall short when it comes to the comprehensive data tracking demanded by the aviation industry, where details such as serial numbers, batches, manufacturers, and specific aircraft applications are paramount.



QR Codes are instead a leap into comprehensive data tracking: with their two-dimensional matrix structure, QR Codes offer a significant upgrade in data capacity, compared to traditional barcodes. This expanded capability is crucial in Aviation, where the need to track multiple data points for each inventory item is the norm.


When a single component may have various attributes such as conditions, serial number, batch / lot information, manufacturer details, and so on, QR Codes excel. They empower modern ERPs to capture and analyze diverse data at a glance, streamlining inventory management processes.


Although Barcodes are known for their quick scanning capabilities, making them efficient for high-volume tasks, their limited data capacity requires multiple codes for comprehensive information, potentially slowing down the process.


QR Codes are slightly slower to scan, but offer unparalleled accuracy. The ability to capture a wealth of information in a single scan reduces the need for multiple scans, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.

Many legacy systems in the aviation industry are designed to handle barcode data. While functional, this may limit the ability to fully capitalize on the potential for advanced data tracking.


Modern ERPs in aviation are increasingly designed to leverage the capabilities of QR Codes. The ability to encode and decode a wealth of information in a compact space aligns seamlessly with the industry's growing need for detailed, real-time data.


Another important and current topic is Information Security: Barcodes have basic security features, and their information is relatively accessible. As aviation evolves, the need for more robust security measures becomes apparent.



QR Codes can support encryption and password protection, providing an extra layer of security crucial for safeguarding sensitive aviation data.


This adaptability positions QR Codes as a future-proof solution in an industry that continually embraces technological advancements.


When precision and comprehensive data tracking are imperative, the choice between Barcodes and QR Codes goes beyond mere identification. While Barcodes have their place in basic inventory scenarios, the aviation industry's complex demands necessitate the advanced capabilities of QR Codes. Modern ERPs, designed to streamline operations and optimize efficiency, find a natural ally in QR Codes, making them the indispensable choice for aviation inventory management in the 21st century.


About Horix Aerospace

Horix Aerospace is an horizontally integrated aerospace company, strongly focused in Spare Parts Management solutions for the Business Aircraft Market. Horix has developed both the Trust Consignment Program and the Trust Dismantling Program to offer clients a unique opportunity becoming the Swiss Trusted Solution for Aerospace Components Management. With over $30M in assets under management, Horix Aerospace has become a disruptive force in the Aerospace Industry with both its Trust Dismantling Program and unique Business Model.


Strongly capitalized and managed by a team of industry veterans, Horix Aerospace is proud to be a Swiss owned and operated company.

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