What type of barcode should I choose?

Posted on November 12 2021

Reading time: 3 minutes

To have a well-structured inventory, it is necessary to identify the information concerning the physical assets that the company owns. It is not always obvious how to manage asset tagging. To do this, it is important to assign a unique identifier to each product.

The different types of barcode

The simplest and least expensive method is necessarily the use of barcodes. But it is still necessary to choose the type of barcode that best suits our needs.

One-dimensional barcodes / UPC: How do they work?

One-dimensional barcode UPC

The UPC barcode is the one you see on most products, as it is the most widely used digital identification system in the world. Most stores and grocery stores use this system to scan products at checkout.
It is composed of a series of black bars and spaces of different thicknesses. Under the barcode, a coded number identifies the item in a unique way.


  • It can be used on a thin round item like a cable
  • The most used barcode


  • It can only be scanned horizontally
  • It can take up ten times more space than a QR code when printed
  • It can only store alphanumeric data

QR Code or two-dimensional barcode: Definition

Two-dimensional QR barcode
The QR barcode is starting to be used more and more thanks to the introduction of smartphones and because of the current pandemic. We can see it everywhere on the table at the restaurant to display the menu on the phone or on advertising posters to refer to the website of a company.

It is a square shaped barcode and is composed of several small black and white squares. It can store a lot of information such as brand name, model number, maintenance records and many other details. They provide a hundred times more data than a regular barcode.


  • It can be read horizontally and vertically
  • It can contain more information than a standard barcode.
  • It can be read by smartphones with a camera (easy to use).
  • It contains a corrective code that allows to work if a part of the code is torn and dirty thanks to the information redundancy (error margin from 7 to 30%).


  • Cannot be used on a thin round item like a cable.

No matter what type of barcode you choose, it will allow you to track material faster while reducing the risk of error.

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Qr code and barcode : What next ?

Now that you have decided which of the two types of barcode scanners best suits your needs, the question remains whether you would prefer to get a barcode scanner or use a mobile application like ours. You can check out our article on how to manage your inventory with a barcode scanner.

QR Code vs. Barcode: each option has its advantages and disadvantages. To decide which of the two options works best for you, you will need to consider the environment in which it will evolve to best meet your business needs.

One thing is certain, in order to better track your equipment, you will need an inventory management software that can handle all types of barcodes or QR codes!

Try Hector now!