Matrak’s External QR code scanner with Product Manager, Jolin Zhu [Q&A]

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Matrak’s QR scanner allows you to quickly find and update material and packing list information. Previously only accessible from Matrak’s mobile app, the rise of phone-free factory floor regulations we heard from our customers was the catalyst that pushed our product development into making this feature accessible on any external scanner device.

We sat down with Matrak’s Associate Product Manager, Jolin Zhu to understand the development and thought process that went behind enabling Matrak’s QR code scanning feature to be accessible on external scanning devices.

How does Matrak’s external QR code scanner work?

In Matrak, you have the ability to print unique QR codes for any materials or containers. And then, can update the status of materials or containers simply by scanning the QR code.

At the start of your project, a digital record is created for every material involved. Matrak’s software further gives users the ability to create containers and packing lists, which is particularly valuable for our manufacturing users. After printing QR codes for materials and containers, teams can then scan these QR codes to automatically update their statuses or add them into containers or stillages.As a user, you can scan QR codes on any Android device.

You also have the ability to use the QR codes to automatically create packing lists. Scanning container QR codes, and then scanning material QR codes will link those scanned materials into the scanned containers directly and automaticallygenerate a packing list. You can also preset automatic statuses in advance, to quickly update material information just by scanning the QR code.

All external QR code scans and updates are reflected across all Matrak applications, and can be accessed from Matrak’s web or mobile app. In addition, the external scanner also enables live updating and offline support. So users can update their work and use their time more efficiently, even in areas with limited cell service.

Why was Matrak’s external QR code scanner built in the first place?

Matrak is a software that connects construction teams through the supply chain, from manufacturing through to installation on site. We’ve seen recently that a lot of our users in the manufacturing side are introducing phone-free factory floors. Hearing from our clients, all of them have raised concerns about using the current mobile application for live updating their materials statuses.

Some of this feedback includes company policies prohibiting workers from using phones on factory floors to workers themselves not wanting to use personal devices for work activities. 

Through feedback from different customers, the Matrak team found it beneficial to support Matrak’s QR code scanning ability on external devices. It’s a great option to have for our manufacturing users – allowing them to use Matrak’s QR codes and scans even if factories implement a personal mobile device ban.

The high scanning quality also helps them to work quicker and easier. 

What problems does Matrak’s external QR code scanner solve?

Supply chain management is one of the key benefits of using Matrak. To give better visibility of project progress, our users who are on-site and on the factory floors need to scan QR codes to update the latest material information, daily.

By using an external QR code scanner or any Android external scanner, users can access Matrak’s QR code scanner and make updates to their materials easily and quickly, without sitting in front of a desktop or using mobile devices. Matrak’s external QR code scanner also allows users to update information even in places without internet connection. 

We’ve also seen a rise in personal mobile device bans across a number of our customers’ warehouses and factories. Especially overseas. Our Product Team wanted to provide a solution that enabled our users to continue using Matrak QR codes, which didn’t involve the use of personal mobile phones. 

Last but not least, we are aware that some of our customers, such as our logistics and manufacturing users, only use Matrak’s QR codes to update packing information as their core functionality of the product. 

By simplifying the application and making it accessible to them on their external devices, it enables users to focus on certain areas of the product that matters most to them. Making our customers’ jobs easier, rather than harder.

What benefits does Matrak’s external QR code scanner provide and for who?

The external QR code scanner will enable users on the factory floor to update packing information whether there is a mobile phone ban or not. The existing mobile app has really good customer feedback. However, as the personal mobile phone bans become more regulatory, the external scanner allows users on phone-free factory floors to update project progress, whenever and wherever. 

It’s not just made for our Chinese manufacturing customers, but also useful for every customer. Logistic companies also gain benefits by using external QR code scanners. The external scanner has a high-quality scanning feature that enables users to scan QR codes efficiently and effectively. Meanwhile, the external scanner is designed to be very physically resilient, so users never have to worry about breaking the device.

What is one best practice tip you think users should definitely know about Matrak’s external QR code scanner?

From my perspective, users can gain lots of benefits when using Matrak’s external QR code scanner.

My best practice tip is that users can easily create packing lists by simply scanning a container’s QR code first, and then scanning a material’s QR code.

About Matrak

Matrak was founded in 2017 and provides innovative mobile-first end to end supply chain tracking software solutions to the construction industry. Our app is available on all iOS, Android and Windows devices and has helped more than 157 projects in over 5 countries to enable the power of supply chain transparency. Get started for free

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