A Free Transactional Inventory Using Google Forms, Sheets & QR Codes

QR locator code scans in at location for inventory entry. Pattern has been corrupted to protect the innocent.

If you find that your partners, employees, or you are falling short or ending up with too much of particular inventory items in your business, your inventory tracking is probably a factor. A lot of people think of one of two things when they think of “inventory”: a clipboard and a computer screen. As companies grow, they migrate from manual inventories, to more complex inventory management systems. A great bridge system for a growing business may be to use my system leveraging Google Sheets, Google Forms, and QR Codes for a quick boost to a digital transactional inventory.

What are the Benefits of a Transactional Inventory?

Having transactional inventory creates three advantages for an organization:

  1. Accuracy — Inventory is generally (and with the help of cycle counting, invariably) more accurate and more beneficial to the operational and financial arms of the organization (cheer’s Finance!).
  2. Convenience — Tracking inventory on a regular basis is ultimately more convenient because of a narrowing of focus both in transaction and counting. An inventory handler must/can focus on each transaction within the framework of the software system but that handler also does not have to re-count the un-touched inventory on a regular basis.
  3. Auditing — Auditing inventory discrepancies (please, don’t jump to “shrink” as an excuse!) becomes possible if not at least more feasible. Each transaction is recorded individually and becomes traceable, allowing someone to backtrack through the transactions to find root causes of incorrect inventories.

How Does It Work?

By linking Google Forms and Google Sheets with QR codes, one can turn even the earliest smart-device (with cameras and QR code software) into an inventory scanning device. Set up an inventory update form in Google Forms, configure Google Sheets to process and analyze the submitted form data, and use Google’s APIs to create QR codes that link to your Google Forms. While you won’t be able to scan in item codes, form input controls and dropdown menus will give you the ability to cleanly manage the entry of data, minimizing human errors and ensuring intelligent inventory records for your organization.

If you find this interesting and would like help configuring your organization’s Google-Drive-Based transactional inventory, let me know here.

Google Forms and Google Sheets (and their icons) are property of Google, or Alphabet, or someone other than me. QR codes are open source, and I’ve been trying to make them useful for 8 years now!

Also posted on AdamMirkovich.com