Transforming Support with QR Codes powered Digital Manuals

The lights on your color printer won’t stop blinking red. You’ve navigated the manufacturer’s website but you’re having trouble finding the right make and model, let alone the troubleshooting guide. If only you could get one-click access to a curated site for your specific machine.

What if there was a QR Code right on your printer that took you to a portal that was purpose-built for your specific make and model. One scan and you’re exactly where you want to be, with all the resources (and just the resources) for your product.

Using QR codes to activate custom digital manuals for products can be a convenient and efficient way to get product specific relevant information, when and where customers need it most.

With Openscreen Engage, manufacturers can easily create device-specific support flows that increase issue-resolution rates and client satisfaction. Here’s how:

  1. Design & Host Product Specific Digital Manuals
    Use Openscreen Engage’s Page and Form manager to drag-and-drop digital manuals for each of your products. They can include text instructions, images, diagrams, videos, or a combination of these elements.  They can also include content from your existing site but organized in a product-specific way. 
  2. Design, Generate & Print Branded QR Codes:
    Once your microsites are done, use the QR Code studio to design a branded QR Code that integrates seamlessly into your product’s look and feel.   Leverage the print wizard to generate sheets, rolls or even digital files to include ON your actual product.
  3. Clone Existing Manuals for New Products
    Openscreen Engage’s page and form cloning feature means you don’t have to start from scratch when you have new product SKUs.  Just clone the manual of an existing product and change what you need.  You’ll have QR Codes for your entire lineup, in minutes.
  4. Track Issues & Dynamically Optimize Your Manual
    With the Openscreen Engage dashboard and reporting function, you’ll be able to track the usage of your manuals with every scan and understand what products and issues are driving support requests.  Based on these insights, you can change your content at any time.
  5. Replenish, Cross-Sell and Upsell Too:
    Digital manuals don’t need to be used for support alone.  Give your customers links to order supplies, upgrade equipment or buy complementary products.  Leverage every interaction to drive more revenue.
  6. Add a Form for Customer Feedback
    Your digital manuals don’t have to stop at one-way content.  Using Openscreen Engage’s Form Manager, get feedback from your customers WHILE they’re using your products.  They’re the best to let you know how you can engineer a more perfect product and user experience.

By incorporating contextual QR codes ONTO your products, manufacturers can optimize the customer support experience while meaningfully reduce costs and time-to-resolution. 

To begin your free trial of Openscreen Engage for on product digital manuals, click here. 

Tracking the QR Opportunity


Digital menus, product packaging, tickets, and identification – QR Codes seem everywhere now. Once an overlooked, clunky technology, QR Codes have had a recent resurgence. Thanks to COVID-19 and advancements in our mobile devices, QR adoption has gone mainstream in only a few short years. And even though global QR Code scans increased by 443% in 2022, we are still only scratching the surface of harnessing the true power and business augmentation that they provide.

If we think back to the inception of QR Codes, invented by Denso Wave in 1994, the original problem that led to this invention was that the Toyota subsidiary needed a more accurate way to track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process. QR codes solved that problem. But they were still a little ahead of their time. The internet, mobile devices, and apps were just distant dreams. Only with these technological advances will the full potential of QR Codes be realized. Today, the combination of this new technology with QR codes provides limitless potential for frictionless asset management solutions. While many applications have emerged to tackle a wide variety of QR Code-powered use cases, when used correctly, QR Codes provide a superior asset management experience around initiating, tracking, managing and enabling enterprise supply chains in diverse industries.

Controlling QR “State”

One of the features that QR Codes offer is immense versatility. With this inherent level of flexibility comes more possible applications and use cases. It’s important to see through the “QR Noise” and identify areas where QR Codes truly add value and are not a marketing gimmick. Enabling supply chains is just that — an area where QR Code technology provides a well-positioned foundation to build robust solutions, enabling key stakeholders to have timely information as assets flow through their supply chain. When it comes to an asset moving through a supply chain, whether that’s an automobile part, router, soil sample, or medical instruments tray, there are common themes. First, security and authentication – who will be able to access the information stored on that QR code? How will the security be enforced? Will there be different roles or access delegation? Does the asset’s status, quantity, location, condition, and value change over its life? These are all relevant questions that Openscreen can help solve and manage when using our platform to automate and enable your supply chain. While we are all familiar with the QR code that scans to a website, in many cases a QR code may be needed but the data, workflow, or destination may not be known. Openscreen’s platform can create “inactive” QRs, which can be appended to any asset. Once the data or workflows are defined, the QR code is simply scanned to initiate it and registered as active. All subsequent scans would follow the programmed workflows. Openscreen’s ability to change the status and workflow of a QR code as it moves through your supply chain facilitates the creation of powerful tracking enablement solutions. And our flexibility makes it easy to rapidly integrate this functionality into your mission-critical supply chain processes.

Controlling QR “View”

One of the biggest challenges with robust tracking applications is mobility and internet connectivity. Without an internet connection, many platforms fail. Openscreen Track is a solution that allows you to capture data without a live internet connection and then post that data when a connection is available. Openscreen Track can also create access restrictions that control who can access which data points. A manufacturer, vendor, or customer scanning the same QR code would have different permissions, workflows, and ultimately end views. To illustrate this point further, take an automobile part as an example. As it passes through its lifecycle from manufacturing to a final consumer, the company’s authenticated users will want to see and access different pieces of information than what will be relevant to consumers and the public. Openscreen Track makes this level of dual visibility possible and easy.

Blue background image with car part scanned to phone to register


It’s Not ALL About the QR

As our CTO reminds our team and our clients, “The QR Code is just the front door in.” What does he mean exactly by this? Well, QR Codes are a great entry point for causing a specific intent to occur, i.e., bringing a user to a specific URL or website, but that’s just the beginning; it’s the logic, foundation, and set of valuable micro-services built behind the QR that really allow the magic to happen. The Openscreen platform has been built as a developer-first platform and has been architected with 5 core objects (Scans, Assets, QR Codes, Messages, & Contacts).  These building blocks can be rapidly stitched together to enable powerful tracking solutions for enterprises. Nuvolinq, an IoT service provider, uses Openscreen’s QR platform to track, manage, and submit service calls for their routers. The QR code used by support staff to register a router is the same QR code used by customers to submit a trouble ticket. The workflows change, but the QR code remains constant. From sending a message to specific contacts upon a QR scan to triggering a status change from “inactive” to “active”, sending and receiving goods, transferring ownership, and changing data points, Openscreen’s Track solution can help businesses enable their supply chains quickly while reducing costs, automating mission-critical processes, and putting valuable business insights at management’s fingertips. Try it today for free at or reach out to us at to learn more!

Direct Mail Magic with QR Codes

There’s a real estate boom happening where I live, and pretty much everywhere in North America right now. That means my mailbox gets filled with direct mail from realtors who want to sell me a new home or get me to list my home through their brokerage. We literally get dozens of these in a month, and I’m sure some of you do as well. For many, these postcards go directly into the recycle bin.  Others – like me – always take a glance at what’s moving and landing in the neighborhood. Maybe there’s a dream home out there that’s waiting to find us.

Direct Mail and Engagement

Direct Mail is a lot like that philosophical saying, “If a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. What I mean by that is the following:  If a marketer can’t tell if someone has looked at their direct mail piece or not, did it really create engagement? This doesn’t just apply to real estate agents, of course. It cuts across the many industries using direct mail to engage with customers and prospects: banks, insurance companies, car dealerships and furniture stores – they are all using direct mail to sell high-value items to high-value customers. Most, if not all, have no idea how to measure the full engagement of their campaigns.

Friction & Engagement

Calls to action on direct mailers (an e-mail address, a website, or a phone number) can provide a simple way to measure engagement and response. Still, in a digital world full of clicks and swipes, it’s often too much friction for someone to take the time and make a call or send an email. Yes, we’re just that lazy these days. Moreover, unless the marketer specifically asks, there’s no way of telling if an e-mail or phone call came as a result of the direct mail.

The question then becomes, is there a frictionless way to engage direct mail recipients that can also be specifically attributed to the campaigns themselves?

Personalized Direct Mail and QR Codes

Personalized direct mail campaigns leverage pre-addressed pieces directed to customer or prospect households. For example, a real estate agent may use a data file containing 500 addresses in a given neighborhood, and mail out individual postcards to the respective “homeowners” residing at these addresses.

By including a unique, personalized QR Code on each postcard – that might for example, allow a signup to a newsletter for exclusive information – the agent can implement frictionless response that implicitly ties back to that specific address and direct mail piece. When a homeowner scans the QR Code on the postcard, the realtor will know exactly which house the scan is from, and when the homeowner submits an e-mail address and name, that data would append immediately to the contact address data held by the agent.

Openscreen and Personalized QR Codes

Openscreen’s flexible API enables marketers and direct mail print systems to store contact address information, and in turn, generate unique scannable QR Codes tied to each. Marketers can generate batch files of QR Codes to bring to their print company, or printing presses can directly integrate to Openscreen to enable this functionality as a value-add for their customers.

Online advertisers like Google and Facebook may have disrupted the advertising landscape by moving measurable and frictionless ads to the online digital world, but by leveraging contactless technologies like QR Codes, physical advertising can implement a similar magic.

Enhancing Agriculture with QR Codes

Some experts suggest that if we don’t figure out a way to improve agricultural output by 2050, this planet will have more people than it can feed. That’s a scary, but not completely unrealistic thought. In response to that, almost every aspect of farming and agriculture undergoing some level of transformation using technology. After all, our current and future generations may depend on it.

The Importance of Good Soil

I recently came across the Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground”. It takes a multifaceted view of the importance of soil management to promote better food outcomes, optimize our use of resources, and decrease our carbon footprint.  Many of us know that soil can trap carbon dioxide emissions, but I was surprised to learn that healthier soil is must more effective at the task.  Technology has become an important tool in measuring and improving the quality of soil around the world.

Agronomists and Soil Collection

Agronomists, the professionals who practice in the science and management of agriculture, collect soil for quality testing. This practice is becoming more important as farmers aim to get more out of their land. Soil is collected, sent to a lab, and analyzed on a regular basis.  Resulting data can drive better seed prescriptions, fertilizer recommendations, and even generate valuable carbon credits for farmers. Yet, surprisingly, soil collection is a very manual process. Agronomists often use clipboards and paper to capture data when they head out to fields, leaving actual data entry to technicians who receive samples at the lab.

Openscreen, QR Codes, and Agriculture Technology

We see QR Codes as an effective way to automate the agronomist’s soil-collection lifecycle. From field to lab, serialized QR Codes can allow soil collectors to scan a bag at the point of collection. From there, important data like time and location can automatically be captured, while the QR Code can be programmed to bring the agronomist to a data collection app. Then, workflows in the app can track the bag every time it is scanned, as seed prescriptions are generated, and carbon credits are accumulated.

Openscreen’s powerful SDK provides an easy way to generate unique, trackable QR Codes at scale, which can be used to digitize agriculture technology. As manual tasks like soil collection become important elements of our food supply chain, leveraging contactless technology like QR Codes throughout the lifecycle can provide quality, assurance, speed, and advanced reporting for all stakeholders involved.

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