In order to improve customer communications and get better feedback on installation programs and services, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will begin using QR codes, also known as quick response codes, for its interactive customer evaluation program next week.

According to Keith R. Brevard Sr., program manager/analyst with JBM-HH's Directorate of Plans, Analysis and Integration, QR codes are the Japanese version of the bar code, but have a greater capacity for storing data.

"They can hold twice as much information as a barcode," said Brevard.

The QR codes can be scanned by smart phones and other devices through downloadable applications. They allow users to instantly contact the ICE website or directorate and office comment sites to provide input on a program, submit a work order or pass along ideas.

Brevard said QR codes would begin appearing on printed materials and websites over the next few weeks as the program gets up and running. There are already 132 separate codes assigned to activities on base with more to be added. In the commissary, for instance, he said QR codes will begin to appear next to the portraits of commanders at the entrance in the building so that customer communications can be provided almost immediately to leaders.

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in South Korea became the first Army installation to use QR codes in January of 2011. QR codes were introduced to Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico last spring.

"Any means where we can get the voice of the customer, I think that's great," said Buchanan's ICE Program Manager Awilda Morales in the installation newspaper El Morro this past July. She also noted how a May community meeting generated more responses through ICE than had previous gatherings, which she attributed to the use of the codes.

"People still have the option to fill out a form or go to a web site to post comments," Brevard emphasized. He said the installation would be tracking code usage, however, to assess whether the option increases command feedback. Input provided via QR code access is confidential.

QR codes were first developed in 1994 for use in the Japanese automotive industry. They have become ubiquitous in the past couple years as companies have adopted them for marketing strategies. QR codes supplement barcodes on some products highlighting loyalty programs, a Tennessee museum has placed them on the backs of exhibit T-shirts to direct consumers to museum programming and QR codes are even placed on tombstones in cemeteries to provide access to a password-protected biographical website about the deceased.

Page last updated Thu January 12th, 2012 at 00:00