Russia's largest and (it claims) most efficient steelmaker, NLMK Group, has introduced a QR coding system for all types of flat and long steel products produced in Russia. The digital solution, says the company, will enable it to process documents and ship products faster, and will help customers to move away from paperwork.

When scanned, the QR code placed on each NLMK product unit, takes the customer to a web page that contains information on the steel grade, the weight, size, batch number and other features of the product unit in question. The customer can open and save an electronic version of the quality certificate with GOST (state standard) information, specification number, and other product data. In September this year, the company plans to introduce digital signatures for quality certificates, which will save customers the trouble of having to request the original hard copy. The certificate will be available from the customer’s profile.

The QR code and electronic certificate enable automatic transmission of data to the buyer's information systems, such as their warehouse management system. This, claims NLMK, helps customers reduce transaction costs.

“The new service reduces costs, saves time and protects our customers from purchasing counterfeit products," said Ilya Guschin, NLMK Group's vice president of sales. "We plan to create a single information space that will enable all our customers to get information about our products in their warehouses through a QR coding system, as well as to use a number of additional services.”