Flowfinity, located in Vancouver, B.C., offers software for companies to build mobile applications to manage and customize their workflow, especially those with a complex network of field personnel and remote workers. The solutions provider's customers include international brands, such as Kellogg's, McCormick and Bacardi. Each uses the Flowfinity solution to manage field staff effectiveness, streamline field sales and partner management, and reduce the cost of national retail surveys, among other functions.
Recently, the company decided to offer NFC technology as an option in its enterprise software, in order to enable digital information to be captured and stored more automatically, says Dmitry Mikhailov, Flowfinity's president and CEO. The planned release of iOS devices with NFC capability, he explains, made that decision much more timely.
Many of the companies using Flowfinity's solutions are capturing data regarding a location, assets or inventory using barcodes or QR code scans, which can then be accessed and managed at a corporate level. Manually inputting data or scanning bar cards, however, can be cumbersome for employees, Mikhailov notes. For instance, individuals could scan the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a car in a vehicle storage yard, or confirm their presence by scanning a QR code affixed to an area's wall or infrastructure. But industrial bar-code scanners are difficult to carry and handle, while inputting data can be time-consuming and prone to human error. "When a process is slow," Mikhailov states, "user experience suffers."
NFC makes the process of collecting location-specific data more automatic and flexible, Mikhailov explains.
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