As NFC capabilities proliferate in mobile devices, workflow application provider Flowfinity Wireless will begin adding NFC technology to its enterprise mobile applications to help users capture and store information faster. The technology is being used by several consumer goods manufacturers.
Located in Vancouver, Flowfinity primarily provides companies with mobile applications for managing and customizing workflows. The company’s clients include international brands such as Kellogg, McCormick and Bacardi. These customers use the Flowfinity program to manage the effectiveness of field workers, streamline on-site sales and partner management, and reduce the cost of national retail surveys.
Dmitry Mikhailov, president and chief executive officer of Flowfinity, said the company decided to offer NFC technology in its enterprise software to capture and store digital information more automatically. He said that iOS support for NFC technology further drives the issue.
Many users of Flowfinity programs use bar codes or QR codes to read information about asset locations, inventory, etc., and then access and manage at the company level. Mikhailov pointed out that manually entering data or scanning bar-coded cards is more difficult for employees, industrial bar code scanners are harder to carry and handle, and manual entry is time-consuming and error-prone. Mikhailov said: “When the input process is slow, the user experience will be reduced.”
Mikhailov explained that NFC makes the process of collecting location data more automatic and flexible. “This year we’ve been talking to users about the use of NFC technology, which allows users to use smart phones instead of scanners, and tag reads will be faster and easier than most barcodes.” In addition, Flowfinity said that NFC technology not only makes it easier for them to capture data, but also helps them to better manage their data.
With NFC technology, managers can distribute a NFC ID badge to each employee to gather information about presence, work history and level of experience. If there is no authorized person on site, the system will issue a warning.
For consumer products companies, on-site employees can use the system to identify inventory levels. Employees can read the NFC tag on the showcase to confirm their location and replenish if needed.
NFC can also be used in oil and gas or construction sites. Inspectors can read the NFC tag using a mobile device to confirm that the device is in the correct position. This will not only help employers confirm that employees are on site, but also provide the necessary records with insurance companies or regulators.
On the production line, assemblers can scan NFC tags and use the Flowfinity Enterprise application to confirm that all the components are online, thus enabling fool-proofing. In addition, users can create a mini-database for each item using NFC technology. Users can use the Run Flowfinity application to search for items to view item information.
By providing NFC capabilities, the company intends to offer more flexible products to those businesses that are not too interested in the technology itself. Mikhailov said: “There is usually no specific search for NFC technology or bar code technology companies, on the contrary, they are usually looking for a specific solution to the problem, only to find NFC technology is the right solution .Flowfinity can recommend appropriate NFC tags for the user For example, in some applications, labels need to be used in harsh conditions or on specific shapes.
Currently, several companies are testing NFC tags. Mikhailov said: “Now, we are continuing to collect user feedback.From the effect, NFC technology provides greater flexibility.”