Device Tracking

 

A company that deploys and recovers measuring devices wasted significant amounts of time correcting errors from manual input of barcodes and data from the devices. A system from SME Data Solutions, including a barcode scanner, automated the process and eliminated errors resulting in a more professional and accurate service to customers and allowing salespeople and customer service staff be more productive.

Background

The company deploys measuring devices to their clients. After a period of time, the clients then return the devices and they were then forwarded to a laboratory for analysis. The analysis was then returned to the company who then compiled a report for their clients.
The devices were individually identified with a serial number and barcode but errors could creep into the associated paperwork as a result of mistyping and/or incorrect associated data from the client.
The requirement was for a system to track the location of each device, analyse the data returned by the client and laboratory (on spreadsheets)  for inconsistencies and correct matching to devices and to generate the client report.

Solution

The solution was to develop an Access database where all devices were recorded together with their movement history initially derived from the spreadsheets currently in  use. Barcode readers were used to input individual serial numbers. A number of reports were generated to check for inconsistencies in the data and where possible, recommend corrective action and if not the results to be identified or ignored as inconsistent. Similar reports could also be run to identify devices which had not been returned, either from the client or the laboratory.

Outcome

The company was able to provide clients with more accurate reports with less effort and as a result of being able to identify patterns in data errors to advise the client on improving their own data gathering procedures.

The system played a major part in retaining major customers against stiff competition and helped the company's UK arm report a profit for the first time.