We are constantly being surrounded by new technology every day without actually acknowledging its grandeur. Let’s put the spotlight on Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology also referred to as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). As consumers, do we really understand the full capabilities of this technology? NFC has been around since 1980 with slow adoption, and now this trendy technology is on the rise as we see it in contactless payment systems, public transportation, and proximity marketing. That being said, are there other uses of NFC for businesses? Many. It can deliver convenience and efficiency to a variety of sectors that employ mobile workers. Don’t be intimidated by the new emergence of this technology. It’s surprisingly easy to comprehend, use, and incorporate into businesses. Tracking tasks and employees NFC tags can contain information such as task description and instructions for a specific location. With the mobile employees equipped with NFC-capable smartphones, they can easily scan NFC tags to acquire certain product or location-specific information related to their job. Tags can also be placed on certain rooms, places, buildings, and even equipment where employees can check into. This helps indicate who was where at what time using what equipment, etc. This feature is extremely beneficial for automating the tasks for mobile employees, eliminating paper log books and saving time on administration. It’s great for cleaning, hotel, and security industries as well as any sector with mobile workers. Tracking stock and inventory Not only can you read data from NFC tags but you can also write them using NFC-capable smartphones! This means you can update certain information on the tags, like product description and inventory counts. Doctors and nurses can easily scan patient tags to acquire prescription info and details from a last visit. Retailers and rack jobbers can place tags on merchandising shelves with product info and update the stock counts for precise inventory counts. No paperwork necessary. Add a bit of creativity to these two features and the possibilities derived from NFC technology for business are endless! The system requires very little overhead and a low start-up cost for something that can save you time in employee management and training. An NFC tag can cost as little as 30 cents depending on your application, and if your employees require mobile phones, there you go! You already have your hardware. All you need is reliable and powerful NFC management software, like inViu pro, to coordinate the scanned data with its user, time, and location. To learn more about NFC technology, visit the Wikipedia page.
I know that many business owners are initially hesitant to invest in technology that doesn’t directly correlate to sales, but if you’re not controlling costs and managing your people wisely then you are most likely experiencing leakages in expenses and labour. This is something no business can afford during tough economic times. Telematics is a great “trainer” that will keep your business in shape, allowing you to efficiently manage your business and free up valuable time to focus more on building sales. Let’s first address what telematics is. It’s the union between telecommunications and informatics. It’s not just navigation systems in cars and GPS trackers, but the use of such devices along with powerful software that allows you to manage, analyse, and export the collected data to help improve your business operation. The primary use of telematics is to remotely monitor trackables (tracked assets or people). This alone can save a tremendous amount of travel time and labour costs. Knowing exactly where these trackables are located and being alerted whenever there is a change from the norm can help prevent theft and unauthorised use of equipment, vehicles, and machinery. Now imagine being able to obtain precise CAN bus and fuel level information from your vehicles; locations and tasks being performed by your employees; temperatures of machinery and refrigeraeted trucks; hours of operation of rented equipment and vehicles; and communication records with your drivers and mobile workforce. Not only are you saving time and labour costs, but also minimising vehicle and equipment maintenance costs, damaged perishable products, and fraudulent activity. Having access to detailed records without having to manually collect the information is the convenience that telematics can bring to you and your employees. The relatively new use of NFC in telematics has revolutionised remote personnel management. Your mobile employees can now scan NFC tags using an off-the-shelf smartphone to create records or to check into places without the use of paperwork. If cutting back on administration and going paperless is one of your business initiatives, NFC technology is definitely one of the most cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions. Security companies for guard tours, health care for visiting nurses, and retailers with a mobile workforce are all beneficiaries of an NFC telematics solution. No matter how big or small your company is, cutting costs and increasing business efficiency should be prioritised in every industry. To find out more on how to integrate telematics into your business, contact us for a customised solution.