If you’re in the business of supplying consumable goods, you are likely intimately familiar with the trials and tribulations of manual stock ordering. As your primary interaction with your customers, the ordering process is critical for inspiring loyalty and securing repeat business. Yet, it is often hindered by matters as simple as miscommunication and human error.
The Smart Order Solution™ is a system designed to eliminate risks in the ordering process while reducing it to only a few simple steps utilizing mobile RFID/Barcode scanners such as FEIG’s ECCO+. With this handheld device, customers need only scan the barcode or RFID tag of their desired product to instantly add it to their shopping cart on your e-commerce platform. When ready to make their final purchase, confirming and placing the order is as simple as connecting the device to any Windows compatible computer via USB; because it employs Internet of Scanning, the Smart Order Solution™ has no software requirements nor necessary drivers, instead it uses its included middleware, EMMWare Scout, to connect with e-commerce sites and communicate order data. Upon successful transfer, this program will automatically open the web browser to the customer’s filled shopping cart, where they may then verify and submit their order with no extra effort.
While the advantages of the Smart Order Solution™ over the phone and email ordering processes are glaring, you might wonder, why invest in an entirely new system and its required equipment when a smartphone application could, theoretically, do the same job?
Despite their undeniable convenience, it takes far more to develop, release, and maintain an app than most think. Although a smartphone may be capable of performing a task, it will not always be the best tool.
If you’re unfamiliar with app development, it can be easy to underestimate just how involved, and costly the process can be. Suppose you’d like to create an app performing the same function as the Smart Order Solution™. Assuming you’ve acquired the talent necessary to perform this task, you’ll now enter a process of weighing functionality and convenience against what you are willing and able to invest.
For example, although it would be ideal to offer the app on both Apple and Android devices to ensure wide availability, it is often equivalent to developing two separate products altogether. Each has particular requirements unique to its operating systems, devices, and application markets. Some keep a highly tight handle on third-party development; not only do they dictate the specific tools that may be used, but they maintain an exhaustive list of requirements to be met and subject apps to a notoriously rigorous review process before they are allowed to reach the App Store.
Meanwhile, any and all features slated for the app directly translate to cost on your end, not simply due to the time and effort put into developing them- things like implementation, troubleshooting, and testing are attached expenses that often go overlooked. Even once the app is completed and released to customers, your work as a developer is far from over. Updates are a continuous requirement regardless of how well an app may perform, as operating systems receive frequent updates that must be accommodated to ensure compatibility.
The most apparent drawback of opting for an application, however, actually lies in that a smartphone is not the best or most appropriate tool to perform the job of the Smart Order Solution™. Where a smartphone camera will need to contend with focusing mechanics and lighting conditions, the ECCO+ scanners are specifically designed to detect and read barcodes without issue even when obstructed, dirty, or slightly damaged, and in mere milliseconds at that. Moreover, smartphones are not suited to the rough environments for which the Smart Order Solution™ is intended.
Although they might appear more accessible or appealing at first glance, applications are not, in fact, the silver bullet of convenience they seem to be, even when we leave aside the critical question of supplying and maintaining the phones themselves. Ultimately, simplicity breeds simplicity; the Smart Order Solution™ breaks the ordering process into its most basic components to reduce costs, prevent errors, and streamline business in a way no other “automatic” ordering system can.
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