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Monthly Archives: February 2012

What do the dashes and dots on barcodes really mean?

You see them all over the place, from cereal boxes to prescription labels, from envelopes to electronics – barcodes are everywhere. But what do those little black lines and dots mean? Barcodes themselves do not contain descriptive information, rather they provide a reference which is scanned and looked up in a database that does contain the descriptive information such as item name, price and quantity. Alternatively a URL does not contain the descriptive information in the website it references.

There are two major types of barcodes – one and two dimensional. One dimensional (1D) are probably more commonly seen, they are on every item you see in the store. 1D barcodes are made of a series of vertical lines (bars) and spaces of varying widths. These bar and space combinations are strung together to represent different characters. Two dimensional codes use a series of dots, blocks and other geometric shapes into a square or rectangular pattern. 2D barcodes are generally able to contain much more information than 1D. Where a 1D barcode such as a UPC code contains 12 digits, a 2D barcode such as a QR code may contain thousands of alpha-numeric characters.

In either case the codes need to be read by something – a reader. Barcode readers act as a translator between the code itself and the data it contains (those 12 digits in the UPC for example). Today you can download literally dozens of apps for your smartphone that will read both 1D and 2D barcodes, but here’s the trick; there are literally dozens of different “languages” of barcodes to translate. Let’s take a look at some of the more commonly used codes.

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Mapes and Sprowl ‘Steels’ the Lead with MobileFrame’s Inspection Application

Los Gatos, CA (February 17, 2012) – MobileFrame LLC, provider of the only cross-device mobile application development platform that requires no custom coding to develop custom mobile apps, announces that Mapes and Sprowl Steel, a leading service center specializing in enameling steel for porcelain-coating applications and silicon steel for electrical applications, has chosen MobileFrame’s Inspection Application.

Mapes and Sprowl was interested in standardizing on a single mobile application platform that would allow them to easily configure and deploy any app for any department on any handheld computer.  Because they already had a custom coded inspection application in use, they knew the time and effort that custom coding requires. They not only wanted to upgrade their app, but they also wanted to automate many other processes across the company. Once they began their evaluation of the solutions in the marketplace, they quickly realized that MobileFrame’s Configurable ApplicationTM platform provided the flexibility they needed to easily deploy apps customized to their own requirements. Another key factor in their vendor selection was the fact that MobileFrame’s solution has all of the management features needed for a successful deployment already built in.   Continue reading

Sabine Pools is Swimming in Success with MobileFrame’s Work Order and Inventory Tracking Apps

Los Gatos, CA (February 9, 2012) – MobileFrame, LLC., the leading provider of Configurable Mobile Applications™ enterprise software, announces that Sabine Pools, a full-service pool and spa company, has chosen MobileFrame’s application to eliminate all paper work associated with work orders and to track inventory for pools, spas and furniture.

Prior to implementing MobileFrame software, Sabine Pools was doing all work orders and inventory manually. This paper-based process was time consuming and error prone. Sabine Pools is now able to eliminate their weekly service form and create a mobile inventory tracking application for their technicians. With this app, technicians can scan incoming shipments, take periodic inventories to determine when to order additional supplies and track items on the shelves and/or warehouse equipment.

Sabine Pools is currently benefiting from:

  • Improved Productivity. The elimination of paper forms frees time for workers to complete more mission critical tasks per day – time is no longer wasted on administrative paperwork.
  • Fewer data errors. By no longer handwriting then re-entering data it into computers, the errors inherent to manual data entry are eliminated and data integrity is improved.
  • Mobile Work Orders. Technicians can create, edit, review and annotate work orders.
  • Parts and Inventory Tracking. Searchable parts list includes quantity of inventory on hand and on order.
  • Real-time Customer Data. Full access to account info, contact data, work order history, parts pricing, promotions and payment collection while on-site with the customer.
  • And much moreContinue reading

Decision Support Systems Made Easy

Mobile Applications used for field services, inventory/asset management, direct store delivery and proof of delivery are good at capturing data, integrating with backend systems and keeping your mobile force up to date.  But all that data can be put to further use if managed through a proper dashboard management system.  Dashboard management systems can be a separate application or an add-on to existing applications that provide management the tools to make informed business decisions. Harnessing this information is key to making decisions to better place your organization in the market, maximize profit margins and reduce overhead.  What can they do for your business?

Let’s say you run a direct store delivery (DSD) business selling bakery goods.  By simply capturing the data that the DSD application provides, you can keep track of inventory and automate invoicing, which in itself is beneficial.  But by optimizing your data management into a decision support dashboard you can determine which goods are selling better in which stores and going faster off the truck and link that to ingredient ordering and labor management.  Knowing this information allows management to make informed decisions about what ingredients to buy and what products to send to different outlets.
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Performance Food Group Feeds Their Appetite for Success with MobileFrame’s Tracking App

Los Gatos, CA (February 3, 2012) – MobileFrame LLC, provider of the only cross-device mobile application development platform that requires no custom coding to develop custom mobile apps, announces that Performance Food Group (PFG), deliverers of food and food-related products to more than 130,000 independent and national chain restaurants, has chosen MobileFrame’s Configurable Mobile Application TM  solution to track Warewash equipment, complete service calls and give the executive management team the knowledge of where the equipment is being used.  The Warewash equipment they need to track includes coffee pots, dishwashers and parts, dispensing equipment etc.

Performance Food Group is one of the nation’s leading foodservice distributors, delivering food and food-related products to more than 41,000 restaurants and institutions across the United States. The company distributes a broad array of national proprietary brand food and related products, including baked goods, seafood, choice cut USDA meats, condiments and cleaning supplies. PFG supplies more than 68,000 products to restaurants, hotels and other hospitality operators through roughly 20 distribution facilities. Continue reading