City Care stays in touch

City Care and Foodstuffs are CWEA finalists in the category Mobile and Wireless Solutions

City Care, which provides contracting services to local authorities and other asset owners, is benefiting from a mobile solution introduced to improve communications between office and field workers.

Since it was introduced, Mobile Event Manager has enabled field staff to spend more time out of the office, particularly supervisors, who now have access to all relevant information via PDAs.

It has also reduced paperwork, by shifting much of the former paper-based contract management process to the wireless system, reducing the amount of time staff spend communicating from the field to head office.

Field staff can now be notified of changes and new events immediately, rather than hearing about then when they return to base.

Mobile Event Manager is the remote window into City Care’s core event management system and is a web application accessed via a mobile web browser on PDAs.

It was developed in Visual Basic .Net and uses other .Net technologies.

Some of the data accessed by remote workers is presented in GIS form.

Another wireless success story concerns supermarket chain Foodstuffs, which first began bringing in wireless technology ten years ago.

Today, workflow at Foodstuffs warehouses is completely automated and much of it is done via wireless devices. Forklift drivers have units on their vehicles telling them where to go and which pallets to move, and enabling them to scan products without leaving the forklift.

In the supermarket, staff scan products on the shelf and relay any orders for more wirelessly. Mobile devices are also used for stocktakes and other supermarket-based tasks.

At Foodstuffs’ Pak’nSave supermarkets, customers can self-scan goods as they put them in the trolley, saving time at the checkout. A wireless LAN connects the mobile handsets to the point-of-sale system.

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