Finnish Firm Turns to Barcodes & CortexDecoder SDK for in-the-field Data Capture
Ready to run? Finland’s Bluugo is.
The software as a service (SaaS) innovator’s ready-to-run Tracking Cloud™ platform digitizes firms’ products and services while linking suppliers and stakeholders to a common hub with 24/7 visibility. Developed in Finland and deployed in nearly 30 countries, Tracking Cloud boasts diverse customers ranging from a trash compactor manufacturer to an inbound/outbound logistics expert. Although different, every firm needs an easy-to-use field service application that synchronizes labor, assets, and services performed to maximize productivity and profitability.
"Our customers’ problems typically relate to suboptimal data collection and sharing, along with a lack of visibility in their day-to-day processes," states Rami Juhela, Bluugo founder and CEO. "The typical challenges revolve around a solution that’s in place, but it isn’t good enough, or is isolated and not exchanging information."
Bluugo Builds a Better Builder
Among Tracking Cloud’s successes is a European utilities construction firm with projects, like pipelines, scattered across the continent. Supporting their sprawling operations are vans loaded with tools and small construction equipment. Additionally, these tools and devices are rented out. But the tools and equipment require periodic maintenance, which relied heavily on manual logging that was often incorrect or incomplete. Tracking Cloud addressed this issue by scanning the tools’ GS1 DataMatrix barcodes via smartphone, giving business administration and maintenance techs usable data.
"Reserving and renting the equipment and booking the spare parts needed for service is completely based on DataMatrix scanning," explains Juhela. "Adding to the challenge were different people across Europe with varying skill sets and capabilities, so the firm needed one standardized tool for in-the-field transactions."
The construction firm exemplifies the need for Tracking Cloud.
According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, only 20% of field service workers think their field service tools are easy to use. Moreover, suboptimal data collection and sharing hamper their daily activities.
Blue Skies Ahead
After learning about a customer’s business, Bluugo’s team configures the Tracking Cloud service to create a digital ecosystem with customized workflows to suit operations, provide real-time data transmission, and automate critical functions. Unlike traditional enterprise resource planning systems, however, Tracking Cloud implementation occurs in weeks—not months.
"Instead of taking 14 months for an IT project, we can have one deployed in 8-12 weeks, including onboarding," beams Juhela. "With that, we are providing what’s probably the market’s shortest time-to-value."
Swift integration is largely due to Tracking Cloud’s capabilities, like asset tracking via barcode scanning, which were baked in during the platform’s initial development. If speedy implementation isn’t enough, Tracking Cloud’s end-to-end service packages are delivered with a fixed price and transparent licensing, something missing from most large-scale cloud computing solutions.
As Juhela sees it, many companies have entire value chains that are unmanaged because, before Tracking Cloud, there wasn’t a harmonious way of funneling field data to decision-makers. Moreover, Tracking Cloud’s few competitors don’t have the Bluugo team’s decades of digital expertise and business acumen to test and select the best data capture and integration tools. Like those used for field services, e.g., asset tracking via QR or DataMatrix barcodes.
"We have certain technologies built-in, but we lacked some reliable tools for scanning the DataMatrix barcodes in challenging conditions such as low light or dust. We needed a dependable scanning tool, and Code Corporation’s scanning is much quicker and more reliable than what we’ve been developing in-house."
Echoing McKinsey’s usability findings, one potential Tacking Cloud user mandated that barcode scanning via smartphone camera occur within 1.5 seconds. So Bluugo tested Code’s CortexDecoder barcode scanning software development kit in varying angles and lighting conditions. Upon successful evaluation, Bluugo gave the same opportunity to the prospect for real-world testing with their actual labels.
"The customer has a lot of equipment with DataMatrix codes built-in; they were scanning these, and CortexDecoder worked pretty well. Actually, not pretty well, but perfectly," recalls Juhela. "They were pleased because they were concerned in the beginning that they would have to relabel their products.
"We investigated other libraries, but Code’s approach was well-suited to us because we could try out the solution for free, and it was easy to ask Code’s technical people questions."
Off-site & Offline
Bluugo is discovering that offline barcode scanning, a unique CortexDecoder capability, has given Tracking Cloud an incredible edge. Some customers appreciate the value-add of offline scanning via any camera-equipped smartphone when working in areas with spotty cellular networks. Others, Juhela says, work in places like nuclear power plants where devices are forbidden from "calling home" upon scanning. In these areas, CortexDecoder scans the barcodes and automatically syncs captured data with Tracking Cloud once network connectivity is available and data transfer is permitted.
"In these difficult conditions where you have to read the DataMatrix barcodes and need it to be a fully offline-capable mobile application, Bluugo suddenly has something in place that many other companies don’t," Juhela adds.
Don’t Track, Don’t Profit
Tracking Cloud holds tremendous promise for firms that send personnel into the field, track distributed assets, or rent items. Juhela recalls a customer sharing what business was like before integration.
"[Before Tracking Cloud], scanning wasn’t occurring, so they weren’t collecting information from the field, and since they are supposed to bill customers, they were losing money because hours weren’t properly reported, and assets went untracked."
Tracking Cloud’s users will continue maximizing revenues because data captured in the field will directly translate to dollars and Euros on statement sheets. This success will be thanks, in no small part, to Bluugo’s user-centric products that rely on best-of-breed business intelligence tools like CortexDecoder.
Concerned that operations aren’t as profitable as you think? Contact Bluugo to discover the Tracking Cloud package that will bring field data in-house.
Puzzled by how to strengthen your firm’s operations and insight? Contact Code, its industry-tested barcode readers and industry-trusted software might be the missing pieces.