Software Design and Development
Software design and development is becoming an increasingly fundamental aspect of our business. Typically this is offline software used in field sales, retail auditing and research applications, designed to complement our online data collection and real-time reporting facilities.
Many of our extranet and intranet projects involve the collection and processing of retail data at individual outlets - product inventory, product sales, competitor POS activity and pricing, promotional compliance etc. In some instances it is either not possible or not practical for field-based representatives to access online systems while in-store or on the road. To resolve this, we are able to supply complementary offline software that synchronises with our online databases when a connection is available, and enables users to record and process data independently when it is not.
A typical offline application will firstly involve a structured synchronisation process, through which the user's identity is established and the relevant data (forthcoming visit schedules, contact names and addresses for the user's retail portfolio, any modifications to retail questionnaires, product listings etc) is downloaded to the user's laptop. Any changes to database structure or software functionality (i.e. a version update) are downloaded at the same time. Existing visit data is then uploaded from the laptop to the database to complete the process.
Using this approach we are able to provide clients with a high degree of flexibility - they can modify a retail questionnaire one evening and expect to see data coming back from the field the following day - and maintain complete control over the format in which data is collected and the scheduling of sales/audit activity within the retail estate. The synchronisation process can also be used to manage internal administrative tasks (such as journey plans and expenses) and to distribute common documents (customer order forms, Powerpoint presentations etc). Where touch screen laptops or tablet PCs are being used, customer signatures can also be stored and uploaded in jpeg format.
- Offline software to complement online data collection and reporting facilities
- Easy-to-use, intuitive applications in familiar Windows interface
- Structured synchronisation processes to transfer data and deliver software updates
- Useful vehicle for distributing customer-related documentation and presentations