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BellHawk Mobile Data-Collection

Mobile Data Collection

An important function of the BellHawk software platform is to enable organizations to transition from using paper forms and manual keyboard data entry to using mobile computers with integral barcode scanners to automatically capture operational tracking data in real-time.  These wireless mobile computers use a web-browser interface to communicate over a wireless local area network, the Internet, or a mobile-phone data network, with a Windows Server computer on which the BellHawk software is running.

This real-time data capture eliminates the labor time for production workers to write down the information on paper forms and then for someone in the office, or a supervisor, to key the information into an Excel spreadsheet or an ERP or accounting system. It also eliminates many sources of data capture error by checking the data as it is entered and immediately warning the person doing the data entry.

The real-time data captured is used to provide managers and supervisors with a real-time view of the status of their inventory and their production operations. It is also used to warn the users of the mobile devices when they are about to make an operational mistake, such as using or picking the wrong materials, or materials that have not passed quality inspection.

Data entry is similar to that used by E-Commerce websites, such as Amazon, in that users fill in a form and then press an Enter or submit button on the screen. This is a familiar format to most users, even those who are not very computer literate or for whom English is a second language. As a result this makes training of production workers and material handlers a quick and straight forward process.

BellHawk is different, however, in that after each data entry line or checkbox, or drop-down selection, a message is immediately sent back to the BellHawk server computer. Here the data is checked against the contents of the BellHawk database, including all the client-defined rules in the knowledge-base, and the user is warned immediately on their mobile device, if they are about to make an operational mistake.

BellHawk is also different in that it modifies the form in real-time in response to the data entered. BellHawk does not present the user with different data entry boxes for all possible circumstances that could be relevant to the data being entered, as is done by ERP and accounting systems. Nor does it expect the user to know which data entry boxes to fill in under which circumstances. Instead, BellHawk modifies the screen to show just those data entry boxes that the user needs to fill in, based on the data in its database and client defined rules in its knowledge-base.

As a result, all the user has to do is to start at the top of the form and then work their way down, filling in the data entry boxes as they go down the form, using barcode scanning on touch-screen data collection until they have filled in all the "boxes" presented. They they press the on-screen Enter or Submit button and the data is sent back to the server, double checked, and the user is given an acknowledgement that the data has been safely stored away.

Appropriate data is then retained on the screen, so that subsequent data entry, such as for a sequence of containers, only requires entering the data that changes, such as by scanning barcodes on the other containers.

As well as being used to collect transactional data recording the movement of materials, as well as labor and equipment time used, the mobile device can be used to enable the mobile worker to:

Please click here to learn more about Problems with Using Paper Forms and How BellHawk solves these Problems.