U.S. retail service merchandisers for Hallmark Cards Inc. will be equipped with hand-held computers from Intermec Technologies Corp. and application software from Field Performance Group Inc. The new system, named INFOLink, provides electronic reordering, real-time inventory information and store display charts that allow field service personnel to maintain merchandise displays.
The system combines Field Performance Group's FieldWeb software, built using Microsoft CE.Net Compact Framework, with Intermec's new CN1 hand-held computer. FieldWeb was customized specifically for Hallmark to maintain its ease of use. The CN1 is a rugged personal digital assistant (PDA) that uses the Microsoft“ Windows CE operating system and provides bar-code scanning capability using Intermec's high-performance linear CMOS scanning engine.
"INFOLink represents the largest investment Hallmark has ever made in field technology," said Hallmark Senior Vice President Steve Paoletti. "We expect INFOLink to greatly enhance the daily work of merchandisers, while saving the company substantially through increased productivity. Add to that improved retail execution, expanded communication features and other job efficiencies, and INFOLink became a very clear choice."
"Hallmark's data requirements were extensive," said Tom Bradshaw, vice president, technology, Field Performance Group. "Thousands of records have to be replicated nightly for each account. The benefit of having this data available by scanning a UPC is enormous, and it was an exciting challenge to tie it all together using the latest technologies."
"The INFOLink system allows Hallmark merchandisers to have all the information they need at their fingertips," said Intermec President Tom Miller. "The combination of pen-based mobile computers and feature-rich application software based on CE.Net provides a flexible base for quick and effective application development. By selecting state-of-the art technology to automate its merchandising operations, Hallmark can add capabilities as needed in the future to provide continued flexibility."
In addition to having developed the software, Field Performance Group is also hosting the application and providing help desk support to Hallmark's many field users. Intermec's Logistics Control Center preconfigured the CN1s, loading the application software and market-specific database prior to shipment.