Business Solutions Magazine:

This integrator developed a simple software app that speeds up data entry, leading to opportunities in law enforcement, healthcare, education, fitness clubs, and more.

Integrators content to sell hardware alone won’t stay in business very long in today’s AIDC market. Adding software to the hardware and creating solutions to address pain points will lead to more success. Even better, develop your own software. Of course, some integrators lack the skill to program, but that can be overcome with one hire or some outsourcing. A greater challenge is coming up with the idea. While you might think that any software you bring to market needs to be some complex industry-shaking application, the truth is that there are plenty of successful software development projects that are rather small in their scope and limited in their capability. Where they shine is in their ability to address a single pain point customers experience. Take, for instance, integrator Huzzard Systems and one of its law enforcement customers, the Hartford, WI Police Department (HPD).

Gary Jahnke, president of Huzzard Systems, recalls that a few years ago his company was exhibiting at a tradeshow when he was approached by the HPD, which had heard about the integrator’s success with other law enforcement customers.

Like many other law enforcement agencies, the HPD wanted to improve its traffic stops. In most cases, traffic stops require an officer to take the driver’s license back to the patrol vehicle, where the officer then manually enters the license information into a laptop to perform a check on the driver. This creates a number of problems. “Even for routine traffic stops, the longer the officer is working on the side of the road the greater the risk of being struck by oncoming traffic,” explains Jahnke. “Additionally, manual data entry introduces potential errors and is slow. All things considered, police should be spending time policing, not performing data entry.”

To hasten traffic stops, Huzzard Systems recommended its Read & Feed™software along with a Code CR1000 bar code scanner. The combination allows officers to take a license back to their cars and quickly scan the PD417bar code on the back of a license. The Read & Feed™software reads the data within the barcode and uses Javascript to mimic keyboard entries to populate the data entry fields on the laptop, thus removing all manual data entry. Since PD417 bar codes are standardized, the software knows exactly where to find key pieces of information, such as first name, last name, and date of birth.

Working in law enforcement for some time, Huzzard has learned that not all departments use the same software in their vehicles. In situations where a customer is using software Huzzard hasn’t yet encountered, the integrator sends someone on site to study the software, noting the workflow, necessary tabbing throughout fields, and delays to add to keystrokes. In the case of HPD, the software being used was one with which Huzzard had already integrated. This made setup very simple. Indeed, Jahnke says they sent a demo unit and software executable, and the department was able to get a pilot up and running immediately. After a brief trial, the HPD was satisfied and sought to move ahead with the project. In the end, the solution was installed in eight cars.

The HPD was interested not only in the features of the solution but also its low cost. Utilizing Code CR1000 bar code scanners, the solution cost $399 for each vehicle. Jahnke says law enforcement, in general, is particularly sensitive to pricing due to ongoing budgetary constraints.
Not only are the Code scanners affordable to this market, Jahnke says, but they are also the best fit for the solution. “Our evaluation and selection of Code initially had nothing to do with price,” he recalls. “Our decision simply came down to Javascript programming capabilities. In evaluating all the barcode scanners on the market, while many other manufacturers have products that can easily scan PD417 barcodes on licenses, only Code could handle Javascript programming on a basic barcode scanner.” Not only could it handle Javascript, Jahnke says, but also there were no limitations. “With other products we’d look at over the years, we’d always run into a ‘gotcha’ or limitation that would make it come up short compared with the Code scanners.”

The HPD is the perfect example of the type of customer with which Huzzard is having success. To date, the integrator has installed approximately 500 units in the law enforcement field. Jahnke says he’s currently working on a state highway patrol deal that could add another 1,000 units.

In addition, the integrator has thousands of other Read & Feed™solutions in markets outside of law enforcement. Jahnke has learned that there are plenty of other industries that need quick and accurate data entry. For example, the integrator is having a lot of success with fitness clubs registering new members with a driver’s license scan. Additionally, Huzzard has healthcare and education customers using the software. Such a simple application, with far-reaching uses, is paying off big for this integrator.

Business Solutions Magazine: http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/stand-apart-with-custom-software-0001