Smart-Tec Solutions provides services and solutions to utility and property management businesses in Toronto, ON. They approached TTAG Systems to find an efficient solution to monitor on-site employees as they visited different maintenance locations, giving the company fast and accurate data on each employee, as well as property and asset check-ins.
When a property management company was needed to service maintenance points or assets (such as fire extinguishers or sprinkler systems) in different locations, they would send in a siteperson. However, there was no way of knowing if their team member visited the stores and more importantly checked the respective equipment.
Smart-Tec needed a solution that would allow property management companies to monitor physical site visits by the site person to make sure the equipment was properly checked. TTAG Systems and its partners assessed the challenges and potential solutions and responded by creating a low-cost custom NFC solution that included a mobile app, durable NFC tags and a web dashboard.
Checking the small assets. While geofencing and enabling the location services on site person’s phone was an obvious option, this approach was only capable of providing a general visit location and no hard data to see if the employee checked the asset.
Small asset connectivity. We have also assessed IoT (Internet of Things) approach to making every small asset connected, installing RFID systems or Bluetooth beacons to communicate with the mobile app and some others. While all these approaches were viable, they resulted either in higher capital and operating costs or required significant maintenance efforts.
We devised a low-cost near field communication solution that utilized NFC tags, a Blackberry mobile app and a web dashboard.
The choice of technology was clear: because NFC technology works within very close proximity, an employee has to touch physically the NFC tag with his phone to record the visit. Moreover, programming and attaching an NFC tag to every asset would be simple, inexpensive and require no connectivity or maintenance in the future.
The Blackberry mobile app recorded siteperson’s interaction with NFC tags and transferred this information to web dashboard, where management could check the results in real time, including visited locations, date, time and checked assets.
Working with our partners from RFID Canada we have identified proper NFC Tags to use for the project. The Ironside Micro™ HF/NFC tag we used is designed for industrial assets, is durable and can easily face varying weather conditions and rough handling.
Here are the final results we have created for Smart-Tec NFC Solutions:
A real-time cloud-based system for property managementand assets tracking that has numerous applications in industries that require tracking of human activity and asset points.
Low ongoing maintenance and operation costs. NFC tags chosen were inexpensive, very durable, and once fixed to the assets and location, they don’t require connectivity or consistent maintenance.
We’ve built a Blackberry mobile application that utilized existing company assets (corporate Blackberry Q10 or Z10 phones) without a need to spend money on additional hardware.