- Ability to interface scanner directly to remote laptop computers
- Cost effective
- No lost data
- Automatic dialing of modem
- Real time inventory control
NYNEX Mobil Communications Company is one of the nation’s leading providers of cellular telephone service, currently serving over 400,000 customers throughout the Northeast. NYNEX Corporation is one of the seven regional companies formed by the Bell System breakup. With a merger with Bell Atlantic, NYNEX Mobile’s service areas throughout the Northeast are some of the most challenging in the world.
Auto ID Inventory Control Problem
NYNEX Mobile Communications needed a way to provide rapid on-site inventory of its AT&T communications equipment. A system of automatic identification was decided upon as the most reliable, accurate and controllable. This involved providing each piece of equipment with its own bar code label. The data accessed by this bar code included information about the piece of equipment including its serial number, its warranty, its exact location and detailed technical information. NYNEX field representatives perform an inventory of their cell sites (an industry term describing a communications network of transmitters and receivers that will transmit radio communications) by going out to the sites and scanning the bar code on each piece of equipment with a Symbol LS2020 bar code scanner. This scanned data needed to be fed into a database, “Escort”, running on the field representatives’ laptop PC. The laptop was then to dial though a modem to the company headquarters to enable rapid and efficient inventory of fixed assets.
The WinWedge Solution for Data Collection into Laptop PCs
A keyboard wedge could not be used to input the scanned data as lap-tops do not have detachable keyboards. The DOSWedge (SoftwareWedge for DOS) solves this problem as it can run on any IBM compatible PC (including laptops and palmtops) and requires no hardware. The RS232 output scanner just need to be plugged directly into the PCs’ serial port. DOSWedge not only has all the features of the most powerful and expensive hardware wedge (such as data parsing and filtering, keystroke macro insertion and date/time stamps) but it also buffers the input better so it is more reliable it is more portable, less expensive and will never break! It can also be installed on up to 32 serial ports on one PC to collect data from many devices simultaneously. Hence for reading scanned bar code data into any IBM compatible lap-top NYNEX found DOSWedge to be the best solution.
DOSWedge also comes with many powerful utilities. The utilities can be used to automatically dial a modem, send data out the serial port or read data to a disk file in the background. Hence it is able to instantaneously transmit scanned data out via a modem to any destination. These are very powerful features for fast and accurate on-site data collection and transmission such as required by NYNEX.
Hence NYNEX Mobile Communications used DOSWedge to assist in providing rapid inventory for its AT&T communications equipment. NYNEX Mobile has had this system in successful operation since early 1992.