The Elf is a rugged PDA, developed by Datalogic primarily for retail and field force applications. It is feature-rich and incorporates a 1D laser scanner, a 2D barcode imager and a camera. It has a Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, four different wireless technologies (including GPS and Bluetooth) and USB connectivity.
The device can be used in several ways. The main application involves servicing the vending machines – route operators use the Elfs to scan products in and out of machines and to take cash and meter readings. They also collect orders from the stores and complete monthly van stock takes.
Coinadrink’s stores have a similar programme for receiving and issuing stock, and for monthly stock takes. The delivery drivers use the Datalogic units for proof of delivery and for checking the installation, servicing and removal of water coolers. The company has recently started using the Elfs internally, to catalogue its current stock of vending machines.