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London Businesses Adopt Reward Technology's RFID Solution

The Dandy Lab, a men's boutique, says that the system has increased customer retention by 20 percent. Central Working, an office and workspace provider, has been using the system for the past two years.
By Claire Swedberg

The technology is also being tested for security and other applications within office buildings. By installing xArray readers at elevators or lobbies, as well as xPortal readers in stairways, the Reward Technology system can be used to identify who is on which floor in real time, using Software AG's real-time data solutions software. Security personnel can then view this information in the event of an emergency.

The system can also be used for other purposes, such as networking. Central Working, which provides office space and services to workers at small and midsize firms, has been using Reward Technology's RFID-based system to monitor the arrivals and departures of its clients' employees for two years, says James Layfield, Central Working's CEO. The company has now begun utilizing the technology to match an individual's work-related needs and interests to the expertise of others working at the same facility.

Central Working's James Layfield
Approximately 1,000 companies are clients of Central Working, which operates five worksites—four in London and one in Manchester. At any given time, there could be several hundred or more workers at each of those sites. At every site, Central Working provides wireless Internet coverage and equipment, such as PCs, that individuals might require to perform their work.

The facilities, all five of which are equipped with Reward Technology's RFID solution, are designed to promote collaboration between workers within a company and with those of other businesses. "We have a belief that the sense of community is being lost in the West," Layfield states. The facilities are designed to bring back that community sense for those working in Europe, North America and other locations. Central Working installed UHF RFID readers at the doorways and issued RFID tags in membership badges.

The firm initially employed the Reward Technology solution to identify and track who was on the premises, and thereby better manage the assets onsite in order to meet users' needs. But now, Layfield says, Central Working is also using the system to provide personalized service to its client companies. When a business signs up for membership, it provides a list of interests, as well as any problems, such as the need for a better Web design, additional workers or legal assistance. The technology then matches those needs with others' skills and responsibilities.

If a worker arrives at one of Central Working's sites with a need for Web designers, for instance, and such a professional happens to be onsite, both individuals will receive a text or e-mail message providing information about each other so that they can meet up. "Imagine if you need something, and you get an e-mail or message with a solution," Layfield says. "That's a magical thing to bring to a real-world community."

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