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Low-Cost Easy-to-Use Barcode Tracking Systems

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Frequently asked Questions

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  1. What is BellHawk Online? BellHawk Online provides operations tracking software on a software-as-a-service basis. This includes work-in-process and inventory tracking, warehouse management and manufacturing execution systems. It also includes materials tracking and traceability solutions for food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology processors.

  2. Who is the target audience for BellHawk Online? Small to mid-sized industrial organizations, as well as departments within larger organizations, that are looking for an "off-the shelf" solution that they can use in the Cloud without the need for their corporate IT organization to get involved.

  3. What is the typical cost for BellHawk Online for a smaller organization? BellHawk Online typically costs a few hundred dollars a month, with the cost for most client organizations coming in at under $1,000 per month.

  4. Should we use BellHawk Online or purchase BellHawk for installation on our own Windows Server? If you  are a small or medium sized organization without an in-house IT department then you should definitely use BellHawk Online. If you are an IT department within a larger organization that needs to implement an operations tracking system tailored to the needs of your organization then you should definitely consider purchasing the BellHawk software platform. Please click on the following link for a discussion of the Tradeoffs between using BellHawk Online and purchasing BellHawk.

  5. What is the difference between BellHawk Online and BellHawk Systems' Solution Integration Services? BellHawk Online provides ready-to-use solutions that enable an organization to quickly get up and running with simple solutions that typically meet at least 90% of their operational needs and have the ability for easy manual work-arounds for the other 10%. BellHawk Systems provides more complex systems that are tailored to the specific needs of each individual client and typically automatically exchange data with one or more other systems.

  6. Can BellHawk Online Exchange Data with my ERP or Accounting System? BellHawk Online can exchange data with other systems using Excel spreadsheets or comma delimited files. It also supports a Web Services (SOAP/XML) interface that external systems can use to exchange data with BellHawk Online.

  7. If we start using BellHawk Online on a subscription basis, can we transition to purchasing BellHawk to run on our own Windows Server? Yes, each BellHawk Online client gets their own website and database that can easily be transitioned, in future, to use their own server.

  8. How reliable is the BellHawk Online Service? BellHawk Online is run at a secure data center in the USA which has a very high uptime. We also take precautions, such as taking nightly backups of each client's data and storing this in the Cloud so as to facilitate rapid disaster recovery.

  9. What if the Internet goes down? This is always a risk factor, especially if the Internet is accessed over a cable strung on telephone poles. But often, the same poles carry the electricity to the plant. If a pole comes down or a tree falls over the wires both go out, and with it the operation of the plant. As a result, the risk has not been increased by using the Internet to manage plant operations.

  10. Do you sell Directly to Clients or through Partners? We sell our software and services directly to clients and also through our nationwide network of  partners. We also work with a range of technology and reseller partners to provide the best-of-breed equipment and supplies needed for each system.

  11. What support services do you provide? Currently support services for BellHawk Online are provided by BellHawk System's support staff on a prepaid basis. BellHawk Online is designed so that clients can be self sufficient (at least for simple applications) and so will only need minimal support services.

  12. What if we want our BellHawk Online instance customized or integrated  with another system? This is a paid service provided by BellHawk System's solution integration team. Except in simple cases, these customizations start with a design phase to clearly document the changes requested and to provide an accurate estimate of the cost.

  13. What if we want to develop our own custom reports from the BellHawk Online data? We can arrange to deliver a backup copy of the BellHawk database to a client's FTP site on a nightly basis. This can then be used to generate custom reports using products such as SSRS, Access, or Crystal reports.

  14. Do you make on-site sales calls?   No BellHawk Online is available for a few hundred dollars a month. At such low costs, making on-site sales calls is not economical. Instead we do all our presales activities on line.

  15. Do you arrange for visits to other users of the BellHawk software so we can see it in operation? Regretfully no. Our clients are all way too busy running their own businesses to host site visits. Many also have security concerns about hosting visitors. We provide an extensive set of training materials on-line for prospective clients to educate themselves.

  16. Do you provide lists of References? No, we jealously guard our clients' privacy.  BellHawk Systems' solution integration team will provide an introduction to references before beginning  a major solution integration project. We do not do this for BellHawk Online as clients can try out the software inexpensively and decide whether it works for their organization or not.

  17. Do you offer monthly subscription payments? No we only accept quarterly and annual prepayments to enable our corporate clients to pay by check or wire-transfer, which they seem to prefer.

  18. Do You Offer Free Trials of Your Software? No. It takes at least three months for an organization to effectively try out the software in an operational setting. At our low costs, we expect our clients to pay for the use of our servers and support services during their first one quarter "trial".

  19. Do you provide demonstrations of your software with our data?  Regrettably no. At the prices we charge for our software, we cannot afford to spend the time setting up the data for prospective client applications in the BellHawk software. For those organizations that wish to try out the software with their data in an operational setting then we recommend a 3 month trial subscription which enables organizations to do an in-depth evaluation of the software at minimal cost. To see how the software works, we recommend watching the demonstration videos (link below).

  20. What is the Cost-Benefit Trade-off for using a BellHawk system?  Most of our clients have been able to save the cost of one or more full-time equivalent people at a loaded labor cost of $5,000 or more a month.  Others have been able to increase sales through improved customer service. In each case, the BellHawk based barcode tracking system rapidly pays for itself in labor savings and improved operational efficiency. Some of our clients have been able to save over a hundred thousand dollars a year in operating costs through the use of a BellHawk based system.

  21. Can we use BellHawk to just track materials  and/or jobs in one limited area of our facility or do we need to deploy it to the whole plant at the same time? We encourage our clients to start in one area, to solve an immediately pressing problem. Then clients can incrementally expand their use of BellHawk Online to cover other areas as they gain experience with using the capabilities of BellHawk.

  22. Do I need to purchase a barcode printer to use BellHawk Online? No BellHawk prints its barcoded documents on an office printer and also uses pre-printed rolls of "license-plate" tracking barcodes.

  23. What if I need BellHawk Online to print barcode labels on demand? We recommend using our Barcode Label Printing Appliance(BLPA) Internet-of -Things appliance to ensure high speed printing on barcode label printers in each facility.


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