NECS, Inc.

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entrée.PEN: Anoto Digital Pen Interface

entrée Anoto Pen Interface requirements:
entrée V4
Anoto Live Pen 2
Formidable app for iPhone or Android available for free on either the iTunes or Google Play Store, and must be installed on each drivers smart phone
Microsoft NET Framework, version 4.5 or later on the server/workstation generating the Anoto documents

General Printer requirements:
Color laser printer (600/1200/2400 DPI)
Adobe Postscript 3
128MB RAM (minimum)
Recommended printers are the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553n, the Xerox Phaser series, and the Okidata C610 or C711 series
Note that the Xerox ColorQube printers are not compatible because of the glossy ink used.

Verify Your Laser Printer:

You can verify that your laser printer can properly print the Anoto Digital Ink pattern by downloading and printing the below PDF. After printing on your laser printer, please send the original copy to NECS and we will verify if your printer is compatible.
Anoto Pen Pairing Instructions.PDF

"Customers write notes on the invoices on how cool this technology is, I think they are more surprised at how an independent distributor has this technology available to them. Customers can't believe that they sign their invoice and we hand it to them and the driver walks out the door and we have the electronic image instantly... At the end of every day, customer service would have to file and scan hundreds of invoices, which was very time consuming.  Now the ladies in the office are going home earlier and not putting in overtime to get that work done. I would definitely recommend the Anoto Pen to other food distributors."  
~ Ed Maybrun, President of Cotati Food Service

"Our customers and staff think the Anoto digital pen is really neat! We were printing our invoices with an old dot matrix printer from the 70's that we could no longer get parts for. When we originally saw the demo in New Orleans it was the logical choice for us and since coming on board we have saved a ton in paper costs. It also took about 5 minutes to show our drivers what to do and they picked up on it quickly. I would definitely recommend the Anoto Pen to other food distributors."
~  Jay Horne, President of Dillon Provision Co., Inc.

Take Your Drivers and Your Operation to the Next Level

This simple to use technology is the perfect solution to reduce costs and bring efficiency to your drivers and your operation. And what could be easier than putting pen to paper? First you save paper, money and time by only printing one copy of a customer's invoice. When the delivery is made, the driver can write on the invoice as normal, the customer signs and keeps the copy of the invoice. Within moments the invoice with any writing on it and the customers signature is transmitted into your entrée software. This eliminates the need to scan the signed invoice with software such as our entrée.DOC module, saving more time and costs.

Delivery Invoices

When using the Anoto Digital Pen technology, you no longer need to print expensive multi-page carbonless invoices on a dot matrix printer.  You also don't need to print multiple copies of the same form on a laser printer. You also don't need to scan the invoice into your entrée software when the driver returns. These methods are used because of the importance of capturing the customer's signature as well as any other markups the driver might write on the invoice. Instead, just a single page of the customers invoice will be printed on a laser printer (see requirements) using plain paper and regular toner.  The driver writes on the invoice as normal, they put a check mark in either the Review (alerts DSR to possible delivery issues) or Complete (order delivered without issue) box.  The customer signs the invoice and then the driver checks the Transmit box.  The customer is given the original invoice and within minutes the invoice with all writing is delivered into your entrée software and attached to the invoice.  You can then print or email the invoice as much as needed. 

Cash Collection Sheets

A challenge many foodservice distributors have is keeping track of cash and checks collected by the drivers, and then quickly and easily applying these monies received to the proper accounts receivable invoices. The Cash Collection Sheet solves this problem and brings yet more efficiency to your operation by using the Anoto Digital Pen technology. For those accounts where the drivers pick up cash or checks, a Cash Collection Sheet can be automatically printed when the invoice is printed. The driver can write the invoice number, check number (or indicate cash) and dollar amount collected. The Anoto Digital Pen's outstanding handwriting recognition will convert what was written accurately to data. It also tracks the GPS location where the monies were picked up. By the time the drivers return to your warehouse, all of their receipts will be organized and ready for you to quickly and easily apply the Cash Receipts.

Route Documents Review

When your drivers are using the Anoto Digital Pen, you will want to be sure that all invoices, cash collection, etc. documents for their route have been transmitted to your entrée system and nothing is missing. To expedite this process we created the Route Documents Review screen. Here you can discover such things as documents that need review and documents that have not been transmitted. Note that the Route Documents Review screen also works with entrée.DOC scanned documents and will identify missing invoice documents not scanned into your entrée system.

How Does It Work?

Anoto technology empowers this universally understood process by turning traditional handwritten information into modern digital data with the stroke of a pen.  As your drivers write on the invoice and your customer signs it, the Anoto Digital Pen’s built-in camera automatically takes digital snapshots of the Anoto Microdot Patterned surface on your printed invoice, enabling the Anoto Digital Pen’s image microprocessor to determine the exact position of the Anoto Digital Pen, and thereby accurately record what it writes in real time.  The captured digital data is sent in real time via Bluetooth on the drivers smart phone (iPhone or Android) into your entrée software.  In case the smart phone is off or not within cell range, the invoice data is retained in the Anoto Digital Pen's memory and synchronized via USB once the driver is back at your warehouse.

How Easy Is It For My Drivers?

Training your drivers on how to use the Anoto Digital Pen is really simple. They basically need to know how to write with a pen and what boxes to check on the invoice when they are finished with the delivery invoice and where to write payment totals on the Cash Collection Sheet. They also need to make sure their smart phone is turned on and the app that communicates with the pen is running. This is not a high tech device that requires a lot of training or technical expertise. The pen itself will store hundreds of documents, so even if their smart phone isn't on, the documents are still captured and ready for download when they return to the office. Within just a few minutes of training, your drivers will become comfortable and ready to go!

If Something Doesn't Work

Your invoices with the customer's signature and other markups as well as the drivers writing payment information on the Cash Collection Sheets are mission critical to your operation.  The following are five scenarios of things that could go wrong and how they are addressed:

  1. What happens if the driver's phone doesn't have reception or it's turned off?

All  documents are immediately and automatically stored in the pen.  Once the driver returns to an area with cell reception, all the pending documents will be sent at once to your office.  If the driver's phone never comes back on, when they return to the office they will drop the pen into its charging cradle and via USB all the documents will be taken off the pen and uploaded into entrée.

  1. How long will the battery last on the Anoto Digital Pen?

The Anoto Digital Pen will work for up to 2 weeks on a single charge.  Because you'll be charging your pens every night, there is virtually no chance the pen will run out of battery after using it for just one day.

  1. What happens if the pen breaks?

The Anoto Digital Pen is very reliable with only one pen in a thousand ever having an issue according to Anoto.  If you have the warranty or extended warranty from Anoto, a new pen will be sent via overnight courier to you. If the pen is not functional or available, the driver can take a picture of the document with camera in their smart phone.  The picture would then be sent into your entrée V4 software and be attached to the invoice document.

  1. What happens if the pen runs out of ink?

The ink in the pen should last the typical driver at least a year.  You can purchase a box of 150 ink refills to make sure you always have extra ink on hand.

  1. How can the driver be sure that the Invoice / Cash Collection Sheet was transmitted into entrée?

Once the driver checks the "X-MIT" box with their pen, they will feel the pen vibrate.  This is the first signal that the pen has begun the process of transmitting the documents.  Within about 60 seconds, their smart phone will display the documents transmitted as shown on the screenshot image on the right.  Once they see this on their phone they are assured that the document has made it to the remote server and it's on the way to your entrée V4 software.

A Game Changer for Your Operation

The introduction of our Anoto Digital Pen interface has been met with more excitement from food distributors than any other software module that we've offered.  As you and your drivers get used to using the Anoto Digital Pen and how it interfaces with entrée V4, your confidence will quickly build and it will become an important part of your daily procedures.  Implementing this simple to use technology in your operation will make you their technology hero once again!

Anoto is the company behind and world leading in the unique technology for digital pen and paper, which enables fast and reliable conversion of handwritten text into digital format. NECS has licensed this technology for use in/with NECS products and services.