Using a PDA for Information Management

What is a PDA? A personal digital assistant is a device, which is handheld, running a mini rather a micro version of your personal computer. Now the PDA’s come with operating systems allowing them to run special application. With wireless connectivity to the server, these PDA’s can be used effectively to collect data on field in any working environment. The PDA’s can be used to run various type of application which require simple data collection and transferring the data to the server over a wireless link. Let’s study a simple case of using a PDA in a modern restaurant and how it can assist in information management is such an environment. First of all let us examine what information needs to be collected in a restaurant on recurring basis and whether a PDA could be of any use in such an environment. The first requirement is that the PDA should be able to connect to the information server on a wireless network including the kitchen and the Bar. The restaurant uses a simple catalog of services or the menu. The tables need identifications and the PDA should be able to take an order from the customer. Then the PDA must be able to communicate the order to the kitchen or the Bar as the case may be. Next is the PDA’s ability to send the information to the billing clerk for final bill generation when requested for. With the latest technology all these functions could be built into an application which could be then used by the restaurant. How does this information management using a PDA impact the restaurant? Let’s examine this in detail. The PDA becomes the interface between the customer and the steward entering the data. This PDA also is the interface between the Steward and the Kitchen, the Bar and the Cahier. The interface has to be simple and the printing still simpler.

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Information management becomes easy for updating of prices, menu items. Employee management becomes easier. You will be able to hire fresh and young who have slight technical edge over other to enable them to use the PDAs. A proper backup system should be in place to ensure the no customer is inconvenienced should the technology fail at some point of time.

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