Last month, an Atomic Infotech team entered the Sears Retail Hackathon, sponsored by Sears, Apigee and Apptentive, and organized by Brand Garage. The hackathon took place the weekend of July 24th-26th 2015, at the Startup Hall on the University of Washington Campus.
At the end of the weekend, we were selected as the second-place finisher, with a $1,000 cash prize, narrowly missing the $10,000 grand prize.
Here at Atomic, we work with many retailers and barcodes are a big part of retail. We help print, scan and use barcodes almost daily, but rarely give it much though. The simple format of the barcode is so ubiquitous in everyday life and has been for so long that it is hard to remember a time whenthey did not exist. The existence and acceptance of the barcode in retail is pretty much second nature. We had always interacted and used barcodes and the data contained, but we never really knew the history of these small, cryptic lines. In fact, the history is actually pretty fascinating.
Most of the work we do at Atomic goes unseen by the general public--we develop software and tools that are typically used internally by our clients.
Lately though, we've been doing a lot more traditional web development work. We're happy to announce the recent launch of one of our latest projects, a website for Bakstad Construction.
Organized by UP Global – a non-profit headquartered at the University of Washington – startup weeks serve to showcase some of the resources available to startups, as well as providing exposure to the ideas and innovators that will shape the future. UP helps coordinate startup weeks around the world, from the tech-rich areas of North America, to South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia.
For those not well versed in the burgeoning startup community in Seattle, this was a crash course. In addition to the many events of startup week, the organizers of developer week Seattle coordinated their events to coincide with startup week Seattle, thus providing a plethora of technical events to compliment the business and entrepreneurship events. In total, there were over 80 events around Seattle crammed into a 5 day span, typically running from 8 AM until after 9 PM each night.
"What exactly does Atomic Infotech do?" is a common question that we field. Sometimes it is easier to show than tell, so we created a short 'demo reel' that can give viewers a sense of the of the tools we've built and projects we've been a part of.
Mud Bay recently asked us to help them with a create a store locator that they can use in thier marketing communications. Specifically, a valuable information and coupons kit is provided to new owners that adopt pets from animal shelters, and the Mud Bay marketing team wanted a way to make it easier for people to visit one a local store. We provided a tool that allows users to scan a QR code to quickly find the closest location. Check it out and let us know what you think.
At Atomic we do a lot of consulting, as well as develop software and tools, and we end up getting a unique perspective on helpdesk and support teams.
One of the things that we're consistently surprised with is how many (very large) companies aren't even using a helpdesk ticket system for support queues. Even in IT departments, where ticket queues are pretty commonly implemented, we've seen some very large companies with whole teams of support engineers that use email to report, respond and delegate. We've even seen 800 numbers that ring 5 different phones (imagine what that sounds like in a crisis). Smaller companies often fall back to a mix of email, text messaging and phone calls.
The problem with all of these ad-hoc systems is that make it hard to triage, lack accountability, collaborate on, and are extremely difficult to scale. Most of the time it is pretty easy to see how things got so bad--originally was a single support person that organically grew into a bigger team, and not a lot of thought went into building a better, more scalable support model.
We are here to help. If you think your company would benefit from what Atomic has to offer, then drop us a line!