FlorLink provides a hub to help retailers

A PERFECT LINK: FlorLink Inc. CEO Mark Barnes poses with the company’s SmartHub system, a platform that collects, connects and routes live data and information. 
PBN PHOTO/DAVID HANSEN
A PERFECT LINK: FlorLink Inc. CEO Mark Barnes poses with the company’s SmartHub system, a platform that collects, connects and routes live data and information. 
PBN PHOTO/DAVID HANSEN

PBN Innovative Companies 2022
TECHNOLOGY: FlorLink Inc.


KEEPING TEAMS CONNECTED on the sales floor is the key behind Newport-based FlorLink Inc. and its SmartHub technology suite.

The platform collects, connects and routes live data and information so businesses can optimize the customer experience, identify trends and boost profits.

CEO Mark Barnes says the number of smart devices and sensors in the retail space is going to explode over the next five years. FlorLink is well positioned, he says, to take advantage of this proliferation of internet-connected sensors and devices.

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Florlink collects and manages inputs from a variety of sources and then maps these inputs to outputs such as two-way radios, smartwatches, tablets, digital displays and email/text notifications. Think of it as gathering all of the information you have on multiple devices, synthesizing it and presenting it in digest form so that front-line staff can easily make decisions and calculate their next move.

The end goal for retailers is a streamlined workforce that offers exceptional customer experience and also increases sales.

“By aggregating sensor data [such as temperature] and device health from many different sources and making this information accessible in the cloud, users can remotely access reports and analyze data that enables them to improve device uptime and reduce costs,” Barnes said.

Through a range of equipment that includes floor sensors and call buttons, sales team members are alerted of a customer’s needs in real time via text alerts and two-way radios. Managers at every level can view reports and monitor activity at any time.

The FlorLink solution has been in development for over six years, with a previous version installed in major chains such as Staples, CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy and Walmart. More recently, support and investments from AT&T and Microsoft Corp. will allow FlorLink to scale into more markets.

“The response has been very positive,” Barnes said. “We’re working on another round of venture funding in order to be able to support the spike in demand forecasted for 2023.”

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