Kar-Info, a CMA Machinery and Equipment Design Award winner, is in the business of making life easier. For the past four years, it has been designing the technology for SmartCards management systems. 'Our company is a pioneer in SmartCard systems. We develop both the hardware devices and the software, which is customised for our customers,' Kar-Info's sales officer, Ada Li, said. SmartCards, pitched as the 'one-card-for-all', can be adopted for a broad range of uses. Kar- Info has focused its efforts on industrial production management. However, the intelligent cards can also be used for human resources management, financial accounting management, office management, and security management. Kar-Info prides itself on being able to make customised cards. 'Our systems are very flexible and feasible as they can be used independently or in any combination. We believe that our system as a whole is the greatest partner of any kind of industrial management,' Ms Li said. The SmartCard can be produced on a relatively cheap basis and can keep track of reams of information that would otherwise take many man-hours. SmartCards have proved successful in factories on the mainland where big staff numbers make calculating salaries a laborious and time-consuming process. Using the technology de vised by Kar-Info, workers clock in and out using their personal SmartCards. The data is stored on the cards and processed by a computer. Cards can also help maintain security by granting only authorised persons access to restricted areas. 'At the moment, most of our customers are in the mainland but we also make SmartCard Management Systems for companies in the Philippines and the United States,' Ms Li said. Kar-Info usually arranges the manufacture of the basic plastic cards through contracted factories in the mainland. The Kar- Info system is then added to the cards. 'SmartCards have been around for many years, but we are the first to offer the whole package, combining the card with the hardware and software devices,' Ms Li said. Established in 1994, Kar-Info has entered the industry awards each year and has emerged with an award each time. 'The awards bring us a lot of prestige and support and have really helped us a lot. It means that our customers have more confidence in us and it has helped increase our sales. When a customer sees that you have been given an award - especially if you get it more than one time - then they trust you and want to bring their business to you.' Kar-Info has also produced cards which monitor and manage canteen cashier systems, warehouse, transportation and phone systems.