Because the stores used traditional cash registers, clerks were unable to check the cost of merchandise that was not clearly marked with a price. Long lines would form while cashiers determined what they should charge for unmarked items, causing frequent frustration on customers' part. A slow dot matrix receipt printer also contributed to delays at the cash registers, while a lack of inventory management capability made it difficult for Patel to formulate accurate orders for his vendors.
For help, Patel turned to International Point of Sale, a VAR that specializes in equipping small businesses with high-caliber POS hardware and software at affordable prices. After a careful evaluation, sales representative Ed Levin and his team put together a solution for each store that comprises Cash Register Express Pro version 12.0 POS software from pcAmerica, running on an HP RP3000 PC; plus a Star Micronics TSP100 futurePRNT receipt printer, with an auto-cutter feature. Other components of the solution specified by International Point of Sale include a Motorola LS9208 omni-directional laser bar code scanner; an Elo 1515L touchscreen; an HP cash drawer, keyboard, and mouse; and a Logic Controls LD9000 pole display.
With the technology in place, inefficiencies at the point of sale have become a thing of the past. Rather than asking customers to wait while they search for prices, clerks simply scan the bar code on each item at the point of sale. Receipts are generated by the printers at a rate of 22RPM (receipts per minute); pretty fast, considering convenience stores handle a few hundred customers per day. Also, this particular printer has its power supply embedded and is provided with accessories, thus allowing it to be mounted either vertically or on the wall to reduce its footprint to a minimum. "The stores are definitely more convenient and pleasant places to shop; no more long lines mean happier customers," Patel said.