Liquor Store Controls Inventory, Eliminates Pricing Errors With Scanning
If you haven't moved your customers to scanning because of the cost and challenges of installing a PC-based point of sale system, you might want to reconsider. Take, for example, Laber's Liquors in St. Paul, MN. Working with distributor CRS, Inc. (Minneapolis), Arthur Stein, president of Laber's, installed two Samsung ER-650 electronic cash registers with Metrologic 9720 scanners in May 2001. In addition to the registers, Stein integrated Samsung's basic PC communications software package - SAM650 for Windows.
SAM650 manages PLU (price lookup) programming and report polling and generates basic reports. Stein installed SAM650 on the store's existing PC, and for a nominal fee, he purchased a database of liquor SKUs and descriptors. Using the database simplified the initial programming, so once prices and product changes were entered, the store was ready to scan.
Samsung's electronic cash registers run stand-alone, with imbedded operating systems and programs. Each register contains the PLU file and prices. If power is interrupted, the register resumes when power is restored. No transaction information is lost, and a sale in progress can be continued without lost data or waiting for the system to reboot. The PC is used only to poll reports and download programs to the register.
When asked about the results, Stein responds, "Impact on inventory shrink? Yes. Identified and stopped employee theft? Yes." For inventory control, Stein individually monitors 12 high-profile, high-movement items. Daily shelf counts are reconciled with sales reports. And, Stein insists the benefits of pricing alone are evident. "Margins by department are closer to expected parameters," he says. Before scanning, cashiers had to spend weeks in the store before they were familiar enough with pricing to run the registers. With scanning, training is quick and pricing errors are eliminated. For those wanting to go a step further, SAM650 can export ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) formatted report data to other applications, such as Microsoft Excel.