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Industry News - April 2nd, 2010



Jons Marketplace Uses POS Video Auditing Solution to Cut Shrink

Jons Marketplace deploys Agilence's point-of-sale video auditing solution, Hawkeye, as part of their companywide initiative to reduce shrink. By the fourth quarter of 2009, Jons' shrink as a percentage of sales was at an all-time low for the company.

Agilence's item-level synchronization software, Hawkeye, pulls data directly from the point-of-sale system and marries the data with video in real-time. The data for each individual item scan and key punch is perfectly linked to its associated video image. Jons uses the software to instantly view the data and video of cashier activity for each item in a single screen, helping the company identify all POS losses -- operational and systemic issues and fraud -- that directly affect profitability.

"In addition to being a highly effective loss prevention tool, we found Agilence to be an excellent training tool," said Manuel Sauceda, director of IT, Jons. "Agilence identified several costly operational issues, such as inadvertent employee errors. We were then able to use the software's video to show cashiers the correct and incorrect way to handle such activities as scanning items and administering credit card transactions."

For example, Jons found many employees across the chain improperly scanning manufacturer buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotions. This issue caused losses each time the scanning error occurred. By identifying this issue early on, Jons was able to re-train employees before the error caused considerable shrink.

Jons also now gains immediate availability of data. Agilence provides data and corresponding video for each item scanned within a transaction in near real-time. Therefore, within minutes after a transaction is completed, Jons can analyze a cashier's actions to identify any operational issues or fraudulent behavior, allowing them to address issues immediately and before they cause substantial shrink.

"In addition to helping us identify operational issues and fraud, Agilence has proved to be a valuable training tool that we can use to prevent future losses from ever occurring," stated Sauceda. "Agilence has been a big part of the success we have had in reducing point-of-sale losses."


Best Buy Improves Checkout by Adding Tactile Keypads

Best Buy announces it has begun a nationwide initiative to improve the checkout experience for Best Buy customers who are blind or visually impaired. The company has begun to add tactile keypads to the POS across Best Buy stores, enabling shoppers who cannot read information on a touch screen to privately and independently enter their personal identification number (PIN) in order to protect their financial privacy.

Keys on the device resemble a standard telephone keypad and work in conjunction with Best Buy's POS terminals. All Best Buy stores in California already have the new devices, as do many other stores across the chain. Keypads will be installed in all Best Buy stores nationwide by September 30, 2010.

“We are pleased to collaborate with organizations committed to advocacy for the blind and introduce service enhancements in our stores that will improve the experience for Best Buy's visually impaired customers," said Barry Judge, Best Buy executive vice president and chief marketing officer.


L'Occitane en Provence Deploys Interactive Merchandising Widgets

L'Occitane en Provence deploys a hosted, software-as-a-service, Allurent on Demand, to deliver differentiated shopping experiences to its online boutiques.

The retailer deploys interactive merchandising widgets to its existing Web sites and social media platforms and plans to use the software to help increase customer satisfaction and site conversion. L'Occitane uses Allurent on Demand to enhance shopping approaches and plan to continuously add new and enticing merchandising experiences.

"L'Occitane is unique in drawing inspiration from Mediterranean cultures to develop natural and effective beauty products," said Christine Burke, vice president of international e-commerce at L'Occitane en Provence. "We are constantly exploring ways to enable customers to connect with the essence of our brand, in sensorial, creative and different ways. Allurent on Demand gives us many options for getting our brand across in a way that makes it very relevant and useful to the online shopper."


APC Partner Program Offers Bonus Points

APC by Schneider Electric is now offering a rewards program to incentivize partners. The APC Rewards Program is a channel incentive program that awards partners for selling APC products and solutions. By redeeming points, partners are able to partake in adventurous excursions -- such as adrenalin-filled race car driving or indulging in a relaxing travel package -- such as spending a week on a sandy, sun-drenched beach.

"We truly see the value and importance that our channel partners bring to APC. Without their support, APC would not be able to supply end-users with the quality products and services that they have come to known and appreciate for decades," said Marc Sherman, vice president, Marketing and Sales Enablement, APC. "With the new program, we are not only able to provide partners with great rewards, but we offer them the tools and resources they need to succeed in the marketplace."

The APC Rewards Program is open to IT Resellers and Partners, as well as electrical contractors who are members of the APC Channel Partner Program. Users can join by visiting the APC Rewards Program online and registering as an individual or signing up as a team to increase points. Once an approved member of the program, partners can start planning their sales and training activities to earn the points they need for a desired prize. As partners grow their business, they will earn points for each eligible sale. Members can earn APC Rewards Points by selling: data center, server room and wiring closet equipment, including uninterruptible power supplies and power distribution units, racks and accessories, cooling, security and environmental monitoring, surge protection and power conditioning, management solutions and AV solutions and services.
Once partners begin accumulating rewards points, they can start redeeming right away. With an easy-to-use, real-time online account, users can log-in, check their balance and browse through rewards and select prizes. The points for the prize will be deducted from the partner’s account and the remaining balance will be displayed. Throughout the year, partners can partake in promotions that double and triple points on select SKUs, allowing partner to redeem more exciting prizes.
Now through March 31, 2010, any partner who enrolls in the APC Rewards Program receives a 1,000 points bonus.


Datamax-O'Neil Unveils New Web site

Datamax-O'Neil, part of Dover Corporation's Product Identification Platform and global provider of label and receipt printing solutions, introduced its new Web site that now combines its stationary and portable printers as well as printer supplies into one easy-to-use resource for partners and customers. The Web site will be available in eight languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese.

"From the onset, our goal was to create a Web site that provides true value to our customers around the world," said Plamen Petkov, vice president of marketing for Datamax-O'Neil. "We've designed an intuitive website that’s easy to navigate and contains resources that allow our customers to more effectively adopt our printing solutions."

Extremely rich in content, the Web site provides specifications, features and benefits; options and accessories; and software for each printer, as well as a list of the supplies that are best suited for the printer. A list of the ideal solutions and applications for each printer makes it easier for customers to find the right printer for their requirements. The Knowledge Library brings added value by offering all the latest case studies, videos, white papers and newsletters to help customers make the most of their Datamax-O'Neil investment.

A Service and Support section offers partners the ability to download drivers, user’s manuals, and other technical resources. A comprehensive Supplies section provides in-depth information on the most appropriate supplies for each printer and application. An e-commerce capability will allow customers to conveniently and quickly purchase supplies online.

An expanded Partner Center, which will be available in May, provides more features, downloads and access to sales tools such as customizable literature, sales presentations, and printer configurations, providing value to our partners around the world.

"The introduction of the new website will come about in two phases," Petkov explained, "and we expect to have all the major components available within three months."


SATO All-in-One Tool Can Easily Configure Printers

SATO is now offering its new All-In-One printer management utility that enables users to seamlessly configure all of their SATO products across their system-wide infrastructure.

The SATO All-In-One tool is designed to provide a truly easy way to configure SATO printers based on the user's requirements, and access local or networked SATO printers regardless of how the SATO printers are connected (parallel, serial, USB, Ethernet, or wireless). This one-stop configuration tool simply requires that any Windows PC be connected to the user's network or any standalone Windows PC environment.

Features of the SATO All-In-One include:
Management of SATO printers across networks regardless of location via Auto-Discover (or manual entry).

Access to downloads for printer-specific settings and firmware to a single SATO printer or system-wide broadcast to similar printer types.

Ability to download custom fonts and graphics to printer memory which enhances throughput and optimizes print strings while reducing network traffic.

Capability to diagnose and download custom commands and view printer responses to help debug and speed up custom software development for easier integration.
Option to use the multi-lingual display to configure the SATO printers if English is not the user's first language.

Connection via standard interface types such as LAN, WLAN, USB, Serial, or Parallel.

Visibility of all SATO printers from one central site regardless of the SATO printer model or location.

"The benefits of the SATO All-In-One tool are obvious," said Gary Krause, director of marketing at SATO America. "SATO developed the All-In-One utility to simplify printer configuration and deployment for our users and Valued Partners. We consolidated as many of the various software printer utilities as possible into one, integrated application tool that enables users to easily configure, including remote configuration, and control our printers from one location."


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