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May Edition

Retail Tech Times

1501 Park Road Chanhassen, MN 55317 877.580.9687

Retail Tech receives 2010 Market Leadership Achievement Award Chanhassen, MN. May 5, 2011. Retail Tech received the 2010 Market Leadership Achievement Award on behalf of IBM Retail Store Solutions. Retail Tech demonstrated strong sales and leadership during 2010, and was recognized for the award at the 2011 IBM Retail Store Solutions Sales Summit (RS4) last month. "We are thrilled to be recognized for four years in a row by IBM, as one of their top RSS Business Partners. As with our previous awards, we will use this recognition as motivation to continue building quality solutions for our customers." -Mark Baskfield, VP

Takeaways from IRUG: Steven Biccum, RTI Account Manager, IRUG Board of Directors

IBM Retail User Group (IRUG) held it’s 34th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida May 15th - May 18th. This has been the third straight year of growth as both attendees and exhibitors have increased the past years. IRUG is unique in that it was founded by retailers to share and expand their knowledge of IBM Retail Solutions. The conference continues to focus on providing venues for members to network and share experiences while gaining valuable insights into the evolving world of retail through industry speakers and elective topics. With the theme "Tools to Captivate Connected Customer,” this year’s conference concentrated on the world of mobility as it relates to the retail marketplace. The exhibit hall, while accommodating an increase in exhibitors, also presented a technology pavilion to showcase the latest in technology trends in retail as it affects consumers buying options. IBM Retail User Group also sponsors a competition for Retailers and Associate Members to compete for an Innovation Award. This year, the award was won by Duane Reade and Retail Tech. Retailers were very active and engaging at this conference with a number of changes to keep them interested and upcoming plans for refresh projects. After holding off spending due to budget constraints and pre-occupations with PCI Baskfield, Dave Mayer, and Compliance issues, retailers seemed Mark Steve Biccum speak with colleague very optimistic this year. Charlie Wirth


Growing the Grocery Segment Jeff Whitecotton, RTI Account Manager, answers some of your Point of Sale Grocery Questions... What is new in the Grocery point of sale world? One new requirement that is being addressed is the GS1 Data Bar barcode (formerly RSS, Reduced Space Symbology). This two dimensional (2D) barcode has the capability to procure smaller codes on items while holding more information. The GS1barcode will be perfect for produce and smaller, singular items (eliminating the need for customers and cashiers to enter in manually the look up number or PLU for produce items is seen as the biggest benefit). Similarly, this will give grocers & manufacturers a way to better monitor sell by dated goods and to police entire "lots" which allows for better tracking of recalls, food contamination and spoiled items. Coupons containing the GS1 data bar barcode will allow for more automated tracking of the expiration date as well as a automated check to ensure that the customer has purchased the item the coupon is designated for. There have been a number of mandated dates for supporting this type of code for some time – but it has been continually pushed back. The larger operators are now beginning to implement both the required software and hardware that can support it. If you need or want more details on whether you are prepared for this – don't hesitate to ask!

What are the available software platforms for IBM Hardware? IBM

Hardware is more open now than ever before. IBM has the capability to support IBM ACE or Supermarket Application, NCR ACS, and Retalix/Fujitsu's StoreNext ISS45.

Thoughts on two-sided vs. one-sided receipt printing.... It is almost too early to tell how this will positively or negatively affect paper consumption. There are arguments for both sides. IBM does not offer two-sided receipt printing for specific reasons as they say two-sided printing may cause greater paper emission in the long run.

(Questions continued on Page 5)


Value-Add of the Month: Extend Your Hardware Life Cycle

Employee Highlight:

Jeff Whitecotton


fter Jeff attended the University Nebraska, Lincoln where he studied Business and Journalism, he went to work for Nash Finch Company as a Retail Systems Coordinator responsible for the set up, programming, installation and training of POS scanning systems. Jeff initiated the first help desk within the company and then was the EPOS Manager of the Retail Automation Support and Development Department at Red Owl Stores. He then entered the sales world with Dataserv. He went on to work for the likes of Direct Source, Iceberg Wireless, and Wrenchman in various sales and support roles entailing both hardware and software. In 2005 he joined the Retail Tech force. Whitecotton brings a rare value-add to Retail Tech having worked in the grocery industry prior to selling point of sale systems. He truly understands the needs of his customers and is able to offer continued support after the sale through his knowledge of programming and operations. In his free time, Jeff enjoys attending his kids sporting events as well as spending time with his family. He also loves to golf and travel to his cabin.

Unfortunately, POS peripherals and parts will get damaged or break throughout the span of your hardware platform. In order to prolong the life of any point of sale terminal, having the sufficient parts and service in place is a necessity to provide the sufficient amount of service. Retail Tech has stocked our 100,000 + square foot warehouse with just about every POS part and system imaginable – from manufacturers such as IBM, Panasonic, Epson, Symbol/ Motorola, just to name a few! Because of this large inventory and the volume of equipment that we sell, we can price our products lower than the competition, and that’s the bottom line.


We also purchase used and end-of-life POS hardware which makes us a great resource for the discontinued products and parts you may be looking for. As an IBM Premier business partner and the IBM POS Consignment Vendor, Retail Tech, Inc. has more IBM inventory than anyone in the industry. Whether you are a major department store chain, restaurant franchise, independent grocer, or a service organization with complex needs, we can help you find what you are looking for!

New vs. Used: What is Right for you? TechTOPICKS Blog Choice is a wonderful yet complex concept. We all have choices to make, some big and some small. Use this morning as an example, not only did you decide whether or not to get out of bed, you chose if you wanted to wake up on the wrong or right side of it. Ultimately, all choices result in consequences. We try to select the best choice that will garner positive consequences. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we may choose incorrectly, but at least we tried, right?! Similar to individuals, organizations have choices. With budgets to satisfy, shareholders to appease, and profits to gain, companies need options in order to make educated and logical decisions for their organization. Alright, I am sure you are dying of suspense and wondering where I am going with this introduction. I am writing to make you aware of the CHOICE… (Drum roll please) to decide if your company should purchase new or used POS equipment! I hope that was not a letdown... Purchasing new equipment has obvious benefits including: up to date technology, the latest appearance, and extended warranties. I am not going to argue against obvious. Rather, I am going to suggest potential benefits in purchasing “pre-owned” POS equipment. In the article Leveraging Used IT Equipment, Adam Braunstein argues that buying used IT equipment may be a great choice even outside the bottom dollar arena. First, Braunstein discusses the negative connotations often associated with the term “used.” With POS equipment, “used” can describe a number of different things: cancelled orders or product returns, demonstration equipment, excess new inventory, and asset recovery. For me, none of these descriptions create an image of old greasy hardware touched by 100,000 fingers prior to purchase. Next, used equipment is the ultimate ROI builder. Often, IT managers think that they have to replace broken systems with brand new equipment. Why not purchase the same system for a replacement, so you can maintain the existing infrastructure? New technology is not always as glamorous as it can at first appear.

Have you ever heard of certified pre-owned Equipment? Of course this means something to you! What about a certified, pre-owned car compared to craigslist or private party purchase? While a dealership is much more credible, they also often provide great incentives other sellers cannot. These include services such as: road-side assistance, an extended warranty, and a car that has been cleaned, detailed, and inspected by professionals. Does the certified pre-owned buying process bring about the same connotations as a used purchase to you now? The craigslist or private party (used rather than certified) vehicle may come with a share of surprises, a need for a new engine, perhaps? Would anyone like a “lemon” in their water? My point in all this is Retail Tech sells IBM certified pre-owned equipment. Without boring you with details, our pre-owned equipment includes a 90 day warranty and maintenance contracts comparable to buying new. Sound enticing? Braunstein’s article goes on to state more points: 1. It doesn’t matter if you buy new or used equipment from a maintenance standpoint. You are going to need parts when the equipment breaks down or needs repairs, new or used. 2. There is an extremely positive “Green” element to purchasing used. 3. Supply shortages in new equipment have led to frustration amongst purchasers. Used equipment has an ease of being shipped same day as it is sitting in a warehouse. As you have read, purchasing pre-owned equipment has a lot of benefits outside the cost savings. To clarify, this blog post is not meant to sway you from purchasing used equipment over new. The bottom line is that Retail Tech sells both. In turn, we have no hidden agenda when trying to sell you equipment. I wrote this to make you aware of your options. As a consumer myself, I feel it is only fair that our merchants present us with choices. Simply stated, every company has different IT goals, what is right for you? Either way you can get it with Retail Tech. Subscribe Here to the TechTOPICKS blog!


Grocery Segment... (Coninued from page 2) Upcoming Grocery Trends??

Create Your Ideal Hardware Solution with Retail Tech.


s an industry leading point of sale reseller, Retail Tech, prides itself on the ability to provide any solution, for any budget. In fact, when it comes to point of sale hardware, Retail Tech does it all. By offering retailers, grocers, restaurants, and third party maintenance companies a low-cost alternative to new POS equipment, Retail Tech also buys and repairs parts and hardware. Retail Tech not only sells some of the top manufacturers such as IBM, Panasonic, Epson, Logitech, and Symbol/Motorola, Retail Tech's IBM POS Consignment Vendor Contract provides the company with unlimited access to off-lease, excess, and discounted IBM inventory. No matter what your hardware solution, Retail Tech has the resources!

People in our world are constantly online and always demanding more convenience; therefore, Jeff believes online ordering for pick-up or delivery will continue to grow in the coming years. He also thinks more independent grocers will focus on more advanced customer loyalty technologies. With so many choices of supercenters and all in one retailers, the smaller independent operators have a greater need to capitalize on their "Frequent Shopper Cards" for customers who they consider vital to their business. In some of the newer software loyalty modules store managers can be alerted that one of their top customers is being checked out – allowing them to personally thank the valued customer for their loyalty. Lastly, Jeff thinks we will see more applications & use of the new touch screen / tablet technology devices in all of the retail segments. Do you have more questions about Grocery POS applications? Call or email Jeff Whitecotton:

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May Newsletter  

Takeaways from IRUG, Extend Your Hardware Life Cycle, Grocery Point of Sale applications