If you have shopped at the Co-op anytime since mid-March, you probably noticed something new in the Front End of the store. On Monday, March 15th we began using a new register system, or POS (Point of Sale). Our acquisition of a new POS came about because the old system was not scalable, was not compatible with Triple Data Encryption Standards (TDES) established by Visa, and the old register equipment was out-of-date and difficult to maintain. Additionally, we received Owner comments and requests for change that we could not accommodate due to the legacy system’s limitations. The new POS will ultimately serve our needs as an expanding business as well as addressing some requests of our Owners. We were able to take customer comments and feedback into consideration as we designed the new POS. As a cashier, I am pretty excited about the updates and what they mean for the faster and more user-friendly service we can provide. The next time you shop, be on the lookout for the following changes: the addition of a customer monitor, radical receipt changes and new debit/credit/EBT machines.
The first change you will notice upon checking out is that the cashiers will no longer wait until the end of the transaction to take your member number. The old legacy system prompted cashiers to obtain the member number at the end of the transaction and it wasn’t until this time that the sales and discounts were displayed for the customer. The new POS will prompt cashiers to enter the member number at the beginning of the transaction, opening the opportunity for earlier conversations about membership and equity due and allowing customers to immediately see the deduction of sales and discounts as items are scanned. And to better see transactions, the new POS has two monitors: one for the cashier and one for the customer.
This customer monitor gives shoppers the opportunity to easily view the same information the cashier sees as each item is entered, scanned or weighed. Both the tare weight and scale weight of items are displayed on the customer screen. In addition, the description of items on the screen is no longer the cryptic shorthand that only cashiers could decipher; rather the full product name is displayed. This easy-to-read itemization doesn’t end at the monitor, but is carried over to the receipts, which also have item names in long form. This brings us to the many receipt changes.
Owners expressed disappointment with our old receipt capabilities; most notably, how much waste they generated because they printed automatically. No longer! Now the cashiers will print receipts only by customer request. And those who do want a receipt will see vast improvements. In addition to the longhand itemization, the receipt contains valuable information such as when the next equity payment is due. Owners who pay with house charge accounts will notice a few changes including a name change from “house charge” to “WSGC Pre-Paid Charge Account.” The account balance is now printed on the bottom of these receipts, and the account name is printed on the top of the signature slip so signers are no longer asked to add this. In all cases, the receipts now print faster so there is no longer a waiting period for receipts to print.
Credit, debit and EBT
Another swanky new piece of equipment are the credit, debit, and EBT machines. These little machines have several new features including signature capture and the ability to view the transaction on the card terminal as items are scanned. Further, they employ a new security standard, enhancing the safety of your personal account information.
In addition to the new features this system offers, we are changing some of our procedures, such as signing up new Owners only at the Customer Service desk and not at the registers. As much as we are all pleased when new folks invest in the Co-op, the time for new Owner conversation and filling out new Owner applications can be frustrating for other customers, especially during the lunch and dinner rush. Now, potential new Owners will have the opportunity to hear more about the benefits of Ownership from our Customer Service staff and can ask questions and complete their application without feeling rushed.
The old machines
And before we get too excited about our fancy new machines, we need to make sure that our devoted old legacy machines are responsibly laid to rest. Our solution for removal comes from Cascade Asset Management, a local business with a green-build responsible for ensuring that all equipment is either resold or recycled. They will ensure that less than 1% of the equipment will end up in landfill.
We are excited to have the new POS system up and running and we are curious to see how it helps to quicken the pace and flow of the Front End. As with any change, we ask for your patience as we work out some early kinks within the Front End and continue to develop the system to even better suit our needs and yours. If you have questions or if you would like to give us feedback on the new system, please let us know by stopping at Customer Service or completing a customer comment card (available near the Community Room or online at www.willystreet.coop by clicking “contact us”).