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Automatic Change

After using electronic cash registers plugged into the wall for years, Dari Mart, a 43-store chain based in Junction City, Oregon, turned to NCR and Pinnacle to upgrade their POS hardware and software and begin scanning.

"We started looking at upgrading eight years ago, but we wanted to wait because there were no uniform standards," said Kurt Straube, operations manager and one of the owners at Dari Mart. "Also, we only have two fuel sites, so it kept us out of the POS environment because we didn’t have a big petroleum supplier."

Once the company decided to upgrade and implement scanning, it also decided to incorporate Telequip’s T-Flex coin dispensers following a two-store beta test that showed clerks saved an average of four to five seconds per transaction.

"Coin dispensers have been in grocery stores for what seems like forever, and the last three of four years we’ve seen them in Quiznos in our market," said Straube. "The goal was to eliminate mistakes when counting money in or giving change back and speeding up the transaction. With the dispenser, the clerk rings in the items and enters the amount of money they receive from a customer. The change automatically comes out of the dispenser, so all they have to do is count the bills."

The coin dispenser plugs into the NCR RealPOS terminal and Pinnacle worked with Telequip to interface the equipment with the software. "Pinnacle software sends the information to the coin dispenser and the dispenser does what it is told," said Straube. "The clerk rings in the item and gets the total. Then they enter in the amount the customer gives them and the change comes out of the dispenser so all they have to do is count the bills."

The employees are also required to fill the racks with coins during their shift so at the end of each shift the racks are filled for the next clerk. "As they get coins from customers, the clerks can slip them into the racks, and can also take coins from the draw when they have time in between customers," explained Straube. "When they start with a full canister for their shift, it will cover half their shift time, and they have to end the shift with a full rack."

The POS upgrade and coin dispenser implementation started at the end of November 2004 and was completed by the beginning of January. "With the new POS we are making fewer retail price mistakes, but it was when making change that many of the mistakes occurred," noted Straube. "We eliminated that totally because we took the human error out of it and the transaction time is 25 to 30 seconds faster. I also noticed customers pay less attention to the change they get back because they have faith in the technology."
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