BOISE, Idaho -- Officials at Albertson's here said they've saved a "substantial amount" of money by outsourcing all repair and maintenance work on electronic payment equipment.
Brad Denney, Albertson's depot services supervisor, told SN the retailer used to maintain its electronic payment equipment in-house. They also tried using several different vendors, he said.
However, he said that since Albertson's decided to consolidate the maintenance of this equipment, it has not only saved money, but streamlined the entire operation as well.
Denney said he could not provide specific details on the savings.
Over the course of the past year, Albertson's has transitioned this operation, outsourcing it to PayPoint Electronic Payment Systems, Los Angeles.
"No one could get it right," Denney said. "There was lost equipment. It was a royal mess. PayPoint has really added a value-added service for us."
PayPoint is now responsible for maintaining and repairing all front-end payment terminals, cashier pads, receipt printers, PIN pads, check readers and cables for the chain's 2,514 stores.
"Now, I really don't have to worry," Denney said. "If I ask for a roll printer, I have it there the next day."
Denney said the task of maintaining this equipment for a chain the size of Albertson's could be daunting.
"There are about 100,000 pieces of equipment associated with the electronic payment process," Denney said.
PayPoint maintains a help desk specifically designed to provide any one of Albertson's supermarkets with a quick response should there be an equipment failure, he said.
Moreover, Albertson's is able to track work orders in real time.
In fact, the outsourcing of this operation has been so successful that now Albertson's officials are piloting a program in which PayPoint will be responsible for distributing and warehousing its new gift card program, said a source.
The source said the gift card pilot has been operating for two months.
Industry observers told SN that for chains with a large number of stores, like Albertson's, maintaining and warehousing the gift card program becomes quite a challenge because of the volume of cards and data that needs to be maintained for the program.
In addition, under the program, PayPoint maintains a processing center that electronically keeps track of the amounts remaining on the gift cards.
Also, PayPoint also maintains a call center for the gift card program. By using the call center, stores can call in and order more gift cards.