ALBANY, Calif. -- Andronico's Market, here, will roll out an integrated point-of-sale and back office software system that has enabled many advanced electronic applications in its widely acclaimed Danville, Calif., store. The integrated system is also used in the retailer's smaller, fresh-food oriented Emeryville, Calif., store, which opened earlier this year.
Decisions on the timing of the roll out to the company's other eight stores will be made in budget meetings within the month, said Mike Miller, director of information systems at Andronico's, but will not take more than two years. Extension of the retailer's Premier Customer frequent shopper program is expected within one year, he added. "We are in the process of budgeting and prioritizing right now."
Among the applications enabled by the system are wireless POS terminals, wireless scales, in-store phone communication, integrated data from the frequent shopper program, integrated electronics transfer, dual VGA displays at the checkouts, pricing information, system redundancy with fast recovery from outages, and wireless kiosks with customer specific offerings such as coupons and audio-visual presentations. The retailer is using the system for its scan based trading initiative as well as to eliminate paper pricing books.
"As a 10-store retailer, we now understand data and are able to take advantage of the type of tools and make the kind of decisions that the chains have been enjoying and depending on for some time now," said Miller. "This investment in the system and platform has opened up the opportunity to use valuable data."
Andronico's is using the back office Merchant and BasspoiNT POS software from Bass, Dayton, Ohio. The systems are built on the SQL Anywhere database from Sybase, Emeryville, Calif. Other key suppliers include Symbol Technologies, Holtsville, N.Y., for the Spectrum 24 wireless network, Triversity, Toronto, for the frequent shopper program, Insignia Systems, Minneapolis, for its Stylus Select database product, Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., for Windows NT and 98, NCR Corp., Dayton, Ohio, for its Dynakey POS interface, and viaLink, Dallas, for the SBT synchronization and services.
The back office Merchant system is now installed in all stores, Miller said, but benefits of the new technologies will not be fully realized until the POS BasspoiNT systems are installed in all units. This is part of a major revamping of the retailer's information systems, he noted.
"Our company has been in business for 71 years and we have had seat-of-the-pants-management from a systems perspective for about 70 and a half of those years. We are bringing our data structure into an electronic environment, and changing some business culture as we go, while gaining efficiencies. The price book that the stores and the category managers use were populated by redundant data processes in a separate data base that was frequently out of sync. We are migrating very quickly and we are now live with electronic information that flows through our system," Miller said.