SPOKANE, Wash. -- URM Stores here is making the transition away from paper and into an electronic communications environment, with its upcoming rollout of a wide area network that will electronically link the entire organization.
"We expect the wide area network to act as the major highway for our corporate communications," said Rick Anderson, director of retail systems for URM. "This will be the backbone that will connect our customers and warehouse." The WAN is scheduled to be live in the first quarter of 1999.
The wholesaler expects the WAN to act as a conduit for Internet and intranet access, e-mail correspondence, and order entry between the stores and the distribution center, he said.
"The WAN will facilitate real-time electronic-ordering functionality," he explained. "It will be helpful for stores to place an order, and then have access to data immediately to determine if there will be items that are out of stock."
Though he declined to disclose specific goals, Anderson does expect the connection "to quickly process an increased number of transactions and provide our grocery customers with quicker response rates."
The WAN will also expedite the efficiency of URM's electronic payment systems. Currently the wholesaler provides EPS in approximately 80 stores as either a stand-alone solution, or integrated into the point-of-sale system. The wholesaler will convert stores that rely on a direct dial-up infrastructure to process transactions through a faster, more reliable connection.