PORTLAND, Ore. -- An updated pricing application from United Grocers here allows retailers to obtain real-time pricing updates via a secured network. Since the system went live two weeks ago, it has eliminated many calls to the wholesaler for price list updates and changes.
"The on-line system is lowering support calls and support costs for United," said Mike Brown, director of retail systems for United Grocers. He added that he expects a return on investment within 2.5 years.
Accuracy is also improved with the system. "Once the retailer manipulates that data, the information is spun into three separate files," said Brown. "The adjustments are sent to United's headquarters to update the master file; another file instantly updates the retailer's point-of-sale data and price files, and another is established to create in-store signs and shelf tags.
"Since all of the files are generated out of the same data, all prices are synchronized and accurate," he added.
The application allows retailers to view item pricing data and Universal Product Code information, then adjust their pricing structure and weekly item sales, in real time, via in-store PCs.
Nine retailers are currently using the application, and Brown expects to have at least 25 retailers on-line by the end of the year. The next step is the integration of an electronic ordering guide and electronic invoicing file. United expects to add these elements by August, said Brown.