Another top priority of retailers for the coming year is IT initiatives. 43.8% of retailers surveyed said they will spend more on IT this year than in previous years. The reason for this change is that IT initiatives can help retailers achieve market advantages against competitors while producing measurable gains for cost-containment initiatives. The study shows that 62.8% of retailer’s budgets will be spent on IT and 38% of that on hardware and software.
While only 12% of the retailers in the study showed they were leading edge in their approach to adopting IT, 30% said they were quick adopters. The study shows that 45% of retailers are looking for IT consulting. For the top category, IT
Consulting, where do retailers go for more strategic and broad-based IT services? Among our respondents IBM is the first choice for 53%.
Two different technologies appeared in 1974 that changed the way retailers do business. The first was bar codes; the second was the point of sale system, POS played a much larger role by revolutionizing the ability to automate management and control. The heartbeat of a store today is found in the POS hardware and software. Right now 42% of retailers have up-to-date POS hardware and 36% have up-to-date POS software or they are currently finishing projects already begun. You can read the full study by going to: http://support.stcr.com/Newsletter/RIS_RetailTechStudy_040710.pdf
The FACT Act contains seven major titles: Identity Theft Prevention and Credit History Restoration, Improvements in Use of and Consumer Access to Credit Information, Enhancing the Accuracy of Consumer Report Information, Limiting the Use and Sharing of Medical Information in the Financial System, Financial Literacy and Education Improvement, Protecting Employee Misconduct Investigations, and Relation to State Laws.
Under the title of Identity Theft Prevention and Credit History Restoration is a section requiring the truncation of credit and debit card numbers. This act prohibits businesses from printing more than 5 digits of any customer's card number or the card expiration date on any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of sale or transaction. The act did not become effective for three years after its enactment for any cash register manufactured before January 1, 2005 and did not become effective for one year after its enactment for any cash register manufactured after January 1, 2005.
If you are unsure if your system meets any of these guidelines please contact STCR Business Systems at 607-757-0181.
What is GS1 DataBar? According to GS1.org, GS1 DataBar is a symbology where the symbols can carry more information and identify small items than the current EAN/UPC bar code. GS1 DataBar enables GTIN identification for fresh variable measure and hard-to-mark products like loose produce, jewelry and cosmetics. Additionally, GS1 DataBar can carry GS1 Application Identifiers such as serial numbers, lot numbers and expiration dates, creating solutions to support product authentication and traceability for fresh food products and couponing.
GS1 DataBar is available on many products with the specific focus on fresh products scanned at POS. Retailers who implement this technology can benefit in their fresh food departments with better food safety, quality and shrink control with the available data such as sell-by-date, lot number, country of origin (COO), weight of the product and price over $99.99.
While awareness of the upcoming GS1 DataBar sunrise date for coupons is high among independent retailers, 38% said they will not be ready by the January 2011 date according to an online member survey conducted last month by the National Grocers Association. This January 2011 sunrise date is just for manufacturer coupons. What it means is that starting January 2011, manufacturer coupons will only have GS1 DataBar. The benefits of GS1 DataBar include increased flexibility of coupon face values and purchase requirements, reduced cashier intervention and the opportunity to validate complex offers making it a promotional vehicle.
In the coming months and years, GS1 Member Organizations will continue to work with their retailer communities to determine when GS1 DataBar will be used in open trade on any items between 2010 and 2014. At this point, 2014 is the date when GS1 DataBar can be used globally in any open trade on any product.
To be ready for GS1 DataBar, your POS system needs to have the scanning equipment and the POS software, including your back office application, that maintain the POS item files capable of reading and processing this format. If you need to know if your POS system is ready, please contact your STCR sales representative at (607) 757-0181.
STCR uses a state of the art call tracking system to monitor all calls. Our relationship with IBM provides us with the ability to dispatch an IBM local service technician to the customer’s location while working closely with the technician to ensure complete follow up. We also offer a web portal to the help desk system to allow customers to open new calls, key word search and review their call history. We have fully functional lab systems to enable us to test and attempt recreates on reported issues. STCR’s help desk team is available at any time of the day or night to help keep your store running smoothly.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our support services by giving every customer an opportunity to let us know how we are doing by participating in our ‘Call back’ process. We understand the mission critical nature of the solutions we provide our customers and take pleasure in knowing we are helping them get the fullest return on their investment.