Pin Pad Issues

When experiencing anissue with your PIN pad device, one of the first things a help desk technicianwill have you do is swap the PIN pad with a known working one.   This is one of the easiest ways to pinpointexactly which part is failing.  If theissue follows the PIN pad to a different register, it can easily be determinedthat the problem is with that PIN pad.  Ifit stays at the register, then swapping the PIN pad cable out will determine ifthe issue is with the cable or the register. This way it can easily and accurately ensure the failing element iscorrectly identified, minimizing down time due to improper diagnosis.  Many times the reason a PIN pad is not workingproperly is due to a loose cable connection.  Swapping it out will correct the issue becauseyou reseat the connections, resolving the issue.  

Another suggestion is to have a spare PIN pad and a PIN padcable.  This will not only save timeswapping out the PIN pad, but also will restrict any downtime to the oneaffected lane instead of taking down an additional lane.  Another big advantage of having a spare is ifit is determined to be an issue with the PIN pad or cable, you can use yourspare until a replacement PIN pad or cable is sent to your store, againeliminating costly downtimes.  If youdecide to keep a spare unit available, you should always swap out anyreplacement units once received from the processor with a known working unit toensure the replacement also works.  Thiswill also guarantee the spare unit should work when needed as well.

PCI Update

There is good news forthose of you waiting to hear about where the PCISecurity Standards Council (PCI SSC) stands on P2PE (point-to-pointencryption).  As part of the standardsupdate to 3.1 released on October 14, 2011 the council has updatedits pin transaction security program to include changes that will addressencryption for data other than pin numbers. The changes in this update are effective immediately superseding theversion 3.0 standards.  The full documentis located at the PCI Councils website here:

Appendix A of this document contains the worksheet todetermine eligibility to reduce your PCI scope.

What had not been clearlydefined before has now been defined for manufactures to comply with PCIrequirements for devices and encryption beyond the normal pin pads and pinnumbers.  This new information will applyto mobile devices as well.

Please note there is language that specifically states that the end toend encryption does not take the merchant totally out of scope for PCIcompliance, however this is a very big step forward.


Building a Loyal Small Business Workforce
Successful small businesses use strategies to attract,satisfy and build a loyal, high-performing customer base.  These same strategies can be used to attract,satisfy and build a loyal, high-performing workforce.  Working in tandem, these two dynamics willproduce strong business performance.  Thefollowing five strategies will help you build a loyal workforce.

Make surecompensation plans are competitive.
Small businesses that pay below-market salaries or give theperception of paying below-market salaries risk losing their workers tocompanies that pay more or give the perception of paying more for the same workvalue.

Monster research indicates that salary is the number onefactor that employees consider as they evaluate new job opportunities.  Therefore, small business must align theircompensation plans to be competitive in their market and remove any employee orpotential employee perception that a misalignment exists.

Target the righthire.
Attract and retain workers that will appreciate and valueyour small business company culture.  Monsterresearch shows that about one-third of the workforce prefers working in a smallbusiness culture. 

Top reasons those workers give for valuing a small businesswork environment include: being part of a “family”, feeling more valuable as aworker, being treated as an individual, making a bigger impact and gettingopportunities to learn by doing a variety of roles.  Small businesses can promote these workplacevalues to attract new workers and build employee loyalty.

Communicate a strongand attractive employer brand
Small businesses should build and promote an employee brandthat readily communicates its values to attract the right workers.  Reinforcing such values to current employeeshelps build employee loyalty as well.

Monster research indicates that 68 percent of the workforcewould consider a new job to obtain improved work culture and leadership.  By growing an awareness of your employee brandas one that embraces the values these workers are seeking, a small businesswill attract and keep the right workers who favor similar values.

Continually fill apipeline of prospects
With a vast majority of the workforce ready to pursue a newjob, it is probable that small businesses will lose workers as the economyexpands and new job opportunities grow.  Small businesses need to create a talentpipeline that continuously attracts new talent and the right talent for itsworkforce

Strive to keep your“A” workers
As a small business you are dependent on the key workers whodeliver your business performance. Theseare your “A” players.  These are theworkers whose loyalty is most valuable and perhaps, critical, to your smallbusiness.

Consider your workforce and identify those workers who aredelivering the majority of business value.  Next, ensure that your employee loyaltystrategies—those strategies you design to emotionally engage a worker—arefocused on your “A” team.

Magellan 8500XT Scanner Scale

HighPerformance In-Counter Scanner and Scanner/Scale.  The Magellan 8500Xt scanner/scales are theculmination of recent developments by Datalogic Scanning in high-performancefixed position scanning for the Retail Industry.  No other bar code scanner designed for high volumeretail performs better, has better reliability or has the combination offeatures that translate into a measurable Return on Investment (ROI) than theMagellan 8500Xt products. 

The Magellan 8500Xt scanner/scale inherits the Magellanbrand’s renowned reputation for performance and reliability that has madeMagellan the number one high performance retail scanner brand in the world.  Magellan Scale Technology, Datalogic Scanning’snew factory certified weighing system, virtually eliminates additional costs associatedwith integration.  Scale-settling times(less than 500 milliseconds) are the fastest in the industry, improvingthroughput on priced-by-weight items.  ADual Interval Scale model legally weighs smaller, high-priced items forincreased revenue. 

The Magellan 8500Xt scanner/scale addresses produce shrinkat the POS with the patented All-Weighs® scale platter that allows cashiers to weighlong or bulky produce without touching a non-weighing surface.  Optional Checkpoint® and Sensormatic®integrated EAS antennas reduce shrink at the POS by requiring a good readbefore deactivating an EAS tag.  Datamanagement is essential for managing POS operations.  A new label editing feature enables easypre-formatting of data before delivery to the POS.  Value Added Features are reporting tools thatallow data from the scanner to be used to improve throughput and managemaintenance.  Special EAS reporting featuresprovide immediate feedback and the ability to track EAS tagging compliance on aper-item basis. 

The Magellan 8500Xt scanners/scales are the world’s numberone retail scanner in performance, reliability and high value differentiatedfeatures. 

Decoding Capability
1D / Linear Codes
Autodiscriminates all standard 1Dcodes including GS1 DataBar™ linear codes

Stacked Codes
GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked
GS1 DataBar Stacked
GS1 DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional

Self-Checkout and Your Customers

Recent news reports seem to indicate a backlashoccurring with some grocers toward the self-checkout.  The primary concern being voiced by thenaysayers has always been the perceived impact it has on the customerservice.  Many grocers who have workedhard to establish a strong customer service culture believe the self-checkouterodes that philosophy and eliminates the important contact needed to buildthose important relationships with their customers.

Unfortunately, this mindset is short-sighted and misses themark on what the self-checkout offers store operations to promote theircustomers' satisfaction.  What theseoperators fail to realize is that offering the self-checkout option enhancesthe experience by giving the customer a choice. Traditional checkouts will always be preferred by certain segments ofthe population.  Other segments willalways select the self-checkout when it's an option.  However, there are other segments of peoplethat appreciate choice simply based on the situation; for instance, dependingon their order size, time of day or night, conventional lanes' customervolume/order sizes, etc.  When thesemoments present themselves many appreciate the opportunity to choose theirpreference producing higher customer satisfaction.

The other important change the self-checkout facilitates instore operations is affording a shift of staff resources from the front end tothe floor.  This is where many importantopportunities for interaction and assistance can be created (or missed); makingcontact, building strong relationships and achieving a very satisfying customerexperience.  By training a knowledgeableself-checkout shopper assistant to monitor, assist and intervene as requiredwith multiple self-checkout lanes, you can create a very positive self-checkoutexperience.  In addition, it allows thefreed up front-end staff to be re-trained and re-allocated to beJohnny-on-the-spot for the customers on the floor needing help findingsomething, making a decision, offering free samples or any other ideas you caninvent to generate customer contact.

Ultimately, the customer appreciates the choice ofself-checkout and the grocer can appreciate the opportunities it creates togenerate new customer service experiences on floor as well as thefront-end.  The self-checkout solutionclearly advances the customer service objectives and will continue to grow as aservice model in many industries and organizations.