Products and Services

EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale)

The Tiller Girls

The term ‘Till’ takes many forms; it’s used to describe unstratified soil deposited by a glacier consisting of sand, clay, gravel and boulders mixed together. Also, a public treasury for government funds is referred to as a till and of course you can till the soil. Let’s also not forget the good old fashioned cash box or, as it is today, the POS terminals, which are electronic devices for calculating and recording sales transactions with attached cash drawers for storing money. Before the till, one of the earliest inventions for keeping track of commercial transactions was the abacus, which was invented over 4,500 years ago in the middle-east. The forerunner of today’s POS terminals, the cash register, was invented in 1879 by James Ritty, a saloonkeeper in Dayton, Ohio. He introduced a muc... »

Security is not a Hundred Per Cent – The Human Factor

Many IT analysts have reported that the number one concern that keeps company CEO’s awake at night is security. The IT security industry supplies many and varied IT security products and services and yet still the breaches occur. You only have to look at recent news bulletins about lost government data and the customer banking details that were mislaid, as well as the recent example of the American hacker, Albert Gonzalez, who, along with a Russian gang of criminals, stole data from more than 130 million bank accounts from Heartland Payment Systems. This New Jersey company processes payments for retailers including 7-Eleven Stores and Hannaford supermarkets. The retailers are an attractive target, as the point-of-sale (POS systems) collect a massive amount of customer financial data which,... »

Handheld Computers Liberate the Worker

As the cost of rugged handhelds has reduced and mobile communications have improved, you see them deployed in more and more applications across different industries. By giving the worker direct access to pertinent information and allowing them to conduct business at the point of a transaction or information capture, you increase efficiency and liberate your staff. What’s exciting is that the future of mobile computing is exploding before our very eyes. For instance, the recent introduction of Google’s Android will spur many hitherto unheard of applications. There is an Android application that lets you input barcode information into your phone in order to obtain information about products. So if you are in a shop and you see something that you like, but want some more informati... »

Striving for Better Efficiency

Studying how people work and how we can improve efficiency reminds me of the old time and motion studies that were so popular in the mid 1950’s. These white coated figures would roam factories with their stop watches. The purpose of a time and motion study would be used to reduce the number of motions in performing a task in order to increase productivity and even reduce staff numbers. No wonder they were viewed as the enemy by the employees. It conjures up the image of Peter Sellers as the shop steward in the British comedy called I’m Alright Jack. Thankfully things have moved on since then. However, I remember that during the recession of the 1990’s a new business buzzword appeared on the landscape of best practice – ‘downsizing’. I think this meant di... »

The SME Owner Manager Juggling with Technology

Picture this scenario, a small business that makes things, takes orders, packs them and ships them; usually starts out with quite basic processes and for a while, they fulfil the purpose albeit just adequately. The owner manager feels in control as he oversees the orders, adjusts his stock position and then coordinates delivery to the customer; he instructs his dedicated staff every step of the way. But what happens as his company grows? Enter technology. Many small companies start by putting in a system for this and a system in for that. The result being that instead of having an end to end integrated management system, they end up with a disparate technology environment with point solutions that do not communicate and often turns out to be a false economy. Today more than ever it’s... »

Charities Have Smartened Up

Not so long ago charity shops tended to be no more than glorified jumble sale outlets, so the fact that they have survived so long was more to do with the efforts of the persistent bargain hunter and charity supporter rather than smart merchandising. To think that the first charity shop or second hand clothing shop was set up by the Salvation Army in the 19th century. However, modern charity shops did not appear until after world war two with the first of these being operated by Oxfam in 1947. One of the main advantages the charity shop has is that many are located in the town centre high streets, taking prime positions along side mainstream retail outlets. Over the years the high street has experienced a major overhaul as shops and cafes modernised to cater to the increasingly sophisticat... »

Pager Company in Costa Rica uses Mobile Printers

Mobile printer survives being run over! San Jose, Costa Rica Hans Kuhlmann of Hyco Sistemas, San Jose, Costa Rica tells of how durable mobile printers are. The company provides pager services in Costa Rica. The company employs motorcyclists who ride around San Jose collecting payments from some of its customers. These riders use a touch screen terminal and a mobile printer. Recently, one of the mobile printers was dropped from a moving motorcycle and hit the pavement. While on the street, as luck would have it, a car ran over the printer! Although there was a little damage, the printer was put back together easily without replacing any electronic parts, and it worked perfectly! That is durability! Published by Maxatec Europe – Read the original article on the Maxatec website Email: i... »

Air Cargo and Baggage POS Labelling Systems

Cognitive provides printing solutions that enable manufacturing operations, product distribution and inventory management to be faster, more efficient and more cost-effective than ever. From time-definite transportation operations to manufacturing, industrial, retail and government customers, Cognitive printing solutions fit the bill. Some time ago, a cargo plane crashed in Los Angeles. The cause of the crash, it was quickly discovered, was due to a series of miscalculations concerning the weight of the cargo crates loaded on the plane. The load was unbalanced and the plane could not take off correctly, and plunged to the earth minutes after take-off. Previously, air cargo containers were put on a scale and the weight was written by hand on the outside of the can. Sloppy handwriting may ha... »

Bar Code Label Printer Solution for Paint Retailer

Buying paint used to be the first difficult step in painting a new room or home. Even after you’ve decided on the colour to buy, inevitably you need to buy more paint to match that colour. Now one major hardware chain makes it easy to buy cans of paint using barcode label printers. With every can of paint mixed, an Ethernet-enabled printer prints a barcode label containing information about the pigment mixture used for that paint colour. To match a previous colour, a customer brings the paint can lid back to the store. The paint department scans the barcode label on the lid, and a terminal displays the paint mixture for a perfect colour match. Reliable Performance "The customer needed reliable performance in a warehouse environment, and the Blaster Advantage was up to the task.&... »

Portable Printing Applications

With the explosion of portable information devices and the increasing use of wireless technology, more companies are connecting their frontline workers to complete transactions at the point-of-sale or point-of-service. As an example, retail store clerks can scan bar codes and check pricing or reduce check-out lines at peak times. Credit card payment helps close the total transaction much closer to the customers’ point-of-decision. This brings a new meaning to printing at point-of-service, requiring the retailer or food service provider to recognize that the server not the customer needs to be mobile. The transaction, including payment, can be completed anywhere in a store for example or right at the seat in a sports stadium. The applications for the use of portable receipt printers i... »