When Harris Farm Markets (HFM) opened its Bowral store in February 2008, it marked the twentieth outlet for the fruit and vegetable company, which was the first of its kind in Australia to establish a supermarket style.
For HFM Training Manager Teresa Canturi who has been with the company since 2005, the Bowral store is just one of the many HFM refurbishments and openings she has been involved in over the years. With Bowral, just as with an increasing number of HFM stores, Canturi ensured that every check-out lane was set up with a Toshiba TEC POS solution.
Important OH&S benefits
In partnership with Toshiba TEC solution provider Allweigh Solutions, HFM installed a Toshiba TEC ST-7000 Modular POS Terminal and Navikey LKBST-65 touch screen solution on each of the Bowral store’s eight lanes. From Canturi’s perspective, the decision to retain Toshiba TEC as the POS platform of choice for HFM is based on three key issues – customer satisfaction, store presentation and staff welfare.
As to how the Toshiba TEC solution contributes to staff welfare, Canturi says it is a combination of the keyboard and display screen. “In many cases, cashiers are in high light situations,” she explains. “If the POS display isn’t bright enough, then the result is going to be operators having to strain their eyes just to make out what’s on the screen. You immediately have a very real OH&S issue.
“With the Navikey, it’s obvious that Toshiba TEC has designed the display to deal with that problem,” Canturi continues. “They’re clear and bright, which are major factors in this sort environment where our people are using the terminals for extended periods.”
Designed for heavy usage
Adding further to the OH&S benefits afforded HFM by virtue of the Navikey is the keyboard. Unlike traditional supermarket environments where product information is captured by the scanning of barcodes, in the fruit vegetable industry there is a distinct difference.
“Loose fruits and vegetables aren’t barcoded,” Canturi explains, “so our cashiers need to physically type in a unique four-number identifier code for the vast majority of items our customers purchase. That means they’re making literally tens of thousands of key presses per day.”
For that, the design, positioning and even low resistance key movement of the Navikey keypad make it an ideal solution. “It may not seem like a major issue to some people, but when you have people constantly entering numbers hour after hour, they are terribly important considerations,” Canturi says. “Since we adopted Toshiba TEC for our stores I’ve found that our cashiers are having a much easier time in using the Navikey than they ever did with the equipment from the vendor we were using prior to this.”
Canturi notes that while the Navikey has been designed to make it easier for operators, the entire Toshiba TEC POS solution has also been designed to withstand the rigors of a fairly harsh retail environment. “Even though we train our operators to look after the equipment, it’s unreasonable to expect that they’ll treat it with kid gloves all the time,” she
says. “Over the years I’ve seen POS equipment that is simply unable to take constant usage day in and day out.
“Our Navikeys and ST-7000s are in use every day, and the fact is that they can take any amount of heavy treatment without faltering.”
Keeping the customers happy
When Canturi talks about the reliability of the Toshiba TEC POS solutions, it’s easy to see why it is that Toshiba TEC is becoming the standard POS foundation for the entire HFM operation. “Reliability of the POS systems is everything,” she states. “If they don’t work you might as well shut up shop, because you’re only going to lose customers. If you give one customer a bad experience at the checkout, then it’s a sure bet that they will let other people know about this pretty quickly. So instead of losing one customer, you could well have lost quite a number of others.
“This is where the Toshiba TEC equipment is so important to us. Our cashiers are able to process transactions quickly, without being forced to deal with equipment failures – which were actually quite common with the equipment we were using previously.”
On the top of providing HFM customers with the best possible in-store experience, Canturi is a strong advocate that the layout and presentation of front-of-store is just as important as the main shopping area. So it is that for every new and refurbished store, she has put enormous effort into
ensuring customers see a professional and well presented front-of-store.
“The first point in favour of the Toshiba TEC systems when it comes to presentation is the Navikey,” Canturi says. “As far as POS displays go, it’s an attractive piece of equipment and unlike other bulky displays, is neat and compact without taking anything away from the display clarity.”
As for the ST-7000 terminals, which run HFM’s POS software, there’s nothing to be seen of them at any of the check-out lanes. Due to the fact that they have been built with industrial quality components and are to withstand high operating temperatures, every one of them is housed in a fully enclosed shelf.
“Aside from keeping them out of harm’s way,” Canturi says, “it means we have been able to set up much more streamlined and less cluttered check-outs.
“Quite frankly, the Toshiba TEC solutions have proven to be ideal for our operations at every level, which is precisely why we’re rolling them out at each new store we open.”