Over the past several years, SUPA IGA has emerged as a major player in the Australian supermarket industry, competing with enormous success against the longer established industry giants. For the staff at the SUPA IGA Blaxland store, success comes through providing customers with a supermarket experience that is second-to-none.
Over the past several years, SUPA IGA has emerged as a major player in the Australian supermarket industry, competing with enormous success against the longer established industry giants. For the staff at the SUPA IGA Blaxland store, success comes through providing customers with a supermarket experience that is second-to-none. This, according to Store Manager Peter Smith, means everything from having a clean and operable trolley at the point of entry, right through to minimum waiting time at the check-out lane.
The only viable option
When SUPA IGA Blaxland underwent major refurbishment in 2006, one of the first issues to be addressed was the replacement of all third-party POS systems. According to Smith, the systems which had been in place for several years were simply unable to support the high standards of service the store was striving to achieve. So it was that in partnership with Toshiba Tec reseller and solution provider Worldsmart Retech, the refurbishment program included the installation of a comprehensive Toshiba Tec POS solution on all 12 lanes.
Consisting of Toshiba Tec ST-7000 terminals running the Worldsmart Retech Windows-based Grocery Manager software, the solution also includes Toshiba Tec Navikey LKBST-65 touch screens and DRWST-51A cash drawers.
“It was important for us that the entire solution was from a single vendor,” Smith says. “We wanted a fully integrated solution that we knew would work and a single point of contact for all our service needs; and from what I’ve seen in the marketplace over the years, Toshiba Tec is the only viable option.”
More than just the trolleys
With close on 35 years experience in the supermarket industry, Smith has a clear understanding of what customers expect and how they react to certain situations. “When a customer’s doing their shopping, they might well be prepared to stop and have a chat for several minutes with people they know,” Smith says. “It can be almost a social occasion for some people. But when they get to the check-out lane, they’re only concerned about getting out as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter what sort of experience they’ve had from the time they entered the store up until the time they line up, the impression they go away with is the experience they have at the exit point.”
As a direct result of the reliability of the Toshiba Tec solution, SUPA IGA Blaxland customers invariably walk away with the ideal exit point experience; and it’s a combination of features that lead to this. Navikey touch-screens that retain their calibration, for example, dramatically improve data entry accuracy and speed at the checkout.
“The whole solution is just totally reliable at every level and gives our operators the speed and accuracy they need in order to get their customers through the lane as quickly as possible,” Smith says. “I’ve worked in supermarkets where the equipment is so unreliable that we’ve needed a dedicated person just to deal with abandoned trolleys. With the introduction of the Toshiba Tec solution, that’s virtually nonexistent in this store."
“I’m constantly hearing from other store managers that it’s their POS systems that let down what is otherwise a topnotch operation,” Smith says. “The response I give them is based on what I know works – and that’s Toshiba Tec gear!”
Eliminating the service nightmare
When it comes to keeping the lanes open, service responsiveness from Toshiba Tec has proven to be crucial at SUPA IGA Blaxland, and according to Smith it’s being delivered at a standard that is the best in the industry. “Before we brought in Toshiba Tec, our previous vendor was just as likely to keep us waiting a week before they would get around to sending someone out,” he says. “Even then, they generally wanted to take the equipment away with them rather than fixing it on the spot. So in addition to having had a lane out of operation for a week, it would just as likely be another week while we waited for the repairs to be done."
“Considering that at our peak times we need all 12 of our lanes open just to keep up with the volume of customers, that sort of situation was unacceptable. "
“As soon as the Toshiba Tec equipment came in, that whole scenario changed,” Smith continues. “Whenever we log a service call – and that’s pretty rare – we have a technician on site the same day…with spare parts and the knowhow to fix the problem on the spot. In my experience, that level and quality of service is virtually unheard of! in this industry. It demonstrates the difference between a company that’s just out to sell products, and a company like Toshiba Tec that partners with you and supports you every step along the way.”
Toshiba Tec - the new POS pioneers
Nearly 35 years in the supermarket industry has given Smith a long history with POS technology. “The new POS pioneer and leader is undoubtedly Toshiba Tec,” he states. “It’s a company that saw what was being done in this industry, then set out to build on that to establish new levels of technology and support."
“In our store, if we didn’t have that innovation and commitment from Toshiba Tec, we’d be going backwards. It’s that simple.”