Ohio Grocer Uses Panasonic End-To-End Retail Solution

Independent grocers face a tough business environment. They are typically faced with severe competition from national chains, price erosion and rising overhead, not to mention business related issues of food spoilage, sourcing, employee matters and loss prevention.

To beat the odds in this tough environment, one independent business owner is using technology. John Troyer, co-owner and CEO of a family-run grocery market and food processing facility in Berlin, Ohio, has learned that, along with a sense of humor, an integrated technology solution can help handle many of the day-to-day issues.

His store, Troyer Country Market, has recently implemented a total end-to-end retail solution from Panasonic including Point-of-Sale (POS) workstations, scales/scanners, POS Printers, video surveillance cameras, network recording devices, digital signage and retail management software.

“Staying competitive today means more than just offering low prices or unique food specialties,” Troyer said. “It means ensuring that our back of store operations are efficient and effective and support a positive customer experience at checkout and throughout the store. Being able to automate and enhance these procedures and processes saves us time and money and helps us to stay on top of the game.”

Troyer Country Market opened for business in 2006 to promote their own line of goods, including their home-made dairy and meat products as well as canned goods. The venture proved highly successful and business grew quickly with local customers and out-of-towners through an electronic retail operation. But along with the success came the need for a more technically advanced retail system that would help them overcome the challenges associated with a growing business.

For guidance in selecting new equipment, Troyer turned to Terry Selkirk of Genesis POS Solutions. In addition to discussing equipment options, it was suggested that John consider a total solution that would be scalable, network-based and be capable of seamlessly integrating all systems from both the store and the adjacent warehouse and manufacturing facility.

“Over the years we looked at many POS packages, and the Panasonic solution blows the competition away on quality and price,” Troyer said. “I liked the idea of tying the POS system to a security system for a complete solution. You can get cutting edge electronics equipment that will increase efficiency and take your store to the next level.”

In particular, the Panasonic POS systems featured an all-in-one compact design, and the workstation’s open platform meant that John had the option of using whatever retail software best suited his needs.

Genesis POS Solutions did an on-site store evaluation and, with support from Panasonic, proposed a network-based system that included cameras for video surveillance, network recorders for recording and archiving the video, digital signage for in-store marketing, and a complete POS package including Panasonic’s Lite-ray workstations with card swipe terminals, as well as monitors, scanners and Aloha Data Systems’ retail management software package StoreTender.

Phase one of the project, which included provisioning the network and completing the installation of the video surveillance and POS system in the store, was completed by Genesis POS within budget and on time.

Phase two will include installation of the video surveillance system in the warehouse/manufacturing facility and integrating it with the store’s system. The head end of the system is located in the store office and from a PC, iPad or even his mobile phone, John can view crisp quality streaming video from any of the cameras.

He can also view any POS transaction complete with video, including time, date and specific cash terminal. And because the POS system is tied into the inventory control system, John has a more accurate picture of what items are moving and when to order more. The digital signage displays facing the customers upon checkout are also used to upsell customers in addition to promoting slow moving items, specials, seasonal announcements, greetings, etc.

“There are so many things about this system that I like,” John said. “It is tailored to our needs rather than being a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution. The equipment is easy to use and the staff was up to speed very quickly. We are moving customers much faster through the check out and there is improved management control of the store.”

“Business automation is the key to growth in today’s ultra-competitive food marketing industry,” said Kamal Boiri, senior manager, security and loss prevention products with Panasonic System Networks Company. “Panasonic understands the challenges that businesses face and we work to meet our customers’ expectations with end to end cutting edge solutions. Our Retail Solutions, including business communications, security and loss prevention and retail management, can help boost productivity through reliability, flexibility to adapt to tomorrow’s growth and a fair, affordable price.”

Panasonic’s feature-rich Retail Solutions are designed for stores of all sizes, providing the tools for owners and operators to improve productivity and keep an eye on their business from any location. A Retail Solutions package is scalable and fully customizable, offering a comprehensive POS solution with an innovative, integrated video surveillance system. The solution includes POS terminals, network cameras and displays, video recording technology powered by Quadrox WebCCTV and state of the art POS software developed with market leader Aloha Data Systems.

“The security cameras are so clear you can zoom in to take inventory from the office,” Troyer said. “Panasonic has gone above and beyond to make sure we have the system that is right for our store. I believe Panasonic is going to be the leader and pave the way for grocers and specialty markets of the future with their state-of-the-art technology.”

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