Scanner Scales, are one of the most important yet most take for granted pieces of equipment in a grocery store. Without scales transaction times would be slower, reports would be a disaster and shrink would be an even larger problem. However many store owners with older outdated scales are not fully realizing that having an older outdated scanner-scale can create some of the same problems as not scanning at all and can reduce the effectiveness of your investment in back office, point of sale and other systems. Below we list many of the areas that your older scales may be hurting you more than helping.
Coupons are a huge source of shrink for the store owner with an older scale. New GS1-Databar codes cannot be read by older scanner scales requiring manual entry of the coupon causing errors and taking up a lot of time. Manual entry can also lead to discounts being given on expired coupons or coupons for items that were not even in the cart.
One of the largest sources of shrink is the overhang. This is when the bunch of bannanas your busy cashier is weighing is leaning on the back of the check stand or that long stalk of celery is laying partially on the counter and partially on the platter. Studies have shown that a grocery store can lose about 5-10% of the weighed value of their produce this way. Don’t believe it? Walk through your produce department and count all the items you have that are weighted that are to some degree longer than the platter or that can be leaned on the back of the platter.
Another inefficiency of older scanner scales is that they often have a hard time reading bar codes quickly requiring re-scans and slowing up lines giving customers the impression that checking out in your store, takes alot of time with re-orienting or rescanning. Also when re-scans lead to manually entering in the bar code how long does that take? Or worse…entering in the dollar amount and a department. The more our cashiers need to manually do things the less accurate our movement reports get.
Last older scales wear out they break down and they run slower than more modern scales. Many grocers play scanner roulette by rotating bad, old slower scanners to lanes that are not often used only to forget about them and have an inefficient or worse an inoperable lane when traffic picks up.
Does your store need a more modern, updated scanner scale ? Take a look at the items above. Watch your cashiers for leaned items and overhangs, do an audit of your coupons, watch how long it takes a large basket of groceries to get through one of your check out lane and most importantly ask your customers, “Does it take longer to buy from my store than it does other stores?” You’ll be surprised at what they might tell you.