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Retail tool launched

Retail intelligence specialist Beonic last week launched its new system for eliminating checkout queues and improving customer service at Melbourne’s Retail Expo.

National sales manager, Traffic Insight Ken Warmington tells Logistics Magazine that Beonic’s latest product, Queue Assist, is a fully automated Checkout Management System that monitors queue lengths, customer wait times, checkout performance and can predict queues in advance.

“Store managers are instantly alerted if the current number of checkouts is insufficient to cope with the foreseeable customers demand,” he says.

“Beonic’s specialised sensors and intelligent back-end give this system its edge. Alerts give the store managers enough time to make the necessary adjustments to the checkout service levels so that queues are avoided, allowing customers to get served quicker.”

Beonic managing director Peter Cohen says the company initially developed the Checkout Management System to solve serious customer service problems in supermarkets.

“The Queue Assist solution can help to improve sales, service and customer satisfaction,” he says.

Ken Warmington says the Checkout Management System product is designed to be implemented in almost all retail environments fills a huge gap in the retail intelligence area.

“To date, stores collect information from Point-of-Sale data, supply chain records and loyalty program reports. The missing component is information about foot traffic and queueing in the store,” he says.

The Checkout Management System identifies how many people are in the store and calculates when these people will need service.

A variety of other reports about where people have walked, how they reacted to store layout and merchandising are all important value add-ons provided by the system.

“The Checkout Management System is a giant step forward towards making the retail environment a pleasant place to shop whilst keeping a close finger on the staffing pulse to keep costs at their most efficient levels,” says Peter Cohen.

“It also improves store efficiency by alerting store managers prior to queues forming so they can open additional checkouts. This solves the problem of long queues turning away customers.”

“The Checkout Management System (CMS) is the only one of its kind in the world. End-of-day reporting will provide a clear historical record of exactly what went on.”

“These are summarised into easily identifiable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at stores. The system has been designed as an out-of-the-box experience, equipping retailers who are serious about improving customer service consistency across all shifts and across all stores,” Cohen says.

The Checkout Management System uses the latest generation of Beonic’s sensor tracking technology. The new system delivers business benefits including:

· Improved rostering by accurately identifying the optimal level of staffing required to service customer demand, based on foot traffic through the store

· Advanced warning of queues by alerting managers when customers will arrive at checkouts

· Service level KPIs, including queue length, transaction times, scan rates, idle time and sales conversion ratios

· Improved service consistency across stores by accurately tracking service KPIs and providing customer service managers with a tool that takes the risk out of operational decisions.

Beonic offers the Checkout Management System on a per-checkout pricing basis.

The system is designed for stores with three or more checkout terminals. As well as thermal imaging sensors above checkouts and at each entrance to the store, the system includes a Beonic server running the Traffic Insight software.

According to Peter Cohen, the Checkout Management System reports can replace expensive and episodic “mystery shopper” initiatives to measure store service levels.

“These KPIs allow a store to promise a service level to its customers — and then measure their service against that promise,” he says.

“Our system measures everything that happens at the front of the store including queue lengths, how long the customer waits, the basket size, scan rate and idle time. With the Checkout Management System, Beonic helps retailers predict how many checkouts they need, how many staff rostered on and KPIs for the store.”

“The powerful reporting dimension is that this information is available through a web browser, so any authorised person in an organisation can tap into it,” Cohen adds.

“We can also configure the system to send an email, pager message or SMS to store managers for urgent alerts, so nothing is overlooked.”

Beonic is an Australian company whose world-leading Traffic Insight retail intelligence system assists retailers to learn how to convert store visitors into customers.

Beonic reports equip retailers to make better decisions about advertising, merchandising and checkout service levels, leading to happier customers, more sales and improved profits.

Customers using Beonic technology include retailers such as IKEA, Angus & Robertson Bookshops, Vodafone and Adidas as well as shopping centre groups such as Mirvac, AMP, Gandel and Centro, and public facilities such as the Sydney Opera House, the Southern Cross Railway station and Melbourne’s Federation Square.

For more information about Beonic, visit www.beonic.com.

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