Major French Retailers Update Existing POS Systems with Handheld Readers to Eliminate Cashiers Handling Bulky Items
On June 30, 2008, the National Technical Committee of the Services, Businesses and Industries of the Retail Food Sector in France adopted a new law affecting the existing Point-of-Sale (POS) hardware for retailers. According to the National Social Security, the law aimed to “reduce the risks linked with manual handling of heavy items at the POS station in hypermarkets and supermarkets” by “implementing actions enabling to reducing manual handling.”
The new law was formed after the recent exposure of work-related health problems and accidents among cashiers manually handling heavy items at checkout. A study was conducted to identify the source of these problems and the evidence was conclusive: carrying heavy or bulky items was one of the main causes of cashier injuries. Upon discovering these findings, France decided to implement new requirements for retailers to ensure a reduction in these health risks.
As of September 2009, French law requires all retailers to implement or maintain a POS system that allows cashiers to avoid physically handling bulky or hard-to-carry items weighing 8 kg / 17.6 lbs or more.
In partnership with Perifem and the Organization for the Ergonomics of POS Stations, four options were suggested for retailers to meet the new legal requirements:
Implement PLU codes
Implement removable bar codes
Install bar code readers capable of scanning from long distances
Observing from a distance with a camera
Installing handheld bar code readers was the most common recommendation, as the readers would allow the cashier to easily scan items from behind or around the counter without any physical manipulation.
With this recommendation in mind, retailers were faced with yet another obstacle: if stores were not adequately updated with equipment to comply with the new regulations, penalties would ensue as of January 1, 2010. With less than four months to update existing POS systems, retailers were hard pressed to find a solution in time.
Independent of one another, major retailers in France began a diligent search to find the most fitting hardware to update their check out lanes. Since most of the retailers were long-term users of Magellan™ bi-optic scanners and other handheld readers from Datalogic, Datalogic was a natural consideration for bar code scanning equipment.
After an extensive period of testing different bar code readers, the retailers selected Datalogic to provide a solution aligned with the new POS laws. The decision to use Datalogic was simple; testing proved that Datalogic is the only scanning company with a proven solution to meet the new retail requirements. Additionally, prior satisfaction and trust in Datalogic products confirmed the purchase decision.
Retailers selected a combination of Datalogic’s handheld readers, which included the Gryphon™ I GM4100, the Gryphon™ I GD4100 and the industrial PowerScan™ PBT7100 readers. These handheld devices gave cashiers the ability to scan items directly in the shopping cart with the best depth-of-field scanning in the market.
The readers also feature an ergonomic, light weight design promoting ease-of-use, which was important when considering improvements in employee health. The Gryphon GM4100 reader and PowerScan™ PBT7100 reader lended additional features with wireless capabilities for cashier mobility, which would help in scanning bulky or heavy item in the cart.
The readers also have the ability to read bar codes from mobile devices, which prepares the retailers for the future with investments for applications such as mobile couponing. Furthermore, retailers benefited from Datalogic’s patented ‘Green Spot’ technology, which provides good read feedback directly on the bar code. This unique feature is particularly valuable in noisy environments, such as in supermarkets, where the audio ‘beep’ cannot be heard.
With the retailers’ sense of urgency in mind, Datalogic was able to provide the necessary products for installation prior to the January 1, 2010 deadline, saving the retailers from costly penalties.
After finishing the installations throughout France, the retailers were able to successfully meet the new POS regulations and protect their employees from work-related health risks. Additionally, the major retailers were able to update their POS systems with devices that position their stores for the future of retail check out.
For Datalogic, the use of products in the European market place boosted recognition in EMEA and confirmed Datalogic’s position as the leading bar code scanning provider. The presence of Datalogic products in France has created huge market recognition for the company, contributing to Datalogic’s success in this region.
Major Supermarket/Hypermarket Retailers
Gryphon™ I GM4100
Gryphon™ I GD4100