UPC codes & grocery scanning

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47of74
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by 47of74 » 27 May 2013 19:24

wnetmacman wrote:
47of74 wrote:A lot of times people would rather stick with what works than going on to the latest and greatest. Especially when the latest and greatest isn't proven while an older system is tried and true.
The IT guy in me is going to weigh in here. That's always the case. Especially in smaller businesses, the investment required in upgrading the POS or parts lookup system is high. Even operators like AutoZone still use a text based parts lookup and POS system. It's hard to retrain a whole company.

The down side here is one of productivity. Is it actually easier to use the text-based system, or is the cost a cop-out? I've found that in cases where they had the latest and greatest, it sometimes took longer for the folks to get their jobs done, and sometimes, it takes a quarter of the time. It really depends on the employee running the system.
And with the latest and greatest sometimes smaller companies don't always give thought to human interface design principles and the way the interfaces are designed on the programs they work with it could require more work on the part of the employee operating the system. Several years ago when I was looking at earning a Masters in an IT related field one I considered was human interface design.

jzfla01
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by jzfla01 » 14 Aug 2014 13:55

Does anybody remember what the guidance lights on the NCR 255 for the cashier were? I can see them in a few pictures but can't make out the words.

Also, would anyone know where to get a copy of the operator manual for the NCR 255? I used to have a copy many years ago, but can't find it. NCR says they don't have it anymore. I would love to review it in a PDF form.

If you have any suggestions on where to find the manual, it would be great.

Thanks.

KrogerTexas
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by KrogerTexas » 06 Sep 2014 20:38

krogerclerk wrote:
Dean wrote:1982 Safeway commercial...gotta' love the register!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_M_xeZ6 ... re=related
It's doubtful that any actual Safeway was using mechanical registers in 1982, but few had scanning and as late as the KKR LBO in 86, about a third of Safeway's stores were not on scanning.

In 1982, NCR 1255/2552 and IBM 3680 were state of the art, NCR 1255/2552 and the earlier IBM 3660 were the most common scanning registers. NSC had introduced its POStalker line, which was adopted as the standard for Grand Union. Carolinas KMA Kroger Sav-on's were also using the NSC POStalker in the 80's while other Kroger operations used IBM 3660 or NCR 1255, while the non-scanning stores used various models of TEC electronic cash registers of vintages ranging from the mid-70's to the early-80's.

While supermarkets were the earliest retailers to adopt scanner, its full capabilities of inventory tracking and reordering were never utilized until Wal-Mart began using scanning in the late 80's. Supermarkets used scanning as a way to eliminate price stickering items, which would be tedious and time consuming, particularly after a price change would require repricing, an advantage few remember because often only 75 % of SKU's actually were on file and many regional brands didn't have UPC's. Items that weren't intended for scanning such as produce, meat, deli, etc didn't cause a problem as they were usually priced with a weight label. It was the new items, bonus size items(which have a unique UPC) from the non-bonus items, special order items, or an obscure regional brand in a national chain that caused price check delays-still among the most commong problems with not-on-file errors, as opposed to "price discrepancy" errors.
Before the Y2K issue, it was up to each Kroger Marketing Area to determine what system they used. In the Houston and Dallas KMA's it was the ICL/Datachecker system. Some stores had the positalker, I remember turning it on once and then shutting it off. Processers were the 1600, 1700 and 1800 series. I remember the 1600 was a light beige, the 1700 was a dark gray and both were refrigerator size and generally were in a plastic curtained off section of the upstairs managers office with their own window a/c to keep the area cool enough. The 1800 were half as tall as the other two and a dark gray also. The 1600 series had metal keyboards with very few keys shaped like a long meat tray, the 1700 and 1800 series had square plastic keyboards with a lot more keys. On the 1600 keyboards you had to enter quite a few of the sub departments by a code whereas the 1700/1800 had a key to use.

The ICL system had two processors, and two disk drives. If I remember right the "perfect state" was 18, and if was less, every 5 minutes one of the booth terminals would print "The system is in state ##". Each drive and processor was given a number and by adding up the given numbers you could figure out which drive/processor was not working. Every night at store close (which took about 5 minutes) the system would flop drives and processers. The weekly/Saturday night close which finalized the weekly sales took about 45 minutes.

Each store also had a "JAP" - Journal Alpha Printer that kept a record of each transaction, not a copy of the receipt but a 4 line summary, and every booth/manager function was recorded also. Every 15 minutes a back up sales report (same as a 40 Meat) would print. It took a folded accordion type paper that would last about a day. An alarm would sound when the paper got low. The JAP was located generally next to the processor but a few stores had it in the booth. Each shift of the booth was suppose to go check the JAP, many times when I checked it a journal would be tossed on the load tray to silence the alarm but never fed through the printer.

The booth/management functions were generally activated by the "Meat" key. Daily sales were a 40 Meat, weekly a 41 Meat. Clearing a void at the register aka as a "90" you would go to the keyboard, insert your manager key, press clear and hit tax exempt -your manager # - grocery total. There was an ICL master manager number that did a lot of things, and a KMA master manager number that had just about as many powers.

Booth transactions were not recorded live on the system and you would have to put it on a line number, 53x30x65xline#-Meat (I think, or that could have been a money order sale, been awhile since I been in a booth. Pickups on a till were a 7 Meat, till balances were a 9 Meat. Booth checks would have to be media swapped from cash to checks.

I do remember running the Borrough's check encoding machine and it was very easy to get ahead of the encoder and I can remember just waiting to drop in the last 5 or 6 checks in a run. However sometimes the Borrough's would forget a check and then out came the white stickers as the checks would be encoded wrong.

In about 1999 Kroger decided to standardize all POS systems to an IBM system due to the Y2K issue.

explorersea
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by explorersea » 30 Jan 2015 10:00

KrogerTexas wrote:
krogerclerk wrote:
Dean wrote:1982 Safeway commercial...gotta' love the register!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_M_xeZ6 ... re=related
It's doubtful that any actual Safeway was using mechanical registers in 1982, but few had scanning and as late as the KKR LBO in 86, about a third of Safeway's stores were not on scanning.

In 1982, NCR 1255/2552 and IBM 3680 were state of the art, NCR 1255/2552 and the earlier IBM 3660 were the most common scanning registers. NSC had introduced its POStalker line, which was adopted as the standard for Grand Union. Carolinas KMA Kroger Sav-on's were also using the NSC POStalker in the 80's while other Kroger operations used IBM 3660 or NCR 1255, while the non-scanning stores used various models of TEC electronic cash registers of vintages ranging from the mid-70's to the early-80's.

While supermarkets were the earliest retailers to adopt scanner, its full capabilities of inventory tracking and reordering were never utilized until Wal-Mart began using scanning in the late 80's. Supermarkets used scanning as a way to eliminate price stickering items, which would be tedious and time consuming, particularly after a price change would require repricing, an advantage few remember because often only 75 % of SKU's actually were on file and many regional brands didn't have UPC's. Items that weren't intended for scanning such as produce, meat, deli, etc didn't cause a problem as they were usually priced with a weight label. It was the new items, bonus size items(which have a unique UPC) from the non-bonus items, special order items, or an obscure regional brand in a national chain that caused price check delays-still among the most commong problems with not-on-file errors, as opposed to "price discrepancy" errors.
Before the Y2K issue, it was up to each Kroger Marketing Area to determine what system they used. In the Houston and Dallas KMA's it was the ICL/Datachecker system. Some stores had the positalker, I remember turning it on once and then shutting it off. Processers were the 1600, 1700 and 1800 series. I remember the 1600 was a light beige, the 1700 was a dark gray and both were refrigerator size and generally were in a plastic curtained off section of the upstairs managers office with their own window a/c to keep the area cool enough. The 1800 were half as tall as the other two and a dark gray also. The 1600 series had metal keyboards with very few keys shaped like a long meat tray, the 1700 and 1800 series had square plastic keyboards with a lot more keys. On the 1600 keyboards you had to enter quite a few of the sub departments by a code whereas the 1700/1800 had a key to use.

The ICL system had two processors, and two disk drives. If I remember right the "perfect state" was 18, and if was less, every 5 minutes one of the booth terminals would print "The system is in state ##". Each drive and processor was given a number and by adding up the given numbers you could figure out which drive/processor was not working. Every night at store close (which took about 5 minutes) the system would flop drives and processers. The weekly/Saturday night close which finalized the weekly sales took about 45 minutes.

Each store also had a "JAP" - Journal Alpha Printer that kept a record of each transaction, not a copy of the receipt but a 4 line summary, and every booth/manager function was recorded also. Every 15 minutes a back up sales report (same as a 40 Meat) would print. It took a folded accordion type paper that would last about a day. An alarm would sound when the paper got low. The JAP was located generally next to the processor but a few stores had it in the booth. Each shift of the booth was suppose to go check the JAP, many times when I checked it a journal would be tossed on the load tray to silence the alarm but never fed through the printer.

The booth/management functions were generally activated by the "Meat" key. Daily sales were a 40 Meat, weekly a 41 Meat. Clearing a void at the register aka as a "90" you would go to the keyboard, insert your manager key, press clear and hit tax exempt -your manager # - grocery total. There was an ICL master manager number that did a lot of things, and a KMA master manager number that had just about as many powers.

Booth transactions were not recorded live on the system and you would have to put it on a line number, 53x30x65xline#-Meat (I think, or that could have been a money order sale, been awhile since I been in a booth. Pickups on a till were a 7 Meat, till balances were a 9 Meat. Booth checks would have to be media swapped from cash to checks.

I do remember running the Borrough's check encoding machine and it was very easy to get ahead of the encoder and I can remember just waiting to drop in the last 5 or 6 checks in a run. However sometimes the Borrough's would forget a check and then out came the white stickers as the checks would be encoded wrong.

In about 1999 Kroger decided to standardize all POS systems to an IBM system due to the Y2K issue.
Hi Kroger Texas, I thought you would find it interesting that in 1988 and 1989 we were removing the last of the mechanical registers in the Seattle Division. The stores were a mix of DTS and Sweda. That I remember Polson Montana was our last Sweda Power Penny store, all four registers, ah good times!

KrogerTexas
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by KrogerTexas » 30 Jan 2015 21:02

Hi Explorersea;

When I started in the mid 80's the division I was in was 100% scanners, and there were no old back up mechanical registers in the store. Just before Y2K the decision was made to bring all divisions to one system (IBM) and scrap all the other systems that were in place. I would imagine this greatly simplified things at General Office to support only one check out system instead of several.

klkla
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by klkla » 16 Jan 2016 22:22

I stumbled across these photos today. They appear to be of an early design for scanners installed at a Kroger in 1972-1973. Evidently the 'bulls-eye" sticker could be scanned at the register.

http://idhistory.com/rca/Kroger%20Kenwo ... photos.pdf

Also an image here of the exact model of DataChecker cash registers we used while I was at Safeway:
http://idhistory.com/images/BardoubleXUPCScanner.jpg

The cashier's uniform looks like Albertsons maybe?

Super S
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by Super S » 06 Jun 2016 23:30

klkla wrote:I stumbled across these photos today. They appear to be of an early design for scanners installed at a Kroger in 1972-1973. Evidently the 'bulls-eye" sticker could be scanned at the register.

http://idhistory.com/rca/Kroger%20Kenwo ... photos.pdf

Also an image here of the exact model of DataChecker cash registers we used while I was at Safeway:
http://idhistory.com/images/BardoubleXUPCScanner.jpg

The cashier's uniform looks like Albertsons maybe?
The now-gone Safeway turned Albertsons at Overland & Vista in Boise actually used that exact register setup, with those exact scanners, for a few years after they took over the store when Safeway left Boise in the mid-1980s. I always assumed that it was a leftover Safeway system as pretty much all of Albertsons Boise stores used NCR at the time. I have never seen another Albertsons that used the DataChecker registers. Makes me wonder if that picture was at that store...the uniform would have been correct.

klkla
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by klkla » 15 Oct 2017 22:52

Before there were UPC codes and scanners there was this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJCj87WxIec

Hard to believe now on so many different levels.

BillyGr
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Posts: 124
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 22:35
Location: Upstate NY

Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by BillyGr » 16 Oct 2017 09:00

klkla wrote:Before there were UPC codes and scanners there was this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJCj87WxIec

Hard to believe now on so many different levels.
One thing they need to bring back is that lesson about packing the items - so much of the issue with plastic bags is that you wind up with far more of them used than you really need most places if you let those working at the store pack them (as opposed to doing it yourself with a self checkout or even at a regular register if it's a time when they don't have extra people to help with the packing).

explorersea
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by explorersea » 12 Apr 2018 08:34

Super S wrote:
klkla wrote:I stumbled across these photos today. They appear to be of an early design for scanners installed at a Kroger in 1972-1973. Evidently the 'bulls-eye" sticker could be scanned at the register.

http://idhistory.com/rca/Kroger%20Kenwo ... photos.pdf

Also an image here of the exact model of DataChecker cash registers we used while I was at Safeway:
http://idhistory.com/images/BardoubleXUPCScanner.jpg

The cashier's uniform looks like Albertsons maybe?
The now-gone Safeway turned Albertsons at Overland & Vista in Boise actually used that exact register setup, with those exact scanners, for a few years after they took over the store when Safeway left Boise in the mid-1980s. I always assumed that it was a leftover Safeway system as pretty much all of Albertsons Boise stores used NCR at the time. I have never seen another Albertsons that used the DataChecker registers. Makes me wonder if that picture was at that store...the uniform would have been correct.
Its interesting and ironic that all Albertons have been installed with Safeway systems (Toshiba POS with ACE), Albertsons had mixed bag of old POS (NCR, ICL, IBM) which was difficult to support and implement large updates and marketing deployments

Super S
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by Super S » 13 Apr 2018 09:12

explorersea wrote:
Super S wrote:
klkla wrote:I stumbled across these photos today. They appear to be of an early design for scanners installed at a Kroger in 1972-1973. Evidently the 'bulls-eye" sticker could be scanned at the register.

http://idhistory.com/rca/Kroger%20Kenwo ... photos.pdf

Also an image here of the exact model of DataChecker cash registers we used while I was at Safeway:
http://idhistory.com/images/BardoubleXUPCScanner.jpg

The cashier's uniform looks like Albertsons maybe?
The now-gone Safeway turned Albertsons at Overland & Vista in Boise actually used that exact register setup, with those exact scanners, for a few years after they took over the store when Safeway left Boise in the mid-1980s. I always assumed that it was a leftover Safeway system as pretty much all of Albertsons Boise stores used NCR at the time. I have never seen another Albertsons that used the DataChecker registers. Makes me wonder if that picture was at that store...the uniform would have been correct.
Its interesting and ironic that all Albertons have been installed with Safeway systems (Toshiba POS with ACE), Albertsons had mixed bag of old POS (NCR, ICL, IBM) which was difficult to support and implement large updates and marketing deployments
I never quite understood why Albertsons retained the Safeway equipment at that location. It was the only Albertsons in Boise that used it. It was replaced with NCR a few years later. When Albertsons took over D'Alessandro's in Boise and converted the store to Maxx, they ditched what D'Alessandro's had (I think Data Terminal Systems registers) for their common NCR system.

Safeway at one point years ago was like this as well. Three I can recall right off the bat, depending on the area, were ICL/Datachecker (California), NCR (Northern Idaho), and IBM (Washington/Oregon), plus some stores had mechanical registers in use into the mid-1980s. I think some divisions ran different systems as I recall the Seattle area Safeway stores still using older IBM equipment when Portland had already switched to the IBM 4683.

The cost was sometimes prohibitive to implement electronic cash registers and scanners across the board and it was quite common years ago to see even nationwide chains such as Kmart using different cash register systems in different areas of the country. Things are a lot more consistent these days.

explorersea
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by explorersea » 13 Apr 2018 11:35

Super S wrote:
explorersea wrote:
Super S wrote:
The now-gone Safeway turned Albertsons at Overland & Vista in Boise actually used that exact register setup, with those exact scanners, for a few years after they took over the store when Safeway left Boise in the mid-1980s. I always assumed that it was a leftover Safeway system as pretty much all of Albertsons Boise stores used NCR at the time. I have never seen another Albertsons that used the DataChecker registers. Makes me wonder if that picture was at that store...the uniform would have been correct.
Its interesting and ironic that all Albertons have been installed with Safeway systems (Toshiba POS with ACE), Albertsons had mixed bag of old POS (NCR, ICL, IBM) which was difficult to support and implement large updates and marketing deployments
I never quite understood why Albertsons retained the Safeway equipment at that location. It was the only Albertsons in Boise that used it. It was replaced with NCR a few years later. When Albertsons took over D'Alessandro's in Boise and converted the store to Maxx, they ditched what D'Alessandro's had (I think Data Terminal Systems registers) for their common NCR system.

Safeway at one point years ago was like this as well. Three I can recall right off the bat, depending on the area, were ICL/Datachecker (California), NCR (Northern Idaho), and IBM (Washington/Oregon), plus some stores had mechanical registers in use into the mid-1980s. I think some divisions ran different systems as I recall the Seattle area Safeway stores still using older IBM equipment when Portland had already switched to the IBM 4683.

The cost was sometimes prohibitive to implement electronic cash registers and scanners across the board and it was quite common years ago to see even nationwide chains such as Kmart using different cash register systems in different areas of the country. Things are a lot more consistent these days.
hey Super S, prior to the early 1990s, both Albertsons and Safeway would redeploy or use POS from an acquired store because of one thing, money. New registers cost a lot of money and budgets were tight. At the same time, Safeway actually opened some low volume new stores with DTS while converting large volume stores to new POS scanning in the 1980s. In the late 1980s Safeway was still redeploying refurbished IBM 3663 and 3683 to lower volume stores, higher volume stores would receive new IBM 4680s. Denver was actually buying refurbished ICLs from resellers instead of buying new POS for stores. I remember Safeway acquired a store in Sandpoint Idaho with legacy NCR equipment, the division had to treat this one store as a one off much to everyone's regret later (one off stores are hard to support and maintain). What would be regretful later, Albertsons let procurement negotiate pricing on new POS and thus a store could get ICL, NCR or IBM (often NCR). At Safeway each Division could select IBM or ICL depending upon what they preferred, that would all change in the early 1990s when Corporate IT began to require IBM 4680 across the board, divisions like Denver that preferred ICL and were overruled. Consistent POS models reduces costs and makes marketing programs much easier to deploy and support (you see this with Kroger, Walmart, Safeway and now Albertsons).

jholttn
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Re: UPC codes & grocery scanning

Post by jholttn » 27 Oct 2018 00:34

So here is a blast from the past if anyone remembers the technical specs of this system configuration. So in 1992 I started working at Kroger bagging groceries at the age of 16 and at 18 became a cashier. I remember vividly that they had NCR Registers, very similar to the NCR 2152 if not that model. I can't tell the model# precisely from the pics because there aren't that good of images of them. I remember that there was a master at the customer service desk that they used and one upstairs at the scan coordinators desk. Then maybe like a year later, I remember this huge install of computers. Now that I know so much more about all of this I fully understand what it all was back then. They kept their existing NCR registers and got two IBM 4680 controllers. A now out of business company called AW Computer Systems in Mount Laurel, NJ devised a system for stores to keep their existing NCR Registers and still use the IBM 4680/4690 Controllers. Each IBM Controller had an AW Board with a cable connecting to an IAB R3 + Prom A/B Switch box with lights that changed from red to green. It was pretty cool looking. The switch box acted as a fail safe if one controller failed it could take the registers into "BACKUP" and all the registers would make the same sound at the same time with their receipt and journal printers making you restart your order all over again. But it was cool to hear it do this actually. I remember one co-worker if he and I were ever working alone and it was late at night, he showed me something that he discovered. You could overload the registers by like pressing a bunch of numbers really quick like 787878787878 and pressing No-Sale Operator and it would basically anger the registers and the controllers and force them into BACKUP. For some reason, I guess they upgraded something else because it wouldn't do this anymore. Also; if for some reason the IAB box failed, you could switch the box on one of the switches from automatic to manual, then there was another rocker switch to flip to switch it from Controller A to Controller B. On each of the controllers, 4680 or 4690 for some stores, in Menu #2 of the OS, there were menus for additional programs to install. One of the installed menus was "AW Utilities". I remember if you modified anything it would say stuff like, "Updating Date/Time to AW Board" or "Uploading Tax Tables to AW Board". I also remember them installing a couple of more computers. One was another PC with pretty much DOS on it I think. It had software on it called EMS, made by a company called Efficient Marketing Solutions which tied in somehow to the controller as what popular items are being sold cross-referencing UPC #'s. They also installed an NCR 3300 Desktop PC running SCO Unix on it which did a lot. It really impressed me. It ran the inventory product on-hands, time clocks, the video rental dept, the pharmacy, ordering/receiving, DSD - Direct Store Delivery, etc... So I can truly respect that a lot of programming and developing went into play back then to make totally different programs communicate with each other exchanging files and everything to make everything run smoothly. Then about a year later we got VeriFone Omni 490 CC Terminals for people to pay by debit/credit cards. I was amazed; I mean truly amazed how developers got that to work with those NCR Registers. I remember they had to install software on both IBM Controllers, and connect some sort of small circuit board to each register inside the components to get them to all communicate with each other. After seeing all of this for those couple of years, I was hooked on IBM 4680/4690 Store systems. Fast forward another two years, 1996 I transferred stores out of the county because I wanted a change. Brand new store, new IBM 4693 Registers, New IBM Controllers running IBM 4690. So at this store I worked in Customer Service and the Cash Office where I got to play more in depth. I used to get in trouble all the time because Corporate or IBM would always be calling asking who I was and why was I accessing stuff that I shouldn't be. Blah Blah Blah... I would have never caused intentional harm. I would just access menus and flipping through screens being nosy, pulling reports, etc... Especially when I discovered the default IBM login. Not too secure when they didn't change the default login credentials. lol - I hope everyone enjoyed reading this trip back to memory lane. If anyone remembers the IBM/NCR AW System where both systems worked together, please leave comments. I would love to read them. Also, if anyone happens to have a copy of these old NCR AW Utilities, I would love to have a copy as I have a system here at home that can use them.

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