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Voice of Users

Shop Business Support System

Customer : New-Quick CO., LTD.

Set up a terminal next to a sink? No problem. And even the older part-timers can use the system. Resistant to water and dust, the Toughbook has increased in-store efficiency.

In Japan, New-Quick CO., LTD. is proud of its foremost position in the fresh food retailing sector. Directly linking head office with each of the retail stores, to streamline labor management, ordering, and other business tasks, New-Quick has upgraded its data system and, for in-store terminals, installed Toughbook CF-19 computers. Unlike ordinary computers, the CF-19 is designed to withstand splashing and to keep out dust and dirt. Data entry via the touch screen is easy and, in the confined and humid spaces at meat counters, in an almost trouble-free system upgrade, this robust Toughbook has been judged an outstanding performer.

Information system in use at butcher shops and fresh food counters in supermarkets

New-Quick IT Supervisor Mr. Kaneko

New-Quick IT Supervisor Mr. Kaneko
"Because there were so few malfunctions, I could spend more time helping users get up to speed."

In the fresh meat retail sector, New-Quick has achieved excellent brand recognition. Since 1973, following the principles of thorough safety, insistence on premium quality, and value for money, the business has grown in strength by offering tasty products that are good for health.

 

As of August 2009, the company directly controlled each of 139 stores, which are located mainly in and around Tokyo, across central Japan, and on to the Kansai region and beyond. From 1999, the company began broadening its support for shoppers by opening supermarket-style stores featuring specialist counters for fresh meat, fish, and fruit and vegetables. In this way, it started building an infrastructure as a retailing company intent on enriching the food culture.

 

"One thing about the way we work is that managers are given great freedom in the way they run their shops; for example, they can develop and sell their own special dish products." So commented Mr. Yoritsugu Kaneko who, as IT Supervisor in the General Affairs Division, was involved in building the system, and oversees its operation.

In the upgrade to a VPN (virtual private network), the opportunity was taken to upgrade terminals to Toughbook

Software developer Mr. Moriya of TISC, Ltd. (Tokai Information System Consultation)

Software developer Mr. Moriya of TISC, Ltd. (Tokai Information System Consultation)

About ten years ago New-Quick fully embraced IT for managing people and controlling stock and other physical assets. Mainly for managing timesheets and stock ordering, customized software was designed and then introduced and operated at head office and each of the shops. Recently, enlisting the expertise of TISC, Ltd., besides overhauling and improving the original software, the company also upgraded the hardware.

 

Previously, shops had handy terminals and analog phone lines were used for communication from the shops to head office and suppliers. It was felt that the time had come to take greater advantage of the better quality and carrying capacity available with current-generation communications. In 2008, along with changing the communications architecture to VPN (virtual private network), the Toughbook CF-19 was selected to replace the shop terminals.

 

As TISC Planning Department System Engineer Mr. Naoya Moriya put it, "The previous handy terminals had a standard 2 MB of memory. Since the terminals didnít have hard drives or other forms of storage, if we had stuck with that kind of system, the upgrade would have been limited."

 

For example, when a manager did the ordering for a shop, order confirmation was not issued automatically. It was necessary to also go through the bother of phoning the supplier or faxing an order form.

 

"Because there was no built-in way of checking order status, it was easy for oversights to occur. In addition, the basic performance of the terminals, including the CPU, was subpar. The sluggish response of the terminals even led to efficiency issues." (Mr. Kaneko)

Basic concept of shop support system

Users say they like the touch screen. Water and dust resistance inspire confidence

With features such as a tough compact body and easy-to-use touch screen, the CF-19 has what is needed for use in restricted shop space.

With features such as a tough compact body and easy-to-use touch screen, the CF-19 has what is needed for use in restricted shop space.

Orders and stock control can be efficiently managed by connecting in a barcode scanner.

Orders and stock control can be efficiently managed by connecting in a barcode scanner.

Intending to ensure less error-prone and more efficient store business, New-Quick wanted to upgrade the in-store terminals to more versatile high-performance general-purpose computers. For this, it selected the Toughbook CF-19. The reasons for and benefits of this choice are listed below.

 

<Reasons for adopting the Toughbook>
(1) Splash resistance and strong dust sealing
Required when placed in kitchen area near cooking equipment that requires washing or next to a sink; consideration was also given to use in potentially dusty storage rooms or landing bays.

 

(2) Space-saving design
In many situations, system terminals have to be used where space is severely restricted.

 

(3) Toughness
In the narrow confines of shop space, where products are being moved and food is being prepared, the rapid motions of busy staff greatly increase the risk of impact with the terminal or even of knocking it to the floor.

 

(4) Touch screen operability
For acceptance by staff who have no confidence with computers, operation without a keyboard was essential.

 

<Benefits of introducing the Toughbook>
(1) More powerful software
With the introduction of the Toughbook CF-19, it was possible to upgrade our custom software. Now that order status can be checked from the in-store terminals, there have been fewer problems with delivery scheduling. In addition, stock control checks, daily reports, and receipt of head office circulars are now possible.

 

(2) Paperless communication
Before the upgrade, many store communications and reports were conveyed on paper. Now daily reports can be sent directly from the terminals and paper documentation has been greatly reduced.

 

(3) More efficient, faster stock control
Connecting a barcode scanner to the terminal enables rapid stock checking. In the past, doing a complete inventory check could sometimes mean missing the last train home. Now the same work can be done in a couple of hours.

Few problems getting the system up and running: able to focus on getting users up to speed

Operation is as easy as touching buttons on the screen. The interface was carefully designed for the business.

Operation is as easy as touching buttons on the screen. The interface was carefully designed for the business.

With the introduction of more than 100 new terminals, expecting teething troubles with the operating system and hardware, IT supervisor Mr. Kaneko naturally felt uneasy. After the changeover, he was grateful that there were so few problems: “There were hardly any problems with the OS or hardware, it was a great help. It meant that I could deal with older part-timers, and even some of the store managers, who don’t feel confident with computers. As the system supervisor, rather than hardware and software troubleshooting and maintenance, I think that time after installation is better spent on making sure that managers know how to use the system and helping all users to get up to speed. I'm grateful that there were so few troubles."

Even among people who were unsure of computers, easy operation, using large clear buttons on the touch screen, allowed the system to be introduced with little resistance.

Even among people who were unsure of computers, easy operation, using large clear buttons on the touch screen, allowed the system to be introduced with little resistance.

System desired to have potential for further development, including effective communication from the stores

Involving plans to further develop the system, the installation is part of a larger plan: "At the moment we are giving the store managers time to get used to the Toughbook. We want them to progress beyond touch screen operation and become competent with the keyboard, too.

In the future, we intend to provide stores with the tools to carry out analysis of sales results and the ability to freely issue and communicate information. At present, we arrange meetings and other opportunities for store managers to swap information with each other. Using our new information system, information can exchanged more frequently and actively. This should have a positive effect on the whole business (Mr. Kaneko)."

Customers
New-Quick CO., LTD.
Address
Head Office: 2-7-1 Tsujido, Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture
For further information about our products, how to purchase them and more, please visit the website of your region.

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