Technology adoption improves micro-retailer’s efficiency

FOOD-JOY, a mini-mart and general wholesale small business located along South Buona Vista Road in Singapore,  is among the first micro retailers in the country to introduce self-checkout technology in its store recently.

The company invested in self-checkout and cash management solutions with help from SPRING Singapore’s Capability Development Grant.

“With more self-checkout technology deployed in-store, our staff could free up time and take on new roles such as stock-taking to merchandising. Previously, more focus was on mundane cashiering duties. With the deployment of technology, our staff have more opportunities to take on multiple responsibilities,” said Tay Eng Khiam, director of Food-Joy.

According to SPRING Singapore, an agency under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping local enterprises grow, the company was able to reduce the number of traditional cashier counters in store by 50%, following the implementation of the two self-checkout and cash management solutions. The problem of long queuing time for customers during peak periods was reduced, from approximately three minutes to one minute per customer. The number of sales transactions per day also increased by about 15% due to the shorter queuing time.

Furthermore, operational time required for cash counting was reduced by 90%, from approximately 20 minutes to two minutes, the agency said. Feedback from customers highlighted that they appreciate the options for payment, as many make frequent but small basket purchases, SPRING Singapore said.

By helping smaller and micro-retailers to get started on bite-sized and packaged technology solutions, the Singapore government encourages them to take the important first step to embrace technology, adopt innovative solutions and build enterprise capabilities.

To support small and micro-retailers in adopting technology solutions, the government agency SPRING Singapore has appointed five vendors earlier this year to provide self-checkout and cash management solutions for the industry. This was done through a Call-for-Collaboration to push for mass roll-out by 2018.

Food-Joy is among the first micro retailers in Singapore to introduce self-checkout technology in its store recently.

The five appointed vendors— Wincor Nixdorf, EPOS, NCR Singapore, Strongpoint Retail Solutions and SR Data Dynamic — will assist retailers in simplifying cash office activities and overall productivity at the retail storefront and back office. In response to Retail Asia’s queries, SPRING Singapore said the vendors conveyed that there has been an increase in the number of retailers approaching them and there is greater awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the benefits of self-checkout and cash management services.ra

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