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    Sonbyrne Sales Implements Scanning

    The company's convenience stores see efficiencies from Hand Held Products' devices.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Gone are the days of inputting prices manually from price sheets at registers for Sonbyrne Sales, operator of 58 Byrne Dairy convenience stores based here. The company recently installed scanners from Hand Held Products at its stores, Stores magazine reported.

    "We decided to buy the scanners to stay competitive for our customers with speed and accuracy in pricing," Melissa Burke, finance and IT manager for Sonbyrne Sales, told the magazine. "And the other side of our decision was that we wanted to be competitive for employment. There were times when our cashiers were looking up prices on four different sheets. The scanners have made training easier and shortened up the time, and our customers love the quicker checkout."

    Approximately half of the stores -- some of which offer gas, groceries, beverages, hot and cold sandwiches, hot beverages through a coffee bar and ice cream shops -- are currently using the scanners, the report stated. The program began installation in August, and already the chain is seeing advantages beyond faster checkout times.

    The scanners are being used to capture point of sale (POS) data to track trends in sales velocity on individual items, the report stated. Burke told the magazine that the company will expand its use of the data to track inventory and item-level receiving, once scanners are installed in all of its stores.

    In addition, the scanners allow Byrne Dairy cashiers to check customers' proof of age for beer and cigarette purchases.

    Hand Held Products' durability was a selling point to Burke, who told the magazine about a demonstration provided by distribution sales manager Rick Kraetz.

    "When Rick spiked one of the scanners into our concrete floors like it was a football, we knew it was the kind of product we wanted for our stores," Burke told Stores. "He spiked it, picked it up and spiked it again, and then he stood on it. When he first did it, I turned away and protected my eyes, but he picked it up [undamaged] and started scanning with it."

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