When the Ahold company of the Netherlands investigated the operational requirements of scanning equipment, lengthy preparations were undertaken. This is a detailed report of the results, with some valuable information on the difficulties encountered. The commonest problems were those of using a mixed system — scanning, key‐entry and price‐entry — all of which slowed down productivity at the check out. Throughout the paper, the message is clear; there must be unity of action between manufacturers and retailers before the real benefits show. This case‐study presents a practical assessment of one company's experiments with POS systems, and despite the problems, Ahold's commitment in this field and their realistic appraisal of the work still to be done makes interesting reading. This paper was also presented at the CIES conference held in Paris 1979, “EDP: focus on store operations”.
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