Monday, May 17, 2010
Introducing the Revolutionary Utopia Cash Handling Lane
Pan-Oston, where grocery store shop for all their grocery needs, is proud to introduce the Utopia Cash Handling Lane. Providing grocers with lower cash handling costs, improved security, increased ROI, ADA accessible for customer and cashier, and ergonomic design.
Built around the MEI Bank Note Recycler, the Utopia Cash Handling Lane will revolutionize the way you look at your front end. To see how much the Utopia Cash Handling Lane will help you with your overhead log onto to www.panoston.com and try our amazing patent pending Front End Optimizer. It will allow you to enter your store information to show what the ideal front end configuration is right for you and how much a cash handling lane will save. With over 40 years of experience developing innovative and overhead reducing solutions. We are proud to be the official self-checkout provider to the N.G.A.
To find out more about the Utopia Cash Handling Lane visit us at www.panoston.com or call 800-210-2302.
Friday, May 14, 2010
We were back in Pan-Oston's hometown, Bowling Green, Kentucky, this week, which gave us time to reflect on the first two weeks of our Utopia Across America Tour. The response from independent grocers has been phenomenal; in many ways, even better than we anticipated. Everyone seems genuinely impressed with what they've experienced on board the Innovation Centers and are appreciative to not only see the products and technology, but to engage in meaningful discussions about their businesses, and discuss opportunities for improving customer service, as well as bottomlines.
Week two for Jeff G. and Derek aboard RV #1 was spent traveling Michigan and Indiana. They made stops in Ann Arbor, Lansing, Muskegon, Traverse City, South Bend and Merrillville, visiting with the welcoming employees of Busch's Fine Foods, L & L Foods, Plumb Inc., Oleson's Food Markets, Martin's Supermarkets and Wiseway Markets.
RV #2 took Allen and Jeff R. to stops in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They kicked off the week at MEI headquarters in West Chester. MEI's Bank Note Recycler continues to be one of the "stars" of the UAA Tour and the MEI team were thrilled to see our mobile Innovation Centers showcasing their amazing cash handling and recycling technology. The rest of the week was devoted to visits with grocers - Fresh Grocers, Boyer's, Thomas Family Markets, Bill's Shop Rite, Mountain Fresh, Fetch's Foods, Village Supermarket IGA and Kilroy's Wonder Market - with the RV traveling the streets of Orwigsburg, Dallas, Moscow, Hunlock Creek, Plymouth, Ridgefield Park and Glenrock.
Day after day, we hear comments such as, "This is the coolest thing I've ever seen!" and "Every independent should take the time to tour the bus." Many people have been so wowed by what they've seen, they've called colleagues (even some from many miles away) to come visit the Innovation Center. People have often been surprised by what they've seen on the RVs and learned from their time spent with Jeff G., Derek, Allen and Jeff R.
We're excited to hit the road again on Monday and embark on Week Three of our tour. If you're interested in having one of our mobile Innovation Centers make a stop at your store or home office, please visit the NGA Utopia Across America website or call 866-296-2030!
Monday, May 3, 2010
We’re touring the country in two mobile Innovation Centers, introducing independent grocers to the latest in front-end technology and retail checkout products available from Pan-Oston. We officially kicked off our tour at N.G.A. headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Innovation Center #2) and in Wooster, Ohio (Innovation Center #1). Despite some gloomy weather along the way, we completed a very successful week one of our tour, setting the stage for what is sure to be an amazing summer on the road.
Innovation Center #1
Buehler Supermarkets in Wooster, Ohio welcomed the Innovation Center #1 team, Jeff and Derek, with twelve of their team stepping on board to experience the technology solutions, such as the Shop Hear assistive listening device and MEI’s Bank Note Recycler.
Day two in Youngstown, Ohio brought the local media – The Vindicator (read the article) and WYTV 33 (read the article) – out to see what Utopia Across America was all about. We met with HP Nemenz and the West Side Sparkle Market and both groups seemed impressed with all that Pan-Oston has to offer.
We continued our tour across Ohio, kicking off day three in Coshocton with a great meeting with Baker’s IGA (and a reporter from the Coshocton County Beacon; and made quite an impression on the locals as we traveled down Main Street) and then braved some narrow roads before reaching I-77 and I-70 to get to our afternoon stop in St. Clairsville. We met with more than a dozen people from Reisbeck’s representing management from Produce, Deli & Food Service, Meat, IT and Operations. By 4:15, we were on the road toward Columbus.
We wrapped up week one of the tour in Findlay, Ohio, with the Fresh Encounter team, parking in the lot of their downtown Great Scot Community Market. The Utopia self-checkout and the BNR were once again the stars of the show and we spent many hours meeting with Fresh Encounter – and they were even kind enough to let us videotape their feedback of the experience. (Check back for a link to the completed video.) We then head south to Lima to meet with Chief Supermarkets, and parked our Innovation Center in the lot of Ray’s Market, where it got a lot of customer attention. So much attention, in fact, that the assistant store manager said her customers were stopping her and asking when the new self-checkout lanes would be available!
Innovation Center #2
What an exciting way for the IC#2 team, Allen and Jeff R., to kickoff their tour – by visiting the National Grocers Association offices just outside our nation’s capital. The N.G.A. executives, including President and CEO Thomas Zaucha and Executive Vice President Frank DiPasquale, and their staff gave us an extremely warm welcome and shot some video to share with their membership.
We then traveled to Rockville, Maryland, the corporate headquarters of Magruders, where we heard so many positive comments about our Innovation Center. They were particularly amazed at the affordability of our Utopia EZ unit. We finished up our first day in Baltimore, with the team from Mars Supermarkets. We were able to share with them many of Pan-Oston’s innovations, including our “green bag” rack and C-Flex counter systems. They expressed a great interest in our Front-End Optimizer and Self-Checkout Cost Savings Calculator tools. (You, too, can benefit from these tools – just click on the hyperlinks to sign up!)
We spent day two visiting independents in the Baltimore area, including B. Green & Co., Santoni’s and Harvest Fare. Again, we received appreciation for our onboard tools, the Front-End Optimizer and Self-Checkout Cost Savings Calculator. One owner not only appreciated being able to learn how he might make his front-end more efficient (by using the Front-End Optimizer), but he also thought our mobile Innovation Centers tours were a terrific opportunity for independents to see the latest innovations without having to travel to trade shows.
Our third day started off bright and early with Klein’s Shop-Rite. Halfway through the tour, additional members of the management team were called to witness all the innovations we had on board the Innovation Center and we discussed calculating the right number of self-checkouts and staffing (the Self-Checkout Cost Savings Calculator really is a useful tool!). We had a great discussion about how customers really are driving demand for the convenience of self-service – banking (ATMs) and gas stations (pay-at-pump) industries were changed by self-service, and now the grocery industry is experiencing a similar call for self-service. Pan-Oston is helping independent grocers face the challenge of meeting customer demand by offering self-checkout at an affordable price.
We finished off week one by heading north of the Mason-Dixon line to visit with independents in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania, including W.L. Zimmermans & Sons and Darrenkamps. In addition to showing them the solutions and tools on board the Innovation Center, we were able to talk about customer preference. After discovering that recent data suggests 80% of customers at least want the choice of self-checkout and that 20% of customers will actively seek out stores that offer the convenience of SCO, they began asking if we actually thought they could actually pick up additional sales by offering SCO. We offered this scenario: Let's image you have a gas station that is located in a convenient spot on your way to work. You always enjoyed getting your gas there, but have finally started going to another station because they offer the convenience of pay-at-the-pump. On your way home today, you notice the gas station you've always liked has installed pay-at-the-pump. Wouldn't you start using them again since they are the friendly gas station you like and they now offer the convenience you desire? SCO not only provides cost savings, but also competes for sales and market share by offering something customers are looking for. What a great way to finish off week one - makes us excited for the weeks ahead!
If you’re interested in taking part in the Utopia Across America tour, visit www.ngautopiaacrossamerica.com or call 866-296-2030 to schedule a mobile Innovation Center visit!