Case Report 1

Topics: Receipt, Retailing, Computer software Pages: 8 (2749 words) Published: May 6, 2015
115.107 Management Information Systems
Case Study 1

Self-service checkouts

What is a Self-scanning checkout, also referred to as "self-checkout" or “self-service checkout”? A self-serving checkout is an automated process that enables shoppers to scan their products, bag those products and pay without the assistance of a checkout operator. Typically, a self-serving checkout lane looks very much like a normal checkout lane except that the shopper interacts with a computer's user interface (UI) instead of a checkout operator doing it for them. During operation of the self-service checkout, the shopper may enter an item which requires verification of the shopper such as a unique ID loyalty card to receive discounts or Fly Buy points. In particular, the shopper’s items for purchase may include restricted items which by law or otherwise require verification of the shopper. For example, purchases include restricted items such as cigarettes or tobacco products, alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine, or certain solvents, the shopper’s age may have to be verified prior to the sale (i.e. proof of ID such as a Driver’s Licence or Passport).

Figure 1. Self-serving checkout

Question 1: Five-component framework for a self-serving checkout

The self-serving checkout can be assessed using the components of the five-component framework which is Hardware, Software, Data, Processes, and People. Viewing Figure 1 Self-serving checkout it appears to be an uncomplicated system. However, I was fortunate enough to work for Foodstuffs NZ as an IT Support Analyst that supported the hardware, software and people. Part of my role included the support of the self-serving checkouts so the complexity of this system is far greater than one can imagine. Hardware

The self-serving checkout is made up of multitude components which include: Touchscreen User Interface monitor
Bi-optic scanner/scale
Change dispenser
Coupon Accepter
Currency Coin payment module
Debit/credit card payment model (EFTPOS machine)
Receipt printer
Security scale
Processing Unit (located in the cupboard where the change dispenser is also located) Network cable (Cat5/6 cabling)
Power cable
Camera
In order for the self-serving checkout to operate it needs to be connected to the Stores’ network to be able to look up the products, weigh produce, complete transactions and print receipts, video recording of transactions and error notification reporting. In order for the checkout to do this, it is connected to other hardware components behind the scenes which include: 2 database servers:

Live production server
Backup database server (or failover system is another name for it) Store Network server
Display monitor
Keyboard
Mouse
Power plugs
Network switch
Network cables
Power supply
UPS (power backup server)
Software

The self-service checkout software falls into two classes which are system software and application software. Systems Software manages the resources of the self-serving checkout and simplifies programming. An operating system is the main or principal system software. It manages all the resources of a self-serving checkout and provides an interface through which the system's user can deploy these resources which would include sets of instructions like voice and picture prompts. Application software is the programs that directly assist end users (Shoppers and checkout assistants) in doing their work. They are normally purchased as ready-to-use packages bought as part of the whole system purchase from the Vendor. Applications software directly assists the shoppers in completing the shopping experience and store and IT Support staff in maintaining the system. Touch screen (IU) user interface monitor

Software that is used to look up products, pricing, calculate weight, feed instructions using voice and pictured instructions to the user for processing the shoppers purchases and payment options prompts. It also has administrator...
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