Digitisation and the death of the service culture

103 posts in this topic

12 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

Maybe there will be some sort of RFID deposit?  Bring them back and get your money back?  To be reusable, however, they would have to be more robust.

 

The logistics are complicated, if they were reusable and you could take them back it means you could as well remove it from one item and put it in another (more expensive) item.   So the security would be totally compromised because the target is that you just walk out through the reader without anyone visually checking your items.

 

I guess the best option would be that the tag was integrated in the packaging.  You will still have to solve the issue of having different frequencies in different countries.

 

And the tag needs to be "cancelled".   Otherwise you can't bring back into the store an item you bought in the past.

 

Plus the logistics of reusing the tag would make it way too expensive.  i.e. re-program them and stick them to the correct items.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

We should get a discount for using SCO.;)

I seem to recall that is what happened in the US as we transitioned from having a human fill the tank or doing it yourself.  In the end consumers wanted the lower prices.  Here's what's left:

 

In New Jersey self-service fuel filling is illegal. It was banned in 1949 after lobbying by service station owners. Service stations only offer full service and "mini service". Proponents of the ban cite safety and jobs as reasons to keep the ban.

The State of Oregon banned self-service in 1951, but legalised it from 2018 in counties with 40,000 residents or fewer.

 

Those were the good old days when you sat in the car and got waited on .  😂

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

Sometimes you are so full of it.

Where did that come from?

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

So they are cheap enough for it.

 

 

But they are not.

It is cheap if you consider non metallic items. Could work for grocer, for example.

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

That's not how the real world works.  Because nowadays prices are so cheap that most of the items in the supermarket that are sold regularly are cheap items.   So according to you, the now master of retail business, supermarkets has to assume a lost in more than half their catalogue.

Supermarkets already bundle apples together, for example.

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

While it might help, it is not that relevant.  It only helps partially, the self checkout systems are not tiny.   And we are not yet in the times of fully cashier-less supermarkets, so we don't really know.

That´s my point: there would be no self checkout at all! You just cross a delimited area. This of course assumes wireless payment or something similar. On a normal Lild, this would mean saving some 15% of space.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, MikeMelga said:

 

Where did that come from?

 

Because it is obvious you have LITTLE idea about the RFID business in supermarkets, but like in everything you pretend to be an expert.

 

Just now, MikeMelga said:

 

It is cheap if you consider non metallic items. Could work for grocer, for example.

 

There is no solution for the whole catalogue, having a partial solution is the same as having no solution.   The only realistic solution is passive ultra-high-frequency ones and they are too expensive for cheap items.  And even if they were cheap enough, you still have a plethora of other problems to fix.   

 

Just now, MikeMelga said:

 

Supermarkets already bundle apples together, for example.

 

What?

 

Just now, MikeMelga said:

 

That´s my point: there would be no self checkout at all! You just cross a delimited area. This of course assumes wireless payment or something similar. On a normal Lild, this would mean saving some 15% of space.

 

 

You just cross a delimited area ... not so easy.   You have plenty of problems with the current technology to achieve that in supermarkets.   It might work in other type of retail stores, but it is pretty complicated in supermarkets.  We've been trying to do that since 2003, and so far it has peaked and fell twice.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

I guess you wanted to write than having a cashier is more expensive.  Again, wrong.  The whole point of using all these technology is not saving on the salary of a couple of employees.   It is offering a better and potentially safer service (theft is much more expensive).

It`s both.

The added side effect of it cutting down on theft (which seems to be the exact opposite of what happens with SCO) is that employees wages are saved which is also a massive saving.

Money spent on employees is always the first thing to be saved in regards to almost anything a business does.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Keleth said:

It`s both.

The added side effect of it cutting down on theft (which seems to be the exact opposite of what happens with SCO) is that employees wages are saved which is also a massive saving.

Money spent on employees is always the first thing to be saved in regards to almost anything a business does.

 

I already tried to explain it, at least in supermarkets, the SCO do not reduce employees significantly.   You still have cashiers in the normal checkouts taking care of the big transactions or the people who refuse to use the SCO.   The SCO is normally limited to small transactions, around 20 items depending on the shop policies.  In discounters where they ran already the whole shop with only 2 to 3 employees there is no one to reduce, they will open normally only one lane and in most cases they have only one SCO and the other employee will be in charge of coming to support the customers using the SCO that ran into any problem (but it won't normally be there permanently in the SCO area).

 

In bigger markets, they will have a battery of several SCOs, around 4 to 8 is typical, and then one of two employees dedicated to support the customers using the SCO.   

 

Then what is the advantage of having the SCOs?  the biggest one is resource free scalability.  The SCOs will be there waiting for the peak hour to come and get maximized (all used) without having to have extra employees just for the peak hours.    What happen in the traditional shop is that queues just build up and then after the peak everything gets back to normal.  The other big advantage is that the money is safe, but that's not really that relevant in Western Europe.  And there are cash devices for traditional checkouts.

 

I understand the first thing it crosses people's mind is that SCOs are taking jobs, but at least in supermarkets that's not really the case, at least not massively.   They are actually creating jobs, because someone have to develop, build, sell and maintain those machines.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

The logistics are complicated, if they were reusable and you could take them back it means you could as well remove it from one item and put it in another (more expensive) item.   So the security would be totally compromised because the target is that you just walk out through the reader without anyone visually checking your items.

This seems like it should be a solvable problem.  Some sort of way to detect if the tag has been removed from the item. 

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

And the tag needs to be "cancelled".   Otherwise you can't bring back into the store an item you bought in the past.

 

I would think this would be possible too.  Sort of like how books are run through the scanner at libraries, although I assume that is different technology.   However, I have no claim to any experience with RFID in supermarkets.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

Because it is obvious you have LITTLE idea about the RFID business in supermarkets, but like in everything you pretend to be an expert.There is no solution for the whole catalogue, having a partial solution is the same as having no solution.   The only realistic solution is passive ultra-high-frequency ones and they are too expensive for cheap items.  And even if they were cheap enough, you still have a plethora of other problems to fix.   

Not claiming to be an expert, but I am not clueless on this.

I had a customer project with RFID on paintbucket business some 14 years ago. We talked with some suppliers and they were already testing it in supermarkets in Portugal. Cost was a problem for our project back then, so it was cancelled. But I can´t assume everything is static. Cheaper RFID that handle metallic objects will come, cheap enough to work in supermarkets.

 

38 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

You just cross a delimited area ... not so easy.   You have plenty of problems with the current technology to achieve that in supermarkets.   It might work in other type of retail stores, but it is pretty complicated in supermarkets.  We've been trying to do that since 2003, and so far it has peaked and fell twice.

Did not say it was easy. But whoever gets it right, makes a fortune.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, BradinBayern said:

This seems like it should be a solvable problem.  Some sort of way to detect if the tag has been removed from the item. 

 

How are you going to solve that?  The reader can only read the tag.  If there is another tag there is no way to know it.

 

It could be solvable when using an SCO system, because the SCO might have additional information about the item in order to implement its security.  i.e. traditionally the SCO system knows the weight of the item and advanced ones will be able to identify the item with cameras.  But then the scanning has to be done one by one (this actually exists already).  And the target solution that is just walking out of the store won't be possible anymore.

 

Just now, BradinBayern said:

 

 

I would think this would be possible too.  Sort of like how books are run through the scanner at libraries, although I assume that is different technology.   However, I have no claim to any experience with RFID in supermarkets.  

 

Of course it is possible.  Once the item is bought it will be canceled so you can come back into the store with the item with no problems, just like what they do in the clothes stores when you buy items with safety RFID tags, they rub the item against a reader that cancel the tag.

 

The problem is when you want to reuse the tag, It need then to be reprogrammed back to the original state and be sticked to the correct item.  Which is already too much work and introduce potential mistakes.

 

Seriously, reusing the tags in a supermarket is a very bad idea.  It will be like going back to the times where they sticked the price to every item using the tag gun.  Only worse and more complicated.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Krieg said:

the SCO do not reduce employees significantly

 

17 minutes ago, Krieg said:

without having to have extra employees just for the peak hours

 

17 minutes ago, Krieg said:

I understand the first thing it crosses people's mind is that SCOs are taking jobs, but at least in supermarkets that's not really the case, at least not massively.   They are actually creating jobs, because someone have to develop, build, sell and maintain those machines.  

 

You keep contradicting yourself. First they aren't taking jobs and then it is not "significantly" and not "massively".

 

Where do you think those machines are being built and creating more jobs?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, MikeMelga said:

Not claiming to be an expert, but I am not clueless on this.

I had a customer project with RFID on paintbucket business some 14 years ago. We talked with some suppliers and they were already testing it in supermarkets in Portugal. Cost was a problem for our project back then, so it was cancelled. But I can´t assume everything is static. Cheaper RFID that handle metallic objects will come, cheap enough to work in supermarkets.

 

Did not say it was easy. But whoever gets it right, makes a fortune.

 

Paint consumer business is not even close to supermarket business.  The only common thing is that they are both retail.

 

Actually for paint business the technology would be ready today I guess.  But for the supermarket we are very far.    That's why I believe cameras and AI will be ready first.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Krieg said:

I understand the first thing it crosses people's mind is that SCOs are taking jobs, but at least in supermarkets that's not really the case, at least not massively.   

Yet.

Once there is a safe,reliable way to have non human checkouts then it will happen,not because it`s better or more secure but because it will save money in the long run.

Everything business does revolves around making a bigger profit be it making something more secure from theft or making it better for the customers.

They very very rarely actually do anything for the customers if it doesn`t lead to more profit in the end.
What is always the first cutback when a company is not as profitable as it once was ?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Where do you think those machines are being built and creating more jobs?

China probably ;)

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

 

 

You keep contradicting yourself. First they aren't taking jobs and then it is not "significantly" and not "massively".

 

Sorry for my "wrong" semantics.  I have tried my best to explain it, even with examples.

 

2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Where do you think those machines are being built and creating more jobs?

 

Well, that's a very difficult thing to answer because the manufacturing chain is extremely complicated.  But Germany is the leader in Europe in the SCO business, but of course the chain is not 100% in Germany, like in every other business.  And Germany is as well a big player in the world, but the number one is an American company.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

I already tried to explain it, at least in supermarkets, the SCO do not reduce employees significantly.   You still have cashiers in the normal checkouts taking care of the big transactions or the people who refuse to use the SCO.   The SCO is normally limited to small transactions, around 20 items depending on the shop policies.  In discounters where they ran already the whole shop with only 2 to 3 employees there is no one to reduce, they will open normally only one lane and in most cases they have only one SCO and the other employee will be in charge of coming to support the customers using the SCO that ran into any problem (but it won't normally be there permanently in the SCO area).

 

In bigger markets, they will have a battery of several SCOs, around 4 to 8 is typical, and then one of two employees dedicated to support the customers using the SCO.   

In Portugal we mostly have "hyper" markets, meaning up to 50 cashiers! We don´t have much of these small markets like in Germany. So there is a tremendous advantage there to get this working.

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Keleth said:

Yet.

Once there is a safe,reliable way to have non human checkouts then it will happen,not because it`s better or more secure but because it will save money in the long run.

Everything business does revolves around making a bigger profit be it making something more secure from theft or making it better for the customers.

 

I agree, but a supermarket is not really the kind of business that you can run unattended.  Because you know, we are humans and we someone will just go and take the things without paying if they can.   Supermarkets are ran with the minimum amount of people since many years already.  There is not much they can cut.

 

3 minutes ago, Keleth said:

They very very rarely actually do anything for the customers if it doesn`t lead to more profit in the end.

 

Retail nowadays in several segments is not about maximizing profit, it is about keeping your market-share, things are pretty competitive so everyone is trying not to lose customers.   And we live in Germany which is one of the most aggressive retail markets in the world, here things are run with almost no profit, it is extremely difficult.   

 

3 minutes ago, Keleth said:

 

 


What is always the first cutback when a company is not as profitable as it once was ?

 

Difficult to answer but if I have to choose one answer then maybe reduce or eliminate non-mission-critical perks and expenses.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

I already tried to explain it, at least in supermarkets, the SCO do not reduce employees significantly.   You still have cashiers in the normal checkouts taking care of the big transactions or the people who refuse to use the SCO.   The SCO is normally limited to small transactions, around 20 items depending on the shop policies.  In discounters where they ran already the whole shop with only 2 to 3 employees there is no one to reduce, they will open normally only one lane and in most cases they have only one SCO and the other employee will be in charge of coming to support the customers using the SCO that ran into any problem (but it won't normally be there permanently in the SCO area).

 

In bigger markets, they will have a battery of several SCOs, around 4 to 8 is typical, and then one of two employees dedicated to support the customers using the SCO.   

 

 

As said, its not the cheap supermarkets that use them, I never have seen an SCO at Lidl, penny or ALDI, its only the bigger more expensive super markets like Edeka, Kaufland and Rewe.

 

If it was really about driving down the price, then I would expect Lidl etc would be early users.

 

I see a fair number of full loaded supermarket trolleys at the SCO que.

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

In Portugal we mostly have "hyper" markets, meaning up to 50 cashiers! We don´t have much of these small markets like in Germany. So there is a tremendous advantage there to get this working.

 

 

 

Of course, and I have already described how it normally works in big stores.   You throw some SCO batteries and put there some employees assisting the customers with problems.

 

Notice as well that the people's buying culture is different, most people in Spain, Portugal and South America go to the supermarket once a week of once every two weeks and buy a whole trolley or even two.   Those customers are not the primary target of the SCO.  But the customers going to just buy just a couple of items will benefit immensely from the SCO because they don't have to wait an eternity in line, even if only one or two people are in front of you if could still mean 10 to 20 minutes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Krieg said:

And we live in Germany which is one of the most aggressive retail markets in the world, here things are run with almost no profit,

What ?

We`re talking Edeka,Lidl,Aldi etc here not some village butcher or baker.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, yesterday said:

 

As said, its not the cheap supermarkets that use them, I never have seen an SCO at Lidl, penny or ALDI, its only the bigger more expensive super markets like Edeka, Kaufland and Rewe.

 

The world is bigger than Germany.  But yes, there have been pilots in some discounters in Germany, but they are still not massively rolled out.

 

3 minutes ago, yesterday said:

If it was really about driving down the price, then I would expect Lidl etc would be early users.

 

I see a fair number of full loaded supermarket trolleys at the SCO que.

 

It is a policy of the shop how many items they allow in the SCO.  And it depends as well on the technology they use for safety.  If they use an scale as safety there won't be enough space to put a whole trolley there.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now