NGA, Pan-Oston Bring Tech to Grocers via Mobile Innovation Centers

The National Grocers Association (NGA) and Pan-Oston have developed two state-of-the-art mobile Innovation Centers that will bring the latest in front end technology to independent grocers across the country.

The Utopia Across America Tour ( kicks off April 26 at NGA headquarters in Washington, and continues throughout 2010, making stops at the corporate offices and stores of independent grocers across the United States.

“The Innovation Centers provide NGA members a unique hands-on opportunity to learn about technology available in the industry today, and also find out about future trends,” said NGA EVP Frank DiPasquale. “The technology solutions demonstrated are being driven by customers as an enhancement to the customer experience, but can also positively impact businesses’ bottom lines.”

The goal of the Utopia Across America tour is to provide access to the latest technology from vendors, including MEI, Pan-Oston, Microsoft, Dell, CED and Rockwell Automation. The Innovation Centers feature the Utopia Self-Checkout, an affordable PCI (MTXEPS) supportive solution that is easily integrated to 99 percent of available POS systems; innovative cash-handling technology; and assistive listening devices, as well as ergonomic checkout lanes and new counter systems.

Also on board are two new tools developed by Pan-Oston: the Self-Checkout Cost Savings Calculator, which provides independent grocers with a means to evaluate self-checkout cost savings based on their particular operating objectives, and the Front-End Optimizer, an aid to determine the most cost-efficient and productive checkout solution based on sales, staffing, wages and customer service.

“It’s tougher than ever to keep up with the big grocery chains, and the costs of keeping up are rising,” said Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. “This tour is another example of how the NGA and Pan-Oston are working together to help independent grocers succeed.”

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