Magazine Article | October 18, 2006

Printer Upgrade Speeds Customer Throughput

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

At four museum stores, thermal/impact receipt printers shave about 15 seconds off each POS transaction.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, November 2006

Founded in 1929 as the first museum devoted to the field of modern art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) in New York operates four brick-and-mortar stores where patrons can buy everything from postcards and art reproductions to jewelry and furniture. Two stores, the MoMA Design and Book Store and MoMA Books, are located on the museum’s premises. The MoMA Design Store is situated across the street from the facility, while the MoMA Design Store, Soho, is situated in New York City’s Soho district.

In commemoration of its 75th anniversary, the museum underwent a complete renovation that wrapped up in late 2004. While the project was being completed, MoMA executives decided to overhaul the stores’ suite of POS equipment, which at the time included a 10-year-old DOS-based system that used hybrid receipt printers. Although the planned migration was spurred in part by a desire to replace the old equipment before it became inoperable, MoMA management also sought to enhance the overall shopping experience by speeding up customer throughput at the checkout counter.

Turn To Trade Shows To Research POS Hardware

Museum executives began evaluating receipt printer options at the 2004 National Retail Federation (NRF) show. They pegged the A776 thermal/impact receipt printer from Transaction Printer Group (TPG) as a strong candidate based on its functionality (specifically, the ability to print watermarks, logos, coupons, and other attention-grabbing messages on receipts in two-color or monochromatic mode) and the flexibility afforded by its USB port. MoMA decision makers also liked the potential to print customized receipt formats, graphics, and other elements using the vendor’s ReceiptEX software.  

To ensure that the printer was the right fit for the stores’ POS environment, Bedford, NH-based integrator NETS Electronics supplied the museum with a model they could test-drive for a few months. The unit proved to be fast, demonstrating a printing speed of 180 millimeters per second. Working equally well in the printer’s favor was a seamless interface with the stores’ other new POS system components (Dell PC-based hardware and homegrown POS software) provided by the USB port. Additionally, management liked that the printer’s impact slip station would facilitate check validation and processing. This feature permits top, front, or side insertion of checks and reads the MICR print found on the bottom of each check.

Thirty A776 printers were rolled out to MoMA stores during the summer and fall of 2004. Since that time, the museum has achieved significant return on its investment. Transaction processing time, including receipt generation, has been reduced from 20 seconds to an average of 3 to 4 seconds. Additional cost savings came from integrating the credit card processing module of the software with the stores’ receipt printing software. 


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