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Topic # 62837 15-Jun-2010 21:38
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Has anyone noticed the New World price tags have changed slightly? They now include per 100g price data on many products. I remember a friend of mine telling me that this was standard in Sweden and I thought it was a brilliant idea - taking the confusion out of pricing.

For example when a consumer sees a 1.5kg packet of frozen vegetables and a 1kg packet they can instantly know the price per 100g and work out the most cost effective product for their needs.

I realise that the mathematics involved in working this out is elementary and I do it most days anyway but I still think it is a great way to inform customers and think it should have been standard a long time ago. I still see products advertised in supermarkets on 'Super Specials' which are still several cents and even dollars more expensive than their competitors at normal prices.

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  Reply # 342107 15-Jun-2010 21:43
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Progressive stores (Countdown, Woolworths and Foodtown) have been doing this for many years. It is Foodstuffs policy to also introduce this by the middle of the year.

Magaging this process is a complete nightmare and accurary is by no means guaranteed and quite frankly is impossible with the number of products that stores carry. There will always be issues with this system and it requires some pretty significant changes to procedures to roll it out, along with what is essentially a requirement for manufacturers to change the way they run promotions such as "10%" free.

To understand why pricing is different you need to understand how the pricing structures work in NZ. I could bore you to death with a 10000 word summary if I had a day spare to write it.




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  Reply # 342160 16-Jun-2010 05:19
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It seems like the math and accuracy should be fairly straight forward to me. Simply calculate the price of 100g of X item. If Progressive have been doing this for years then it can't be that difficult. The prices are managed via a computer I'd imagine which would make that a breeze wouldn't it? Maybe they should hire me to fix their pricing computer. I have been working out prices per 100g in my head for several years now.

I'd agree that the '10% Free!' might then be misleading though. I would be interested in a short version of why the pricing structure is different in New Zealand. I used to work in a super market way back in the day but left before I ever understood much about how it operated (beyond receiving goods and stocking shelves).

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  Reply # 342164 16-Jun-2010 06:46
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1080p: It seems like the math and accuracy should be fairly straight forward to me. Simply calculate the price of 100g of X item. If Progressive have been doing this for years then it can't be that difficult. The prices are managed via a computer I'd imagine which would make that a breeze wouldn't it? Maybe they should hire me to fix their pricing computer. I have been working out prices per 100g in my head for several years now.

I'd agree that the '10% Free!' might then be misleading though. I would be interested in a short version of why the pricing structure is different in New Zealand. I used to work in a super market way back in the day but left before I ever understood much about how it operated (beyond receiving goods and stocking shelves).


The solution to problem is no where near as simple as you think it is - there is absolutely no way that 100% integrigy of this system can be maintained. That is why Progressive stores have horrible problems with accuracy despite having had these systems in place for well over 10 years. Look around their stores and you'll spot literally hundreds of tickets that are incorrect.

Progressive stores even have an far easier job than Foodstuffs stores. All of their product ranges and pricing is maintained by head office. In your typical Foodstuffs store there can literally be thousands of products that are purchased direct from suppliers and all data regarding such as pricing is maintained by the store.

The 10% also isn't misleading - the problem is in the way products like these all have to be handed and new processes that have to be introduced to deal with such things to guarantee accuracy of the system. To maintain accuracy for all intent purposes it becomes a totally seperate product.

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  Reply # 342180 16-Jun-2010 08:35
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sbiddle:
Progressive stores even have an far easier job than Foodstuffs stores. All of their product ranges and pricing is maintained by head office. In your typical Foodstuffs store there can literally be thousands of products that are purchased direct from suppliers and all data regarding such as pricing is maintained by the store.


The difference between the chains would be minimal - On average non host supported lines in the majority of Auck Foodstuffs stores would be lucky to hit 100 sku's on average (With most well below that).

Changes to front end POS and implementation of SAP is only going to make management easier.

My understanding is implementation of the new ticketing format has stalled for Foodstuffs Auckland, but i could be totally wrong on that.

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  Reply # 342199 16-Jun-2010 09:04
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sbiddle: 

The solution to problem is no where near as simple as you think it is - there is absolutely no way that 100% integrigy of this system can be maintained. That is why Progressive stores have horrible problems with accuracy despite having had these systems in place for well over 10 years. Look around their stores and you'll spot literally hundreds of tickets that are incorrect.




What?  All the 'system' has to do is print a ticket that has the result of a simple division on it that has been rounded appropriately.  Why is it so hard to get it right here in NZ (apparently) when all other developed nations (and plenty of developing nations) have had unit pricing for as long as I can remember?  Perhaps the supermarkets are just complacent or use crap software or both.

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  Reply # 342226 16-Jun-2010 10:42
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manta:What?  All the 'system' has to do is print a ticket that has the result of a simple division on it that has been rounded appropriately.  Why is it so hard to get it right here in NZ (apparently) when all other developed nations (and plenty of developing nations) have had unit pricing for as long as I can remember?  Perhaps the supermarkets are just complacent or use crap software or both.


You're assuming the system even knows the actual size. I frequently see differences between the size of the label and the actual product. The price is staying  the same and the container is shrinking.

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  Reply # 342239 16-Jun-2010 11:07
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stagnant16:
sbiddle:
Progressive stores even have an far easier job than Foodstuffs stores. All of their product ranges and pricing is maintained by head office. In your typical Foodstuffs store there can literally be thousands of products that are purchased direct from suppliers and all data regarding such as pricing is maintained by the store.


The difference between the chains would be minimal - On average non host supported lines in the majority of Auck Foodstuffs stores would be lucky to hit 100 sku's on average (With most well below that).



In Wellington this would average somewhere in the vicinity of 500 - 3000 based upon the store. This makes it a massive problem as Foodstuffs can't/don't (pick the correct option) want to maintain all of this data for non hosted products.

The issue with 10% extra products is a lot more complex than some others thing. When a manufacturer releases a pack of coffee with 10% free this product requires a new barcode (under EAN rules) however it is a temporary product in the supply chain that will typically replace the existing regular product for a short period of time. At a store level this product would typically just be linked to the existing product to ensure that pricing remains the same.

Because the unit measure is now different to ensure 100% accuracy this product has to be treated as an entirely new product. This creates plenty of extra work along the way.

I've looked at numerous implimentations of unit of measure solutions around the world and it's not hard to spot errors, no matter what country you are in.

 


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  Reply # 342288 16-Jun-2010 12:33
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manta:
sbiddle: 

The solution to problem is no where near as simple as you think it is - there is absolutely no way that 100% integrigy of this system can be maintained. That is why Progressive stores have horrible problems with accuracy despite having had these systems in place for well over 10 years. Look around their stores and you'll spot literally hundreds of tickets that are incorrect.




What?  All the 'system' has to do is print a ticket that has the result of a simple division on it that has been rounded appropriately.  Why is it so hard to get it right here in NZ (apparently) when all other developed nations (and plenty of developing nations) have had unit pricing for as long as I can remember?  Perhaps the supermarkets are just complacent or use crap software or both.


it also has to allow for multiple options like buy one get one free,  buy 2 get the third half price etc etc.

Then of course you have things where the size of the product changes, but the price does not. Who knows what diferent systems have to interact with each other to ensure that the price and quantity is correct.


It's one of those things that sounds like it should be simple to somene who doesn't understand the compleity of it, but in reality it is vastly more complicated than that.
Like the GST changes coming up. You might think that when GST changes in October all companies have to is change the value of GST from 12.5 to 15% in their accounting system. 10 seconds work and it's done.  Unfrotunately it is nowhere near that simple.

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  Reply # 342301 16-Jun-2010 13:31
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Regardless of the techy rhetoric in many of the posts above, quite simply it is often a very useful guide comparison when you have two or three similar products on a shelf near each other. I have been using it in this way at Foodtown (now Countdown) for years.

Unless the calculation is way out, I don't think you would be much worse off than in a situation where you had absolutely no guidance at all on "price per unit weight".

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  Reply # 342316 16-Jun-2010 14:30
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Unit pricing is compulsory in Australia and will soon become compulsory in NZ as well.

NZ Supermarkets are far behind Australia and the US in terms of technology. Finally self checkouts are here, but there quite old news in the US. 

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  Reply # 342325 16-Jun-2010 14:48
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jaskarn: Unit pricing is compulsory in Australia and will soon become compulsory in NZ as well.

NZ Supermarkets are far behind Australia and the US in terms of technology. Finally self checkouts are here, but there quite old news in the US. 


Yea - It's called "COST"!!


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  Reply # 342337 16-Jun-2010 15:07
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NonprayingMantis: Like the GST changes coming up. You might think that when GST changes in October all companies have to is change the value of GST from 12.5 to 15% in their accounting system. 10 seconds work and it's done.  Unfrotunately it is nowhere near that simple.


Yip. My fiancee is in the office of a Pak n Save and NOT looking forward to that!




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  Reply # 342341 16-Jun-2010 15:13
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Suppliers are notorious for not wanting to pay for a new EAN barcode for size changes or promotion packs changes.



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  Reply # 342348 16-Jun-2010 15:25
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manta:
sbiddle: 

The solution to problem is no where near as simple as you think it is - there is absolutely no way that 100% integrigy of this system can be maintained. That is why Progressive stores have horrible problems with accuracy despite having had these systems in place for well over 10 years. Look around their stores and you'll spot literally hundreds of tickets that are incorrect.




What?  All the 'system' has to do is print a ticket that has the result of a simple division on it that has been rounded appropriately.  Why is it so hard to get it right here in NZ (apparently) when all other developed nations (and plenty of developing nations) have had unit pricing for as long as I can remember?  Perhaps the supermarkets are just complacent or use crap software or both.


Perhaps this is the computer programmer in me thinking but I still cannot understand how there can be so many errors (I have seen some, now that I have looked) the tickets are electronic and so are the price per 100g labels. What I would assume would be that every time a price is changed a math method would run and a price per 100g would be generated. There would be no need for any human interaction with that calculation at all so the only errors you could run into would be incorrect unit pricing. There might need to be an option in which you can specify a percentage of $$$ to 'ignore' in the calculation so you could account for X% value extra for free products and the ability to account for buy one get one free tickets. Both should take an afternoon to implement IMHO.

As for products in the inventory database needing different EAN codes (but everything else remaining the same) this sounds (I haven't much experience here) trivial to implement as well.

Perhaps Foodstuffs should hire a couple of comp-sci students over the summer ;)

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  Reply # 342355 16-Jun-2010 15:56
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Some items are sold on volume, some on weight, some by numbers. Then theres those identified by unit weight, nett weight, packaged weight... and you get things in tins and in plastic bags......
Give that mix to the data entry team and they'll enter what seems right for them, the pricing sticker software simply works with what has been input to it.

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