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  Reply # 342446 16-Jun-2010 20:42
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1080p:
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 ;)


No offence to you - but your comments show a serious lack of retail experience. You are taking a very simplistic view of the issue. Here we're talking about maintaining 100% accuracy for approximately 15000 individual SKU's. Each week there are literally hundreds of changes in a supermarket whether they be new products, changes of size/packaging, or deletes of products. Loading all of this and maintaining it is a manual process. Calculating the 100g or unit size is simple - maintaining that backend data to ensure it's correct is not.

The issue with products such as a 10% free is far from trivial - it's an extremely complicated scenario due to the way products are ordered and stock levels maintained in the supply chain.


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  Reply # 342447 16-Jun-2010 20:43
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1080p:
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 ;)


+1

I too have a computing background; enough to know that if you put rubbish into an otherwise good system you'll get rubbish out.  If you put sensible data into a crap system guess what you get out?  Why can't Progressive, or the supermarket 'heavyweights' get right what most other civilised countries got right years ago?

The OP was about unit pricing which in itself has nothing to do with new barcodes, 10% off or BOGOF offers.  The consumer simply wants to be able to compare products without having to nut their way thru' a maths problem every time and it's no good coming up with a load of excuses for not providing it.

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  Reply # 342448 16-Jun-2010 20:43
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Ragnor: Suppliers are notorious for not wanting to pay for a new EAN barcode for size changes or promotion packs changes.


They are required to do so however. When a company joins EAN they are typically allocated 100 or 1000 barcodes. The main issue is one of reuse.


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  Reply # 342485 16-Jun-2010 22:49
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Wow reading all these posts about how it's done and how hard (or easy) it is (or should be) to maintain is really quite funny and you can certainly tell we all are or would like to be geeks hehe.

My take on the OP is that the guy is simply saying it's a good thing and really handy for when you shop. I didn't read or see anywhere in his post the OP asking how it's done or the complexity of it all.

So in line with the OP I too am gonna join 1080p in saying yes it's good that supermarkets are starting to do this as can save you $$$ in believing that buying in bulk is always the best decision. Which simply is not always the case.

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  Reply # 342536 17-Jun-2010 08:26
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The idea is an incredibly simple one, and one that shouldn't be difficult to implement. But that's in an ideal world. Last time I checked, the world was far from ideal!

You have to remember that the people you are relying on to add a new code into the system are extremely rushed, and if a mistake is made with the weighting/carton qty, then it's not a big deal to them. And you're also relying on a supplier to give you the correct info. Doesn't always happen. So the people factor is a big deal.

And then there's the issue around things like TP. That one needs to be done as a cost per sheet? Or do you do it as a cost per ply? What about lightbulbs? Bread? Cost per slice or weight? Get it wrong and you could be encouraging people to eat unhealthy. Sounds simple, but when you're dealing with 10,000+ sku's, each category needs to be examined and work out what the best way to implement it is.

And then we move onto the processes/systems/procedures for checking and changing errors that have crept in. You don't want to spend all that money implementing a system and not have something in place to check it.

It only takes a quick walk through a Progressive store to see how it shouldn't be done. Don't get me wrong, its great to have. But some tickets are cost/100g. Others are cost/kg. Simple Maths to work out, but we all know a lot of people fail at simple stuff! And then there's the TP again. Some are costed at cost/sheet. Others at cost per roll. Even saw one at cost per 100g.

So yeah, hire the couple of comp-sci students over the summer... I'm sure they'll get it all sorted out.

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  Reply # 342584 17-Jun-2010 10:36
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If it really was that simple folks..... wouldn't it be sorted??

Someone ring the Commerce Commission:
"Err hello Commissioner, there's heaps of inconsistency in unit pricing accuracy on our supermarket shelves. It would be great for your team to sort that out. Should be a simple task as there are only 2 players in the industry."
"Umm, well ok, we'll look right into. Soon as we've sorted out some Telco MTR's."

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  Reply # 342676 17-Jun-2010 14:33
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oxnsox: If it really was that simple folks..... wouldn't it be sorted??




... like it has been been overseas for years.

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  Reply # 342689 17-Jun-2010 15:08
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manta:
oxnsox: If it really was that simple folks..... wouldn't it be sorted??




... like it has been been overseas for years.


You seem to assume that because unit measures are used overseas they are 100% perfect everywhere.

I can assure you that this is certainly not the case.

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