Futureproof retail technology

The company enjoys much success with sales into back-end logistics and warehousing applications something that goes back a long way into automatic data capture historyand this is beginning to influence frontend/ point-of-sale environments.

The flexibility of the HHPs imaging technology is the key factor. Linear bar code scanning is the standard baseline application in retail applications, but importantly 2D is being recognised as the way forward. Also, with the usefulness of 2D imagers being able to take pictures of more than just the bar code, users are seeing the potential for signature capture and even the opportunity to take an image of returned goods.

Donn says that HHPs product range is competing well against the mainstay vendors in the market: Intermec, Datalogic, Metrologic and Symbol. Resellers should take note of what is on offer from the HHP stable, particularly as some recent contract wins are validating what the company itself has been saying for a long time.

Scanners for all reasons

At the basic end, HHP offers its IMAGETEAM 3810* product. This is a linear scanner with a two-year warranty that does everything a standard bar code scanner can do. This is a typical point-of-sale device that offers ruggedness and, like all the products mentioned here, a wide range of connectivity options that enable flexibility and ease of integration. (HHP is releasing Bluetooth enabled products later this year.

Dixons GroupDixons, PC World, The Link and PC Worldhas bought 7000 IMAGETEAM 3800* linear readers for point-of-sale applications. The customer tested a range of products and decided on HHPs offering based on functionality and robustness as well as the fact that the IT3800 showed no inferiority compared with opposition products. So, a deal based on rigorous testing, product performance and reliability was struck.

The IMAGETEAM 4600* is a 2D imaging device that has been purchased by Specsavers opticians another 7000-unit order. Specsavers is resolute about futureproofing its IT investments and has taken radical steps with adopting Linux as its computer operating system and application platform and is looking at how imaging adds long-term value to its point-of-sale applications. The company currently scans PDF codes containing spectacle frame data and EAN bar codes. The PDF matches the current price of the frame at the till. An interesting slant to progressive customer online customer records is seen in Specsavers forward thinking of storing prescriptions centrally. Clients will then be able to visit any store and have repairs, additional spectacles/contact lenses and eyecare as and when necessary without having to carry their prescriptions around with them. To do this, Specsavers must have a customer signature and these will be scannedby the IT4600 and digitised for online storage.

The Reality Group, Manchester, reportedly the UK's largest logistics delivery network for the distribution of parcel traffic to UK household addresses, is a IMAGETEAM 5600* user. The Reality Group provides a national home delivery service to the Shop Direct catalogue brands known as Kays, Great Universal, Choice, Marshall Ward, Abound, Home Free and Innovations as well as providing a delivery service to third-parties. The company has been putting the IT5600 through its paces for 18 months and likes the rugged design of the unit as it fits in well with the demanding nature of its application.

HHPs portable data terminals are alsogaining attention from retailers. The recent additions to the companys rangethe Dolphin 9500 and 9550* are helping it to tread on competitors toes. The ergonomic, rugged, but lightweight-design of these units are giving HHP partners a real opportunity to talk to retail organisations. Again, the fact that these units are equipped with imagers enables a range of functions beyond basic data capture.

Donn says it is important for the channel to think carefully about futureproofing customer applications. This will require very rugged technologyhe adds that returns of HHP products are virtually unknown and the ability to scan and image capture on the same device.

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