Sunday, February 2, 2014

Undercover Boss Hudson Group Episode Point of Sale Problems

The latest episode of Undercover Boss featured Joe DiDomizio, CEO of Hudson Group going undercover at stores and facilities within the Hudson Group organization. I know that I have shopped at their stores in various airports in the US. Since this was another episode that showed possible issues with the point of sale system used within the store, I thought that I should point out some tips and tricks learned from the show.

From what I could see, the point of sale system used in the stores appeared to be slightly older - possibly much older as the inventory transfer software almost looked to be DOS or UNIX (or AS-70/400) based.  Hopefully the company will invest in a new point of sale system which will increase revenues through better efficiencies. My contact information appears at the bottom of each post in case I can help with any further questions related to point of sale solutions for multi-location retail stores.

  • The water bottle not scanning or not being in the point of sale system: tough to know if this was because of a cheap barcode scanner (the barcode scanners looked to be decent quality MetroLogic laser barcode scanners), the water bottle UPC not being in the system, or just a "made for reality TV" moment.
    • Have an open-ended/open price/prompt for price plu/sku in the point of sale system would allow you to still sell the item and then add the item to the point of sale system when there is not a long line of customers (versus writing down the UPC while customers wait).
    • If the issue is because the scanner won't scan a small or curved UPC barcode, then it is very easy to set up the item as a menu item on a touch screen or to print out a more easily scanned version of the UPS barcode and keep it by the register for quick scanning.
  • Tossing away receipts when a customer doesn't need a copy. This is a complete waste of paper and time. Just about every multi-location point of sale system today offers a setting that allows for how many receipts are printed as well as an "print on demand" option for when a customer wants a copy of his/her receipt.
  • Transferring items between locations. In the show they had to move several books between two different locations. A very cumbersome procedure was involved with multiple steps in the software needed for each book to transfer the book from one stores inventory to the inventory for a different store.  This is completely unrealistic with todays multi-location point of sale systems. The systems that I have sold, installed, and supported allow you to create a transfer order using either a handheld computer/table or a barcode scanner. the whole process is much easier that what was shown on the show and, again, means that the Hudson Group is likely using an outdated point of sale solution.

The lesson here is that point of sale systems are investments that do need to be updated or replaced on a regular bases. It also pays to invest in the correct hardware that can handle all the different needs of your business. Finally, annuals reviews of the point of sale system should be done to ensure that the system is updated and not missing any important features or functions.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at

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