Tobacco Dispensers now integrated with MSP

[vc_row][vc_column][vcex_heading text=”Tobacco Dispensers now integrated with MSP” tag=”h2″ el_class=”custom_page_title” text_transform=”uppercase” text_align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″ el_class=”sidebar_menu”][vc_wp_custommenu nav_menu=”20″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vcex_image_grid img_size=”medium” image_ids=”2470,2471″][vc_column_text]Kills shrinkage

Shrinkage, drift, slippage whatever you call it – costs a lot of money. With cigarettes and tobacco, there are common cases of staff helping themselves to many thousands of pounds worth of stock over the years. As it is just one packet here and there, each week can go unnoticed, but the overall costs come off the stores and the bottom line remains the decreasing margin on this category. The current open type gantries are a bit like a pick N mix for this type of staff member and it can be too much of temptation even for good staff not to resist.

When it comes to checking on slippage, it is usually the person who is helping themselves who is responsible for the counting. With the entire cigarette brands due to the same look with plain packaging this will be a long, hard and thankless task.

Figures on this type of theft are hard to calculate, as, if you don’t know what is missing, how can you put a value on it? However, national retailers who have the metrics and systems to be able to measure it have estimated that it can account for around 0.3% to 0.7% of their overall tobacco sales and these are the figures they use for their internal stock audits.

That’s a lot of money for some big stores and typically for a convenience store with around £6k turnover on tobacco per week that is about £42 or about 4 packs of cigarettes a week. The most popular Navarra tobacco dispenser, the RDH1200P costs just £33 a week on lease purchase at the full retail price, or they could pay back the cost of the unit in just 2.5 years based on the savings made on the slippage alone.

One retail group with 1.75m packet sales per year and around 100 stores suffers from a 0.4% level of drift. It would take them just 14 months to recover the cost of the Navarra tobacco dispensers into all their stores.

Stock control

When linked to the EPOS Till and with honest and responsible members of staff handing the re-stocking of the dispenser the amount of time to handle the stock control is reduced and will be more accurate.

Nothing can come out of the dispenser unless the Till system has requested it and that has been recorded on the EPOS as a sale. No need for gap scans, just look at the EPOS to see what was sold that day. No further, identifying the pack as the Till does it for you. Even better, the consumer can pick the item for you from the advertising screen hosting the range compliant to trading standards.

Audits can be seamless, easy and conducted at any time suitable from the back office. If, you know what was in the dispenser beforehand, what has been sold and what is left will be accurate.

Void sales are recorded in the EPOS and left in the “Sin Bin” to be accounted anytime.

Having this stock control and accountability is one of the reasons the shrinkage stops, that and the fact that only certain members of staff hold the keys or are allowed to re-stock the dispenser.

Ease and speed of service

The Navarra dispensers have the fastest dispensing times. They use regular and reliable gravity as opposed to complex belts and lifts. They have simple and quick operation codes so communication between MSP EPOS and dispensers is quick and accurate.

Operationally, the product is dispensed within a second of the EPOS screen being pressed. This is important in a busy convenience or in a forecourt environment as it stops queues and enables stores with multiple Tills to work efficiently. Oh, and we have installed systems which service up to 8 Tills without any problems.

The introduction of plain packaging means that all cigarette and RYO pouch tobacco will look the same, the brand and variant names will be grey on an olive coloured background and standard text and some of this will be hidden by the front edge of a standard open type gantry. There is no branding.

Research by BAT and the Rural Shops Alliance, plus the experience of the retailing cigarettes in Australia, where plain packaging has been in place for a few years has identified regular problems with the mis-selling, mistakes, the extra time taken to search for products, higher levels of frustration and anger with staff and the same with the customers. The ACS has also reiterated these problems to their members in their latest advice. The tobacco dispenser is the best solution.

The delivery hatch is located at 550mm off the ground and is lit up when the product is dispensed and in most cases the sales assistant does not have to bend or turn around to grab the dispensed product, so it is easy and takes no time; meaning the sales assistant does not have to turn their back on the customer for any length of time, reach into a gantry or trap fingers in sliding doors.
Connection to the MSP EPOS is the real benefit as the price, availability and variant can be checked for the customer without having to turn your back on them and search a gantry. Turning your back to customers, or being distracted searching for the right brand means the rest of the shop is not being watched and leaves the store open for shoplifting. In Australia, the experience suggests that this is a large and costly problem.

The EPOS screen is the main interface to control the dispenser and it is easier to show the staff how to use this rather than expecting them to learn where all the tobacco brands are located. At busy times when more than 1 Till is in operation, staff going for cigarettes at the same time will have to take turns to open the sliding doors and search for the right packs. With the Navarra dispenser, there is no waiting and the delivery hatch is wide enough to handle multiple dispensers.

The time saved serving customers has a value too. Not only can it save the need to open up other Tills, but the 30 seconds extra time to serve a customer as outlined in the BAT RSA research adds up over the weeks.

Stock security from theft or robbery

In the unfortunate time of a break in or daytime hold up or robbery, a conventional open gantry is easy to break open and it takes just seconds to empty many pounds’ worth of cigarettes into a bin or blanket. Tobacco theft has the most impact on business as its capital cost is high, the product is light and small and it can be easily used as currency when stolen.

Navarra dispensers are locked, made of steel and have a combination of MDF and steel door fronts. Breaking into them is very hard and time consuming, they cannot be moved from the shop and even if the door was to be opened the products can only be taken out 1 packet at a time. Experience and CCTV footage suggest that when faced with these systems, thieves generally don’t bother and try somewhere else. In the long run, this is good as they are unlikely to try to steal cigarettes from a store equipped with our systems so it will not break the door, locks, glass or other parts of the shop front in order to get in.

Additional merchandise space behind the Till

A conventional sliding door gantry cannot be used to merchandise any other products. It may also be oversized for the range now that 10’s, flavours and RYO under 30g are not produced and there is no need for multiple facings as the doors are shut and there is branding. It will be even more oversized in 2020 when menthol flavours will be banned from sale.

Navarra tobacco dispensers can provide the optimum space planning for your tobacco retailing. The unit size and capacity is based on the range and level of tobacco sales and not the requirements to maximize the space taken on your backwall and take over the fixture as the tobacco companies would like. We conduct a quick analysis of your tobacco sales, which tend to be consistent, in order to specify the right sized dispenser for the store irrespective of how big the current gantry is.
Navarra’s systems come in 600mm wide, 1000mm wide and 1200mm wide configurations, offering a massive range of combination. At just 420mm deep, they have space flexibility that is deeper than any competitor whilst we offer colour-matched base units with lockable draw. We even do installations in back rooms and upstairs where feasible and can incorporate large and small media screens built into the structure of the door, offering no compromises on space and retaining the normal capacity of the system. The door hinge system enables the doors to open fully within the confines of the units.

All our dispenser systems come with a slat board door front, which allows products to be merchandised on their fronts. As the doors don’t need to be opened to serve customers, it means this space is a bonus. Generally, we provide about 1 linear meter of space when replacing a 1.5m gantry with one of our 1.2m wide systems. The pharmacy and small electrical products which normally sit to the side of the existing gantry can be relocated to the dispenser doors; they don’t really require full 500mm depth shelving. This then frees up additional full depth shelving for impulse or high margin valuable items, which you would not want out in the store. This is a valuable space that can be utilised with advertising or any other product displays.

Benefits of properly managed stock analysis

There are cost benefits of reducing the stock holding, without having the gantry contract terms dictate the brands you stock. With your own tobacco dispenser the retailer can control what products they sell and don’t have to stock certain brands which may not be popular in their locality.

Our quick analysis of tobacco sales across a number of convenience stores shows a similar pattern of a low percentage of brands and variants producing the highest percentage of sales of cigarettes and tobacco. Money saved by not buying the low selling brands can be put to more profitable use with other faster selling brands or products with higher margins. The Navarra tobacco dispenser linked to your EPOS makes it easy to manage all this.

All told, the Navarra Tobacco dispensers not only provide the benefits of being able to trade cigarettes efficiently as the recent legislation takes effect, they also enable a retailer to make some significant savings as well.

However, each retailer is different, so we have put together a live spreadsheet in which a store-owner can fill in his/her own figures and work out a weekly and monthly saving based on their own details. Fill in the details in the pink shaded boxes and the weekly and monthly benefit is worked out. It is quite surprising how much can be clawed back, usually much more than the cost of the system.

We believe that this type of analysis is a fair measure of the usefulness, benefits and resource of our dispensers, it is how the benefits of LED lighting, fridge doors and even EPOS is established and it demonstrates the real value of the tobacco dispenser to handle your store’s highest value category.

We have a live spreadsheet, in which you can input your own figures on sales, staff numbers and wages and what stock holding you have and can work out the level of the weekly savings that one of our tobacco dispensers can provide.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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