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Customized POS Solutions Enhance, Protect Today’s Grocers

Toshiba TCx

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Supermarket retailers are increasingly focused on meeting consumer expectations for seamless, personalized and hyper-efficient shopper experiences. To help them achieve that goal, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions recently introduced the TCx 900 point-of-sale system. Engineered with retail in mind, the TCx 900 is a robust solution with a small footprint and is designed to evolve with the changing needs of grocery retail.  

Steve Nicklis Toshiba
Steve Nicklis

Stephen Nicklis, global product manager, hardware point-of-sale solutions at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, talked with The Shelby Report about Toshiba’s goals in creating the new system, why customization is more critical than ever for supermarket retailers and how the TCx 900 is helping grocers increase store productivity, minimize in-store operational expenses and deliver the engaging experiences shoppers want.

Consumers have high expectations when it comes to a seamless and efficient shopping experience. How does the TCx 900 system help retailers consistently deliver on that experience by minimizing or eliminating the technical glitches and downtime that can severely damage the retail experience? 

“Our goal is always to make the POS platform as frictionless as possible and to provide operationally efficient solutions. Continued processing speed advancements improve system performance, enabling higher throughput and faster speeds at checkout. Our design and innovation teams develop solutions with longevity as a top priority.

“The TCx 900 is built for retail and thoroughly tested to sustain a broad range of environments for optimal performance. Meeting customer expectations also means ensuring the system is up and working 24/7, so we focused on simplifying things for the retailer to reduce downtime and improve the customer experience.

“The TCx 900 offers flexible configurations that are streamlined to help reduce technical glitches and make the system easier to service. Toshiba also places a premium on producing retail-hardened devices, so they work in various environments, whether back of store, warehouse or even outdoor retail environments. We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to use the system successfully in various environments.”

A one size fits all approach is no longer practical for the needs of today’s retailers. How is Toshiba working with retailers to customize a POS system that can meet retailers’ individualized needs?

“We work closely with our retailers and understand that smarter operations start with versatile solutions that can be utilized in a multitude of applications. Since a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for retailers, our solution architects work with retailers to align the platform with the retailer’s storefront strategy.

“Together, we assess the pain points for that particular supermarket – where bottlenecks are forming in the foodservice area or at front-of-store checkouts and how long transactions take – and pinpoint solutions to those specific obstacles. Then, we can determine where devices should be placed, how much memory is needed, and what other needs are specific to that retailer.  

“Using the TCx 900’s different connector options, retailers can add the functions they want, such as a USB, VGA, display port or other connectivity at the point of sale. This is particularly important for retailers with robust foodservice offerings that may want to offer consumers the option to order and pay at a kiosk. 

“Supermarket retailers can also determine their priorities for the inside of the system. Some retailers want a minimal configuration because they aren’t running many applications. Others want to use multi-threading applications that require more robust processors. Our goal is to design a custom hardware solution for each retail client based on their needs, with the option to add functions as their needs evolve.”

Data gathering is becoming much more important to retailers. How does the TCx 900 help retailers gain critical consumer insights as well as information about their retail operations?

“The TCx 900 enables retailers to run sophisticated software applications to gather customer data quickly and efficiently. This allows complex customer data analytics that empower retailers to create more informed and precise marketing decisions.  

“Intel 13th Gen processors and the latest DDR5 Memory provide improved speed and data computation in the TCx 900 POS solution, empowering retailers to handle multi-tasking software applications like inventory management and store analytics. As the ‘brains’ of the POS, the faster processing speed of the CPU ensures smarter functionality and performance for retailer systems, which drives higher productivity with smooth-running retail applications.  

“Capturing information at the point of sale is also critical to managing and replenishing inventory on the back end, so we ensured the system has robust capabilities in this area as well.”

Security is a growing concern. How is Toshiba addressing this issue to ensure that retailers are protecting their consumers’ information?

“We take security concerns seriously and listen to our retail clients to apply their feedback to the next-generation systems. Our solution architects design solutions that address the security concerns paramount to retailers and consumers. We work with OS manufacturers to ensure we have the latest security updates and firmware to lock security down.  

“From a physical design standpoint, we can lock down different components within the device itself. We have retail clients that want custom solutions, and we partner with trusted vendors in the industry to create those solutions. We have a function that allows only supervisor access. In Germany, for example, there are requirements on information unique to the government and information specific to the retailer, so we offer a custom Network Interface Card for those customers who need a second network interface to run separate networks. That function could be valuable to retailers operating pharmacies in the U.S. since those customers may need to separate specific pharmaceutical information from general retail information.”

The most valuable POS system is one that has the ability to evolve with the retailer. How is Toshiba ensuring that the TCx 900 system will not only answer the needs retailers have today and integrate with their existing systems, but will remain agile enough to continue to meet their future needs?

“Technology is transforming quicker than it has in the past. Supermarket retailers are looking for solutions that can serve as long-term investments with the flexibility to evolve to meet the changing needs of the industry. We develop our solutions for durability and maximum efficiency starting in the very early design phases. Toshiba does a battery of tests to ensure our solutions are retail-hardened for any retail segment.

“As industry and consumer preferences shift to prioritize sustainability, our retail clients appreciate that our solutions are developed last with resilient materials such as metal instead of composite. We are proud of the solutions we provide to empower our retail customers, and as part of that trusted partnership, we offer seven years of support for the system.

“We understand that it can be challenging for retailers to navigate system updates and new solutions additions. The TCx 900 connects seamlessly to other enterprise solutions and supports retailers of all sizes and segments. This ensures that retailers are empowered to accelerate their technology and store operations at their own pace and support their legacy hardware investments like supporting peripherals. We’ve been intentional in designing connectors that make sense.

“Since Europe has gone to USB-C as the single cable connector that allows video, audio and power in one single connector, we have migrated to adding USB-C ports on the back of the device. That’s just one example of Toshiba’s commitment to evolving with the industry and developing the agile solutions our retail clients need.”

About Stephen Nicklis

Steve Nicklis is an experienced technology professional with extensive knowledge in developing and executing complex product lifecycle initiatives. As a product manager, hardware point-of-sale solutions for Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Nicklis collaborates with customers and sellers to design new products and offerings that meet and exceed customer expectations. He has broad industry experience in enterprise software and hardware technology with a track record of consistently achieving product and program initiatives that exceed business goals. 

Before joining Toshiba in 2021, Nicklis worked at Lenovo as a product manager for the Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) managing third party solutions and server options. Prior to Lenovo, he worked for other technology companies such as IBM, Nortel Networks and Cisco. Nicklis earned his MBA from the University of Buffalo School of Management at The State University of New York. He also has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

Read more from The Shelby Report’s Industry Leaders.

TCx is a registered trademark of Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Inc.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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