Grocer rings up savings with Linux cash registers
Hannaford says the new POS systems boost productivity
Computerworld - SCARBOROUGH, Maine
Hannaford Brothers Co. has already received productivity and cost-avoidance windfalls from an ongoing point-of-sale system replacement project that will cost between $10 million and $20 million, executives at the grocer said last week.
The new Linux-based POS systems have been installed in about two-thirds of the company's 140-plus supermarkets in New England and New York. Hannaford Bros., a division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, expects to complete the implementation of the thin-client systems by October, said CIO Bill Homa. The systems, which are supported by 12 vendors of servers, software, printers and other peripheral devices, replace 15-year-old Fujitsu Ltd. technology based on OS/2 Version 1.3, according to Homa.
The Fujitsu software is "solid as a rock," said Homa. But it has limitations because it can run only as fast as a 166-MHz Pentium processor, he said. That plus Fujitsu's decision to halt support for the OS/2-based POS system prompted the grocery chain to launch a replacement strategy in 2001.
Vendor Support Push
As part of the move to a thin-client architecture, Homa and his team hope to eventually run all 40 store applications, such as its pharmacy and video-rental systems, on a single Linux server. Right now, those applications run on a mix of mainframe, Unix and Windows servers with links to the Linux terminals installed in the stores.
Bill Homa, CIO at Hannaford Brothers Co.
When Hannaford first began evaluating POS systems, "we kind of backed into Linux," Homa said. The open-source operating system ended up being the best fit for the company's intelligent POS terminal requirements.
Hannaford executives decided upfront that in checkout lanes they wanted to use so-called intelligent terminals that don't require any moving parts and don't need cooling fans. After evaluating various technologies, the grocer opted for POS terminals from Wincor Nixdorf Inc. that can run either Linux or Windows and POS software from Retalix Ltd. that runs on Windows servers. Homa said the terminals can continue running if servers go down.
Other retailers have deployed Linux-based POS systems, although adoption is still extremely limited, according to analysts. In August, Circuit City Stores Inc. announced plans to migrate to IBM SurePOS 300 cash registers running Linux at its 600 stores .
At least one consultant expects the Hannaford project to be the forerunner of a boom in POS system replacement projects among retailers this year. "For years, we've been hearing
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts