Alliance Supermarket and Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems
Read the â€œAlliance Supermarketâ€ case study in Chapter 10 of your text.
Alliance Supermarkets has been using a point-of-sale (POS) system for some time to track its inventory. The system uses a laser scanner to read the universal product code (UPC) on each item at the checkout container. The UPC is a number that uniquely identifies the product on which it appears. Currently, Alliance is using the UPC information to update inventory records for each item. Although the system has greatly improved the companyâ€s ability to replenish inventory promptly, the company still has some problems. For example, sudden changes in demand for a particular item can catch the company by surprise as it bases inventory replenishment on historical demand patterns. Further, demand patterns and preferences may vary from one store to another depending on the customers served by each, but the inventory system groups all demand information together and treats each store equally. Finally, the manufacturers that make the products stocked by Alliance Supermarkets are always pressuring Alliance to help them target appropriate customers for special promotions and sales.
The chief information officer (CIO) of Alliance realizes that much more could probably be done with the data collected from its POS system. For example, the company could analyze the relationship between each productâ€s sales and weather patterns. It is even possible to analyze an individual customerâ€s buying habits and identify instances in which a customer may be persuaded to try a different brand of a certain product.
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