Browse Prior Art Database

System and Method of Handling Items Not On File.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012447D
Original Publication Date: 2003-May-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-May-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

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System and Method of Handling Items Not On File.

       Disclosed is a system and method that uses the integration of the Electronic Shelf Label Systems with existing POS(Point Of Sale) Terminal Sales Applications to solve the problem of items not on file.

     A common occurrence in retail stores, mass merchants, and supermarkets is that occasionally an item that is scanned results in an "Item Not On File" error. This can occur for numerous reasons:

- Corrupt record or sector on the disk.

- The record could be locked by another process.

     - The Item/Price maintenance function may have been applied incorrectly. - Accidental erasure of the record.
- etc. When this problem occurs in the store, the sales transaction is suspended while a clerk is dispatched to locate where the product is stocked on the shelf and then uses the price that is on the shelf for the item. The clerk then returns to the front end and the item is manually sold with the determined price. In short, the price check problem is counter productive and is an inconvenience.

     In the current state of the art retailers are starting to deploy Electronic Shelf Labels and/or Electronic Sign Systems. Disclosed is a system and method that uses the integration of the Electronic Shelf Label Systems with existing POS Terminal Sales Applications to solve the problem of items not on file.

     Electronic Shelf labels are updated by an ESL(Electronic Shelf Label) Controller. The ESL controller integrates/communicates with the Store controller to receive price changes. At an abstract layer, the ESL Controller that supports the Electronic Shelf Labels can be viewed as storing the information in a set of Key and Value pairs. Where the Key is the scanned item code and the Value is the price for the item (and possibly other information about the item). The following flow chart illustrates how the invention works.

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Scan Item and get the lookup key for the Item

Lookup the key/code in the Item File

Item File

Use the Key to look upItem On File?

Item found in the

Add Item To OrderESL System?

End of Order?

Cash out the Order

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     The new part of the sales process is the flow that occurs...