It’s 2:00 p.m. in Anytown, USA. The strategically located convenience store that sits tucked into the corner of a heavily trafficked intersection is bustling with activity. Outside, the unmistakable mixture of exhaust and gasoline fumes permeate the air as one car replaces another at the pumps. Beyond the glass double doors, the savory aroma of hot dogs and taquitos rise from the rotating roller grills as cashiers manning the registers scramble to make their shift change. The hurried human tide of regular customers, who only moments ago burst through the entrance, now cast disapproving glares from a winding line that snakes toward the parking lot. So, what’s the hold up? In front of the counter stands the town’s resident scratch-off lottery enthusiast, eagerly waiting to complete his multi-ticket purchase.

Donna Perkins

It’s a familiar scene in many convenience stores across the country where lottery tickets are sold, but PDI is helping one Tennessee chain change the status quo.

E-Z Stop Food Marts began offering Tennessee lottery scratch-off tickets in its stores when they first became available in 2004. Like many c-stores at the time, its lottery inventory management system was largely a manual process, requiring cashiers to hand-key important information and log ending ticket numbers by pack on apiece of paper. The process proved to be slow and prone to inaccuracies. Donna Perkins, E-Z Stop’s pricebook manager,was convinced there had to be a better solution. “It quickly became evident that using pen and paper was not an adequate method to account for lottery inventory, but it was all we had at the time,” she said.

As is the case with many PDI development initiatives, the software company saw a customer need and took action. PDI incorporated third-party patented technology into the lottery management features of its PDI/Store Assistant handheld. The new technology fully automated instant-ticket lottery tracking by allowing cashiers to scan a single, serialized bar code. “The old process used to take up to 15 minutes to complete,” said Mike Moles, E-Z Stop store manager. “Now, all I have to do is scan the bar code, and it already knows the game, pack number and ending ticket number.”

Using PDI’s enhanced lottery scanning features, E-Z Stop’s employees can reconcile their lottery inventory in just three minutes per shift – an 80 percent improvement over the previous process. With each of its 23 stores conducting three shift changes a day, the company is saving nearly 100 hours a week! “With PDI’s technology, the opportunity for human error is almost entirely removed from the equation,” said Perkins. “We’re getting accurate data the first time, which reduces the amount of time wasted at the store and the home office.”

E-Z Stop’s new lottery tracking tool is improving the customer experience as well. “Having a manual lottery inventory process was a huge impediment to providing fast service,” Perkins explained. “When customers stop at a convenience store, they want to get in and out quickly. Being able to quickly scan a single bar code and take an accurate inventory enables us to better fulfill that expectation.”

Download a PDF version of this case study: E-Z Stop Food Marts

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