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Store Polling

Store polling is a vital element of a retail solution for multi-store retailers. It is the means by which head-office obtains the transactions that have taken place in the stores, and the means by which the stores receive details of new products, price changes, the current unredeemed value of credit note and gift vouchers, etc.

With MINDER, your retail stores automatically enter polling mode at the completion of the end-of-day cash drawer balancing procedure, and store polling is initiated at head-office by the clicking of a single icon. Syscap provides you with a number of icons for you to choose from so that you can, for example, elect to:

  • Poll now
  • Poll tonight
  • Poll Sunday (i.e. to provide for weekend trading)
  • Selectively poll a range of individual stores, either Phase-1or Phase-2.

Polling occurs in two phases. Phase-1 collects the data and updates it to the MINDER database. Phase-2 sends the outgoing data, including the updated stock figures that arose from the processing of the data collected during phase-1, back to the store.

ImageSyscap recognises the reality that modems and/or telephone lines can fail, and therefore we provide automatic recovery facilities. If a store is not polled successfully on a given night, the data is retained and automatically sent (as a discrete day) as part of the next successful polling. Similarly, if phase-2 polling data should not reach a particular store, it is retained by the head-office system, and automatically sent as part of the next successful phase-2 polling.  Single-store polling facilities are provided so that if a store is missed on a night that is critical, it can be individually polled in the morning.

Since 2006 Broadband Internet has been the recommended communications channel for polling. However, ‘dial-up’ polling facilities are still offered and supported. Clients with Broadband Internet facilities at store level have the option of purchasing MINDER-Net facilities that provide for the ‘trickle-feeding’ of transactions back to head-office, from where they are forwarded to the other stores to provide up-to-date stock availability information, etc.

The following link takes you to an illustrative display of the head-office store polling screen that is used to initiate unattended overnight store polling Illustrative display.

Dual polling: It is now possible for MINDER users to concurrently poll two groups of stores. This effectively halves the elapsed time required to collect the data from the stores, and also the time required to send details of new products, date effective price changes, stock levels, the current unredeemed value of credit notes and gift vouchers, etc. to the stores.

Spooling of overnight reports: Historically, MINDER forced all the audit trail reports prepared as part of overnight processing to be physically printed. This has been changed, and now, with one exception, users can elect to view and ‘action’ the reports from the spool file. Click on Spooling of Overnight Reports for more detailed information.