Company News • 15.08.2011
A sustainable investment: SuperBioMarkt AG uses PC-based multimedia scales
Michael Radau was one of the very first organic pioneers. In the eighties, when the vast majority of the population was still making fun of muesli-munchers in dungarees and Jesus sandals, he had already recognised the wisdom and potential within an organic market – and established one of Germany’s first ecological supermarket chains, the SuperBioMarkt.
Today, two and a half decades on, Radau has 15 SuperBioMarkt stores with a range of around 7,000 products. Instead of the sober health-food store look, health-conscious shoppers can enjoy the elegant and rich red surroundings, with state-of-the-art technology at every counter – the previously colourful mix of scales at the organic supermarkets are currently being replaced with the latest models from Mettler Toledo.
1.) The latest generation of DIVA scanner scales will be used at the checkout.
2.) The SuperBioMarkt is the first organic chain in Germany to implement the UC3-HTT-P-type high-end PC scales at the fresh produce counter. Large 12,1-inch displays with the latest touch-screen technology ensure quick and precise operation of the scales.
3.) In order to allow customers to buy their favourite bread ready-sliced and pre-weighed in the SuperBioMarkt bakeries, Bits & Bytes touch-screen cash registers connected to Viva scales will be installed here too.
The goal: IT integration of scales
The most important aim of the scales changeover is the seamless integration of the scales technology into SuperBioMarkt AG’s inventory management. “The connection of the scales to our centralised IT infrastructure opens up a host of new options for us”, explains Michael Radau. “We’re already considerably better informed now about our sales and our stock thanks to the seamless integration of the scales, checkout software and inventory management system. In future we’ll gradually work out the other possibilities that networked PC scales offer us for sales promotion. Here, we’re thinking both in terms of showing adverts on the customer-facing display, as well as providing product information for employees.”
Technology partner Bits & Bytes
Mettler Toledo’s technology partner Bits & Bytes is responsible for the integration of the scales and IT technology in the SuperBioMarkt stores. “We’ve been serving the SuperBioMarkt for several years and developed their inventory management and checkout systems ourselves,” states Joachim Weber, co-owner of Bits & Bytes. “We were in favour of the UC3 line and DIVA models from Mettler Toledo right from the start when it came to standardising the scales technology – simply because in this way we can use a variety of tried-and-tested hard and software components.”
Consolidated barcodes for efficient reporting
The BioOFFICE inventory management system and BioBILL checkout software from Bits & Bytes work together perfectly with the Mettler Toledo counter and checkout scales. This makes it easy for the SuperBioMarkt managers and the team at headquarters to keep an eye of the current stock situation in the fresh produce section. The consolidated barcodes at the fresh produce counter have proved particularly practical. If a customer buys four different types of cheese, the scale lists these together on one single ticket. As soon as the ticket is scanned at the checkout, the checkout software automatically divides the ticket into the individual items and feeds them into BioOFFICE separately – creating an elegant solution that allows real-time stock management with minimal effort.
Looking forward: scales as an info-portal
As a salesman, Michael Radau appreciates the analysis options made available to him by the new scales. He also knows, however, that this initial step of integration is by no means the end of the story with the UC3 line, and has much planned for the scales: “Our customers are, in a positive sense, critical customers. They want to know where our products come from, what they contain and what makes them different”, explains the 49-year-old. “Our sales assistants are well-trained and can answer almost every question. Nevertheless, it would be a major help to have information like that provided on the scales for customers and staff.” As soon as the scales changeover is completed in the 15 branches, the SuperBioMarkt’s IT team will look into how ingredients, warnings and origin details can be shown on the scales. In technical terms, the course has already been set: “We deliberately selected scales with large, double-sided displays”, says Michael Radau. “The general trend is clearly towards scales as a multimedia info terminal. We want to be out there leading the way as pioneers in this industry.”