Tabac Au Petit Caporal leads the way, using MiTAC and Bimedia mobility solutions within convenience stores

Mr. Alauze is a highly-regarded businessman and member of the Newsagents confederation in France. He owns a successful, family-run Tobacco-Press convenience store in Maisons-Alfort called ‘Tabac Au Petit Caporal’, which has an influence on newsagents across France. Mr Alauze was eager to share his work with Bimedia and MiTAC to help others learn from his experience in embracing technology to combat the changing business climate.

Tabac Au Petit Caporal leads the way, using MiTAC and Bimedia mobility solutions within convenience stores

The Challenge

There are over 25,000 newsagents in France. But with changing laws and regulation within the tobacco industry, Mr Alauze believes that at least 5,000 newsagents will lose their businesses within the next year. There is a need to shift the business model of ‘Tobacco-press’ stores within France to ‘real stores’ due to, amongst other things, a reduction in smokers. Newsagents must adapt by finding efficiencies, new ways of increasing footfall and other areas of business, or face going bankrupt. Mr. Alauze said, “A particularly time-consuming day-to-day task is dealing with newspaper deliveries. The profit margins are small when compared to the time invested in making the process run smoothly. It takes one hour per day per employee to manually note down the codes of new deliveries in store every morning. As newspapers are one of the main products that attract our local customers into the store, we had no choice other than to make the delivery process more efficient.” Mr. Alauze and his family spent years looking for technology to solve this problem. They wanted something small enough to carry around the store, had advanced scanning ability to replace the manual notation of every product code, and something durable, rugged and reliable, that works with their stock control. Bimedia has been working in the newspaper industry for over 14 years and was the first manufacturer to devise new technology within the convenience store sector; a double screen cash register. As a result, Mr Alauze was introduced by Bimedia for its strong industry knowledge, and the company suggested a Windows based device for his store. The device tested was not touchscreen, proved difficult to use, didn’t fit into the hand, and had difficulty synchronising correctly with software. Bimedia scoured the market for alternatives and began working with MiTAC. Its MioWORK™ A235 device was used in a trial to examine compatibility with Bimedia’s POS solution and Mr Alauze was chosen to take part in this trial.

The Solution

During this six-month trial, Bimedia created ‘Scan up’, a combination of the MioWORK™ A235 tablet and Bimedia’s POS Solution. ‘Scan up’ gives users’ complete control over stock by scanning products and enabling data-based reports on factors such as sales. This eliminates the task of manually writing down every code within the shop, and saves hours of time.

The Outcome

Mr Alauze was so pleased with the trial and specifically the time saved on annotating barcodes, that he chose Bimedia and the MioWORK™ A235 tablet for his store. The device is simple, easy to use and lightweight and the 5.7” HD screen with the capacitive multi-touch enabled his workers to see the product on screen and help them easily identify stock deliveries and products on the shelf. The high-quality scanning enabled workers to scan at all angles, improving work performance. The built-in Wifi enabled the device to be synced and kept up to date at all times, particularly important in a busy store. The use of technology has also enabled customers to be served quicker as ‘Scan up’ has helped with inventory. In the long run, this will save the business a significant amount of money through staff and waiting time for customers.

The Future

Mr Alauze said working with Bimedia and MiTAC has and will continue to help his store significantly. Not only that, Mr Alauze plans to use his influence within his union to make the case for technology in convenience stores, to help stores under pressure across France. As a result of the feedback from Mr Alauze and other newsagents across the country, Bimedia and MiTAC together have created a better solution for customers in 2017.

Tabac Au Petit Caporal leads the way, using MiTAC and Bimedia mobility solutions within convenience stores banner photo

Scan up’ has helped me save a minimum of one hour a day on tasks. If I am open 300 days a year, that’s 300 hours saved, and previously, I was paying extra staff to cover this work. We also use the scanner to tick off our deliveries – an activity that would take us over an hour and a half previously. With the scanner it takes five minutes. This allows my staff to do higher value work in other areas of the business, such as managing the shelves and providing a better service to customers. Barcodes are a vital part of stock control. Whether in deliveries or for monitoring things like theft, having a database and the ability to scan barcodes is crucial. If I walk around the shop and wonder if anything has been stolen, I can use the scanner on the MioWORK™ A235 to do a stock take instantly. It allows me to continuously monitor my shop.

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Mrs Alauze, Owner

MioWORK™ A235

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  • Optional 3G and Dual-band WiFi for real-time communication
  • Professional-grade GPS for pinpoint accuracy
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  • IP54 water- and dust resistant
  • 1m drop resistant following MIL-STD-810G
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  • Uses Android™ 5.1
  • CTS Certified
  • Easily integrate applications via existing Android™ SDK
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  • Built-in NFC RFID technology for two-factor authentication
  • Professional grade 1D/2D barcode imager
  • Front and rear cameras

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