Below are questions that Datascan frequently answers. If you don’t see your question below, feel free to contact us for more information.
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No. The equipment is plug-and-play right out of the box and comes with your item master file loaded on each scanner. The stores do NOT have to perform any initialization to get started. Each retailer’s manual is customized and contains pictures. Our Customer Care Team is available 24/7 to take questions. We also have a DVD training department that partners with our retailers to develop short inventory DVDs specific to each retailer. Datascan provides a complete system and full support that allow first-time store managers to accurately complete an inventory in a cost-efficient and timely manner.
No, Datascan rents the equipment to retailers. The hardware is only a portion of the services Datascan provides, but this requires no capital investment on your part. It is Datascan’s responsibility to maintain the hardware and provide software and reporting customizations for each retailer that can be changed as your needs change. Our retailers rent based on their inventory needs––some keep the equipment year-round, while others only need it for one weekend each year.
Datascan has a 24-hour Customer Care Team that is available 365 days a year. We help monitor your store’s progress from the time the equipment ships until it is back in our warehouse. We proactively reach out directly to stores with inquiries while taking all inbound calls regarding process or equipment questions.
Datascan’s new patented scanner and wireless transmission options have shown to dramatically decrease count times. Many retailers have addressed the staffing situation over the years, but find that the benefits of self-scan are worth exploring creative solutions. Some retailers develop strike teams or specialists to move through a district to supplement the store staff and facilitate the inventories. Other retailers have developed methods to count stores over multiple days or even while they are open for business. Datascan partnered with a retailer facing staffing issues years ago to pioneer a scan-while-you sell method that takes the POS timestamp and matches it to the inventory timestamp. We balance the sales transaction files against our scan data to produce an accurate inventory file.
Datascan offers real-time data flow. Data is uploaded, replicated and displayed on our website within 10 seconds. Our system enables visibility to details within a single store or high-level status updates across an entire chain throughout the whole process. This allows for a proactive approach in managing the inventory process from start to finish. When the count is completed, the final count file is automatically generated and delivered within minutes.
The transition to self-scan does not require many hours from any department, IT in particular. We assist retailers throughout the process by developing training materials and conducting conference calls to make the transition as smooth as possible. From an IT perspective, there is no need to change file formats nor will we require any more data than what is currently sent to your inventory provider.
Our retailers get a more accurate count by using their own people paired with our customized software. They still conduct rescanned audits to ensure associates are scanning accurately and know they are being audited. The audit process allows them to focus on products or sections of the stores that they are most concerned about due to known shrink issues. The real-time data flow and visibility given to managers (at the regional or district level) is also a large deterrent, as stores know they are being monitored. Our system is used to conduct inventory in over 60,000 counts per year and we have never been informed of a situation where an associate has been caught padding a count during a physical inventory.
Absolutely! Our system is used by retailers that are audited by all major firms and they have never reported any issues with self-scan. In fact, Datascan provides External Audit tools on both the scanner and the website to reduce in-store auditors from distracting the store manager. Datascan annually has a SSAE16 II (formally SAS 70 II) audit completed that assists with retailers’ SOX compliance.
Your associates are the real experts. Unlike an outside service, your associates are in the store day in and day out. They know your merchandising standards and they know your ticketing approach; to them, it’s second nature to look inside cabinets, in back rooms, and on top of shelves. They have a vested interest in achieving an accurate count and understand how doing so will help keep them in stock.
Datascan’s proactive account management team help plan and execute retailer counts with an unparalleled ability to personalize our solutions. Industry-leading reporting and analytics are backed by a client care team that consistently exceed expectations. In addition, Datascan offers a number of value-added features, including the following:
- Data is secured in a data center in Dallas, TX and London, UK, and then replicated in a remote disaster recovery center in Austin, TX.
- Patented and customized wireless scanners specifically designed for physical inventory counts.
- Customized training DVDs designed in-house and completed within six weeks.
- Dual reporting facilities with both store- and corporate-based interfaces.
- Variance reporting available in real time for immediate research.
- Datascan partners with retailers to optimize cost-effectiveness, including ground shipment options.
- We are chosen by top names in retail year after year, and Datascan is the largest self-scan inventory provider with over 100,000 scanners.