Innovative's Retail Connections Guide
positioned Innovative as the 
Retail Connections Specialists.
In it, we describe the Ideal Retail System.
It could have been a sales brochure
but was much more effective
as a Guide.
 
Here is the text:
 
Retail Connections Guide... 
A Guide to understanding 
and managing today's retail 
information systems.
 

By combining diverse technologies,  
successful retailers are increasing  
return on investment, reducing expenditures,  
and creating ideal retail information systems. 
 
A Retail Information System consists of  
four components:  
Point-of-Sale (POS) systems to record transactions, 
In-Store Processors (ISPs) to manage 
each store, the Enterprise Management System/ 
Data Warehouse which stores data and 
manages the entire chain, and the networks 
which connect these components. 
Ideally, data travels to and from 
each of three major components. 
In an ideal retail information system, 
data travels between the data warehouse, 
the ISPs and the POS terminals 
in real-time over networks. 
The richness of the data (in terms of quantity, 
detail, and useability), the speed of 
the network, and the ability of the major 
components to work in concert relate 
directly to the quality and effectiveness of 
the retail information system. 
 
Successful retailers rely on  
information-rich systems for effective  
management and profitability. 
More than ever, retailers rely on information 
systems for effective management 
and profitability. 
A flexible, dependable, robust and 
accessible information system is 
essential to remaining competitive in 
today's retail marketplace. 
Price and service, the ability to identify trends, 
and the flexibility to make changes quickly 
are key factors to success in retailing. 
However, mergers, acquisitions, growth, and 
ever changing technologies 
continue to erode the quality of 
the information system. 
Retailers are left with a myriad of 
old and new components, 
diverse systems, platforms, 
and devices which are becoming 
obsolete and/or do not work well together. 
As a result, many retailers are faced with 
a difficult choice: either forego newer 
or enhanced technologies, or incur the high 
cost of replacing old technologies. 
The cost to replace all the diverse 
hardware components, 
platforms and devices to create 
an ideal information system is not 
economically practical for 
most retailers. Since replacement does 
not guarantee that new technology will integrate 
successfully, retailers could once again be 
faced with the same dilemma. 
 
Making the right connections. 
Fortunately, solutions are available 
which enable retailers to create an ideal 
system today by combining existing 
components of varying ages, makes and models. 
This can be achieved with minimum disruption, 
and at greatly reduced cost as compared to 
replacement. Upgrades to existing equipment can 
occur all at once, a store at a time, or 
station by station. Better yet, with the right 
connections, retailers can choose the best 
components and devices, at the best price, 
from a variety of vendors, with the assurance of 
total system compatibility today and in the future. 
 
The features of the ideal system, 
component by component. 
The Point-Of-Sale (POS) Systems, 
in their most basic configuration, 
capture only essential sales data. 
But they can do so much more. 
As transactions are entered, the POS sends 
data to the In-Store Processor for storage, additional 
processing, and ultimately transmission to 
the data warehouse at corporate headquarters. 
 
The POS captures all mission-critical data i.e. 
price, quantity, item data and SKU 
information, etc. 
This information supports the 
management of the entire retail 
enterprise.The In-Store-Processor (ISP), 
to which all POS are networked, 
is a strategic store management tool. 
It acts as the in-store control point 
and each store's information gateway. 
The ISP monitors and collects all the 
POS transactions as they occur, 
and also processes this 
data into useful reports. 
In addition, the ISP can provide the 
POS terminals and other 
networked devices with access 
to added functionality such as: 
credit verification, 
inventory, back-order information, price look-up, 
e-mail, bridal registry and layaway, 
time clock and attendance,  personalized 
customer information, and special preferred 
customer offers. 
 
While the ISP enables the Store Manager 
to monitor, track and control all operations 
for the individual store, it also processes 
and uploads this information to 
the Data Warehouse at Corporate. 
Ideally, the data is uploaded in real-time, 
which provides Corporate with 
up-to-the-minute flash reports on a 
store-by-store and chainwide basis. 
The Enterprise Management System/ Data Warehouse, 
typically located at corporate headquarters, 
is the data repository and management 
system for the retail chain. 
The Data Warehouse collects, 
stores and processes all data 
from each of the stores in the chain. 
Networked to each store's 
ISP as well as all management 
workstations, it is capable of providing 
up-to-the-minute flash 
reports at all operational levels - 
chainwide, regional, store-by-store, 
or any selection of stores. 
From Corporate, managers can review 
store and chain performance, communicate 
with store managers, track costs, 
sales, profits and inventories on an 
item-by-item or 
multi-item basis, distribute regional 
or chainwide markdowns, and 
effectively manage all 
(or any selection of) stores 
from a central control point. 
 
Networks are the backbone of the ideal 
retail information system, responsible for the speed 
and reliability of the information 
delivery, as well as the connections 
of all the diverse components. 
Typically, network traffic flows over leased lines, 
satellite, frame relay and/or direct-connect 
high-speed modem using 
a variety of protocols 
which may include TCP/IP and SNA/SDLC. 
Better networks provide 
built-in redundancies to avoid 
down time and move transaction 
information faster. 
Using new technologies, 
multiple networks and multiple 
types of networks can be effectively 
combined.The right solution is to 
combine existing components and increase 
functionality.Most retail technologies currently in 
use can be integrated and enhanced to 
provide virtually any functionality via a 
combination of hardware and software, 
at much less cost than replacement. 
Innovative has solutions for virtually all 
components and devices. 
 
Manage 1000 stores as easily as one. 
Once all components are successfully 
integrated into a single retail 
information system, retailers can 
manage 1000 stores as easily as one. 
Store and Corporate managers, monitoring 
real-time operational data such as sales, 
inventories, and personnel, can adjust 
pricing on the fly, offer last-minute markdowns, and 
take advantage of last-minute opportunities. 
Both Corporate and Store managers can 
configure store parameters, load new 
POS terminal software, change price look-up files, 
and re-program POS terminals instantly. 
And ISPs and POS terminals can be 
re-programmed regionally and chain-wide 
from workstations at headquarters. 
Sale prices and special offers 
(complete with automatic start and 
end times and dates), can be sent to all or selected 
POS terminal groups at once, without the 
need to re-program each POS terminal individually. 
 
The right connections are the key to successful retailing. 
With up-to-the-minute information 
continually being processed and 
made available chain-wide in real-time, 
retailers gain control, reduce training 
and operations costs, and increase productivity. 
Management can monitor, control and manage 
stores more easily and more effectively. 
 
And mergers, acquisitions, and expansion no 
longer pose a threat to the effectiveness of 
the retail information system. 
With the right connections, retailers are 
able to concentrate on the 
business of retailing, and the 
success of the chain. 
 
Get the right connections now. 
Since 1977, Innovative has been providing 
cost-effective solutions to integrate 
diverse retail components 
of varying ages, makes and models. 
Utilizing our own solutions in 
combination with those of 
third-party developers, Innovative's team of 
retail connections specialists can help you 
create the ideal system today, using most 
of the technology and components you already 
have in place. 
 
Get FREE Retail Connections 
information from the 
Connections Specialists. 
Need help connecting retail hardware 
and software or have questions? 
Fax or e-mail to one of the following: 
Connections Specialists Faxline: 1-954-432-0705 
Connections Specialists e-mail: iei@gate.net 
Visit our web site at: www.innovele.com 
Count on Innovative for retail solutions. 
At Innovative, we put it all together. 
 
On with the tour.