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Author Topic: Swapping out registers  (Read 2580 times)
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Pre-Awesome Ames Dude

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« on: March 05, 2008, 06:11:17 PM »

Anyone here old enough to remember the old mechanical registers that were used in the stores until the early 1980s? Those old dinosaurs would lock up on you once in a while (usually when you were trying to do things to quickly) and the manager would just carry another register over and drop it in place while customers waited in line.  You just took your drawer out of the locked up register and dropped it in the other register, then the manager hauled the locked up register away.

That's before the 8-digit SKUs and DEFINITELY way before scanning. The old inventory control system used 3 number "classes" (which later became the first three digits of the SKUs, hence the space in the SKUs).  Clothing was a "double pass" item, you put in three digits with no price and then the second three digits with the price.
Expert Member

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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 11:25:08 AM »

Saw this OLD thread and thought it might be worth reviving.

I was not with Ames when the mechanical registers were in place.
I joined in 1988 when they were using the IBM 3680's.  Scanning was in the
process of being rolled out but was not 100% in effect yet.  (some items would
scan with price look-up, some you had to key in manually.  I remember some document
which I think was called an Admaster used to manually keep track of markdowns during a sale).

When I got transferred to Hillsdale, Michigan my second year scanning was up and running.
It is true that the old 3 number classes from the manual key days became the first 3 of an AMES SKU.
But these registers would still lock-up or lose connection with the controller, and we'd have to swap
them out.  This involved unplugging the machine, unplugging a twisted series of cables, hauling it away
and replacing it with another one.  Filling the whole front end with dust bunnies in the process.  Customers
would still have to wait for perhaps 10 minutes while the new machine made contact with the controller
and downloaded files.  Presuming it could do so on the first attempt.

Worst case scenario was when I got sent to a Zayre store in Jacksonville, Florida to assist with the conversion.
We had to swap the entire front end out....replace Zayre NCR machines with the new IBM 4683's.  Involved
all new cabling and everything.  Plus retraining every cashier to use a totally new system.

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