Digitizing retail POS (Point of Sale digital payments) with IoT technology
Kokubu Group digitizes convenience store POS with IoT cellular connectivity
Kokubu Group is a food and alcohol wholesaler with a decorated history of over 300 years that also handles convenience store management and support company.
Kokubu Group provides their convenience stores with retail equipment such as POS (Point of Sale for payment) terminals, which are necessary for managing shop operations. In addition, they provide retail support to over 500 shops nationwide, including retail merchants that use small spaces in facilities such as universities and hospitals.
Many of Kokubu’s affiliates switched from liquor stores to convenience stores, changing their existing infrastructure and using a telephone line for their new systems.
However, the outdated terminal that their affiliates used to send data for ordering and receiving took a few minutes. Plus, some of the stores that opened in facilities like universities and hospitals had poor coverage, resulting in missed orders or a time delay that would disrupt inventory.
Installing SORACOM IoT SIM cards into each tablet enabled Kokubu Group affiliates to have consistent communication speed throughout store operations. This resulted in smooth and effortless ordering and receiving with consistent data speeds.
Kokubu also received requests for digitizing materials and distributing content, such as displaying new information about current products on the Soracom AIR-powered tablets. They plan on distributing ten pages worth of new product information weekly via their tablet.
Soracom cellular connectivity provided Kokubu with a speedy installation and implementation into their affiliate stores management and operations. With each store requiring different amounts of data, Soracom’s pay-as-you-use pricing provided their affiliates with the cost flexibility they needed.
Like many retail companies, Kokubu Corp and its affiliate stores hosted consumer information that needed to be protected at all times. For this reason, they implemented SORACOM Canal, which provided a private connection to their Amazon Web Services Virtual Private Cloud.
SORACOM Canal allowed Kokubu Corp’s stores to connect IoT devices to resources within their own AWS Virtual Private Cloud. Servers inside AWS Virtual Private Clouds can make connections without using the Internet, further protecting Kokubu’s affiliate stores from external threats.
In addition, SORACOM Canal secures user access to each Virtual Private Cloud, enabling the select SORACOM AIR SIM cards that are authorized. This can allow management to provide only select individuals with access to the Virtual Private Cloud, providing additional operational flexibility.
Kokubu plans on eliminating the printed materials that are related to stores switching between shop terminals and communication lines.
From now on, they plan on converting store management manuals into electronic data that can be transferred via tablet.
Kokubu frequently hears that there is a shortage of managers to lead their affiliate stores. They believe there is a “future store” that can be driven without staff by installing an easy-to-use system. In the future, Kokubu would like to try and create a truly “unattended store”.