Page Two

By Shelley Solheim  |  Posted 2004-10-11 Print this article Print

Color was also important. The carrier wanted to set the documents apart from other documents received at the POS, such as receipts or rebates, and dressing the documents with a Cingular orange banner was just the ticket. But even more important was the role that color plays in memory retention.

"Color causes retention, as we found in focus groups, and customers were more likely to reference and retain color documents," said Hedges.

A duplexer for two-sided printing was needed as well to consolidate the information onto as few pages as possible.

"This narrowed the market of printers we could select from," said Hedges. Duplexing is not available in many color laser printers priced for smaller businesses, or often it is available as an optional feature for additional cost, such as in the Phaser 6250.

Pricing, of course, was also key for Cingular. The Phaser 6250 is priced at $1,799, but ProSys negotiated a lower price for Cingulars rollout.

"This is where we really got some help from ProSys. They negotiated the price with Xerox and other vendors, and once the contract was given to Xerox, they worked closely with ProSys," Hedges said.

The new color documents cost Cingular about 12 cents per page, not including the price of the printers.

Click here to read about Xeroxs new multifunction printers. The company started running trials with the new printers and documents about a year ago and concluded them in February. From April to July, the carrier rolled out printers to 1,000 of its retail stores. Another 2,000 have been implemented by its agents, "which are stores that look, smell and act like Cingular retail stores," said Hedges.

Unfortunately, Cingular hasnt been able to outfit its kiosks with color printers, as they dont have T-1 lines or space for larger color printers.

After Cingulars expected merger with AT&T Wireless, the company will deploy roughly another 1,000 machines to retail stores as well as whatever Cingulars agents deploy.

To help manage this massive rollout, Cingular contracted out a project manager from ProSys, who worked on-site at Cingular for nine months.

"She tracked the progress from the order coming in, to shipping, to receiving products, to installing, to testing," said Hedges. "If we had to roll it out by ourselves to all of our retail stores, wed probably have to hire one person full time as well as contract out another one part time."

ProSys provided Cingular with a Web-based system so it could monitor deployment, and the project manager also provided frequent e-mail updates with spreadsheets breaking down deployments.

"This gave us the ability to see where there were issues, and we could then call the local people," said Hedges.

One obstacle Cingular had to tackle was finding space for the color machines in its smaller retail stores. ProSys, in response, ordered carts to hold the printers. "In 70 to 80 percent of stores, we had to have a company make a cart to hold the printer," said Hedges.

"As much as Ive been involved in IT projects, this has been the most successful project Ive been involved with—from hitting the timelines to executing," said Hedges.

Check out eWEEK.coms Retail Center at for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on retail.


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