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VISTA framework Part 2

How Item Sales Work

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James Hervey
Director, Product Management, Global Petroleum Solutions

In last month’s issue of Commander Insights (May 2018), we introduced you to a new development concept Verifone is using for its latest innovation products that we have named the “VISTA framework”. This article is the second in a series of articles we will publish to fully explore the advantages and benefits of the VISTA architecture and why it’s important for Verifone POS customers.

Modern Convenience Stores require complex pricing and tax calculations, and the POS has to perform these calculations faithfully. One of the unique development concepts designed into the VISTA framework is the way that the VISTA terminal products are able to use the Commander to calculate prices and taxes without burdening the terminal with additional code. The  VISTA framework allows huge flexibility in transaction calculation and recording using the robust retail sales engine on the Commander, as well as leveraging Commander’s back office  interfaces, tax engine, discounting engine, and capacity for a virtually unlimited price book.

As we all can appreciate, speed is a core necessity in the petroleum and convenience retail industry. As most of you already know, price books tend to be very large complex data files that consume a lot of POS resources. The more complex the price book, the more time it takes the POS register to perform the functions associated with that PLU item in order to correctly add the item into a transaction. In addition, the VISTA  framework logic enables VISTA terminals (i.e. VISTA-enabled POS devices) to tailor the operator experience for the specific application needs, such as self-checkout, line busting mobile cashiering, or attendant payment and dispenser control. The VISTA framework accomplishes this by using the price book and sales engine resident on Commander as the primary domain where sales are calculated, but with enough flexibility to support a variety of different types of transactions.

Unlike other solutions that require the entire price book to be resident on the POS device, the primary steps in handling a transaction processed via the VISTA framework are quite different and much more efficient:

  • VISTA POS Products download a subset of the price book for the most commonly used items for the specific application, enabling faster response times for most scanned items. Different sizes of price books may be downloaded based on the type of storage capability and application needs.
  • Products cached in the price book that resides on the VISTA terminal are added to the transaction ticket when they are scanned or when a cashier manually selects a key associated with that item; items are added immediately using the “base” price of the item.
  • Items not in the cached VISTA terminal price book are sent to the VISTA framework on Commander, where the price and item name are applied and returned to the VISTA terminal, which then adds it to the ticket. The framework also allows the exclusion of some items from being sold on a VISTA terminal based on application requirements.
  • The VISTA terminal contains logic to allow for look-up of products both locally on the terminal and on Commander, using the item number or description through a dedicated
  • menu option.
  • When the VISTA terminal analyzes the transaction, it applies all necessary sales rules including:
    • Taxes
    • Discounts
    • Package pricing
    • Mix-and-Match
  • The analyzed and updated sale is then returned to the VISTA terminal, including all taxes and adjustments needed for finalization of the sale.
  • The sale can be reanalyzed as many times as necessary based on the needs of the application; for example: 
    • Ruby Rover (Verifone’s Line Busting POS solution) only analyzes the transaction when the cashier requests it. This allows the cashier to ring up many items rapidly prior to applying “analysis logic” that results in item discounts, mix-and-matches, tax calculations and other analytical functions, speeding up the transaction.
    • Verifone’s Carbon 10 Self-Checkout solution works a bit differently. Carbon 10 analyzes the sale after each item is added to the transaction, ensuring that the consumer is always shown the correct item price as items are scanned and added to the bag.

By utilizing the VISTA architecture and caching methodology, we are able to support a wide variety of different transaction requirements within the VISTA framework, while making it easy to extend this logic to new Verifone POS solutions. As new product pricing and marketing strategies as well as new use cases become required, the robust sales functionality in the VISTA framework and the Commander sales engine will ensure your Commander investment continues to be future-proof. 

We will continue this series of articles on Verifone’s new VISTA framework over the next several months in the Commander Insights monthly newsletter.

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