C-Store Distributors Choose BYOD Smartphone Order Entry App

City Wholesale Grocery, Harold Levinson Associates implementing Ai2's OrderShark

CHICAGO -- In separate deals, City Wholesale Grocery, Birmingham, Ala., and Harold Levinson Associates (HLA), Farmingdale, N.Y., will deploy software provider Ai2's OrderShark smartphone order entry app to their retailer customers. OrderShark is designed for a "bring your own device" (BYOD) approach to retail order entry in convenience store and other distribution verticals.

OrderShark runs on Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The move marks an expansion of City Wholesale's partnership with Ai2, designed to improve the selling experience for City's outside sales staff and make it easier for City's customers to place regular re-stocking orders.

"It's an honor to be able to help City Wholesale give their customers the best possible experience," said Douglas Katich, CEO for Ai2. "We want to make it as easy as possible for their reps and customers to use the best possible technology and improve the sales process."

Using the smartphone's camera, OrderShark scans any barcode type from any angle using proprietary scanning technology developed by Ai2. The app reads all existing UPC types as fast as a Telxon as well as QR codes, said the company. OrderShark handles all existing Telxon symbologies for distributors who use Telxons.

Users in a retail environment can view, edit, retain and copy previous orders. The OrderShark system provides the status of all orders including confirmation that an order was received by the host. Orders are logged in the device for safekeeping and easy access. Orders are sent over WiFi or cellular networks. OrderShark supports international language sets for multilingual use.

OrderShark mirrors a distributor's existing Telxon interface, which shortens a distributor's deployment time. According to Ai2, a distributor or retailer need not purchase any new computer hardware or fret about complicated deployment logistics. Users download OrderShark from the Apple or Android app store to their existing smartphones or iPods, enter a specifically assigned confirmation number and begin building their orders immediately.

Since 1926, City Wholesale has grown from a tobacco and candy distributor to a company that supplies convenience-style items to more than 1,100 locations. It also delivers pre-made frozen pizza, toys for kids, 37 different types of Hershey products, tea in a plastic bottle and thousands more items, as well as a training team to demonstrate cooking methods.

HLA is a major distributor of convenience store products in North America, making 3,000 deliveries per day in the northeast United States. It has 420 employees at its 600,000-sq. ft. facility.

Chicago-based Ai2 helps improve the sales process for some of the world's largest distributors in foodservice, convenience store, grocery, beverage, hardware, medical, beauty products, jewelry and more.

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