Wired For Success

How They Did It

Merchant of Vino Corp.

With its fully automated sales process, Merchant of Vino in Southfield, Michigan, is the toast of the town. At each store location, ergonomically designed customer checkout terminals reduce cashier fatigue and provide better customer service, while its managers' workstations contain powerful software to analyze the sales performance of each product. The equipment lineup:

  • 1 3.12 Novell 25-user network

  • 1 Hewlett Packard 5 laser printer

  • 8 National Cash Register (NCR) 7452 Pentium cash registers with Dynakey units (combination cashier display/keyboard) and NCR Scanmaster Software (customer checkout software)

  • 8 NCR 7870 bar-code scanner/scale units

  • 10 Hewlett Packard terminals for managers' workstations running Software 4 (extensive sales reporting program)

  • 2 Norand RT1000 FM radio-frequency handheld terminals (instant pricing updates from aisles)

Pink Jeep Tours

The Sedona, Arizona, company's employees have shifted into high gear, thanks to a multiple-server system that allows for faster communication among employees. A customized reservation program captures all necessary tour information and alerts users if expeditions are overbooked. Pink Jeep's equipment:

  • 1 Compaq Proliant 1500 Dual P166 file server running Windows NT Server 4.0 software

  • 7 NEC P100/P120 Workstations running Windows 95 and NT Workstation 4.0

  • Jeep Expedition and Tours Software (customized reservation application)

  • 7 ViewSonic P815 20-inch monitors

  • 1 Lexmark Optra Rn+ laser printer with Ethernet card

  • 1 NetWorth 16-port 10MBps HUB (workstation connector)

  • 1 Cisco 16-port 100MBps HUB with fiber- optic up link

  • 1 Cisco 2501 Router (transfers data to LANs)

  • 1 NEC Neax 2000 PBX (phone system)

Gotcha Covered Wholesale

A true road warrior, Courtney Young practically runs his entire Las Vegas flower business from his combination truck/trailer. When clients page Young, he returns the call via cellular phone, pulls up a custom-made template on his notebook computer, then faxes the order to a supplier. Clients are also impressed with how Young can furnish accurate (and legible) invoices on the spot. His equipment:

  • 1 Toshiba 115CS notebook computer with Microsoft Office 97 and Floral Accounting System software (for invoicing)

  • 1 Hewlett Packard portable DeskJet 340 printer

  • 1 Iomega Zip drive (100MB memory storage)

  • 1 NEC pager

  • 1 Motorola Ultra Classic II cellular phone
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This article was originally published in the May 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Wired For Success.

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