What's the big idea?
Approximately 40% of C-stores pay employees to hand count cigarette packs every shift and will continue to do so, because it has reduced theft. PAKCheck removes the need for labor intensive hand counting by automatically counting each pack as it’s pulled from a rack. It then time stamps the transaction and looks for a match in the purchase log. If none is found, the incident is flagged and appropriate actions can be taken, which should reduce the opportunities for theft even more. And PAKCheck can be used by one person at one location overseeing several stores, further reducing labor costs.
Describe the nearest player in your field.
Currently, the only two ways to control cigarette inventory are to pay employee’s to count them, or to use a vending machine (which is not legal in the U.S.).
How are you different from that player?
Automating and centralizing the cigarette inventory process helps us reduce labor costs and tighten control. Multiple stores can be monitored by one person at one location eliminating the labor-intensive process of hand counting and reducing opportunities for theft.
How does this idea scale into a big business?
We can retrofit our hardware to current cigarette dispensing systems, which means our hardware could be licensed to the companies that manufacture those systems. And since most convenience stores use a POS system made by Veriphone, we could license our software as an add on to their system.
Why are you the one to run with this idea?
Since I run stores in the industry and have relationships with other owners, I can easily move into the next phase—collecting data for proof of concept.
What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?
We’ve used a design firm to create the technology. The prototype is built. The software is being developed. $5K will help us install PAKCheck in 2 stores to test and prove the product design.