Yesterday I got an update from an ERP company called Epicor that primarily serves the mid-market. While I am not an ERP specialist its always interesting, as a middleware guy, to get a view from the app side. Greenmonk for obvious reasons also takes a keener view than the RedMonk mothership in applications in areas such as carbon accounting, energy and utility management.
Epicor seems to be doing quite well in the down economy, but I was most interested when Adam Prince, senior Director of Product Marketing started talking to Epicor’s Green Retail strategy. While any number of IT vendors are now all over the sustainability opportunity in their marketing and product management very few have joined the dots around explicit vertical industry opportunities. That said, here is a white paper from IBM and Intel on sustainable retail ops.
One of our clients, StreamServe, pitches paper reduction to utilities. Given how much paper utilities create this is a compelling vertical-focused story.
But Epicor introduced another interesting idea to me. Reducing carbon footprint by changing the font on Retail point of sale (POS) terminals. Seriously. Less ink and less printing means less power. Some might say the savings would be too small to measure, but actually in cash terms the efficiencies add up pretty fast. Epicor’s advisory and tech works with IBM and NCR POS gear.
Epicor Green Retail is a services-led approach: consultants and business analysts come in to review the business’s energy consumption, review current systems configurations, and make suggestions about mechanisms to reduce the energy footprint of stores.
While changing fonts is only part of the opportunity around POS, the overall numbers appear compelling.
According to Lynne Davidson, vice president, Services and Support for Epicor Retail:
“Based on calculations from the U.S. Department of Energy, retailers can achieve 500-600 kWh or an average of $70 of power savings per register/device per year. If applied to 500 registers, in three years this could translate to roughly $101,000 in savings, a reduction in CO2 emissions by 60 tons and, from an environmental standpoint, is equivalent to planting 125 acres of trees.”
Another thing to think about then – small changes do add up. Some sustainability initiatives may involve whole new supply chains – others are as simple as changing a font. Oh yeah- the retailer will save some money on ink too.
photo courtesy of NCR.com. I would have used an IBM image, but they. are. so. miserable. Hey IBM Retail marketing people POS doesn’t have to be monochrome!