Etteplan MORE implemented product management and system integrations for Europe’s first self-service store launched by Neste
A fully automated, unmanned self-service store may sound surreal. But it is a working reality in Neste’s recently launched Easy Deli self-service store, whose product management and integration services have been implemented by Etteplan’s software unit Etteplan More. The unique concept is based on RFID technology.
Etteplan implemented Easy Deli’s product management solution and a service that integrates the product picking and identification system into the payment system. The whole process was carried out in close collaboration with Neste and Nordic ID, which developed the RFID technology.
“We played a crucial role as an integrator in a multi-supplier environment, ensuring that the end users will enjoy a totally seamless shopping experience. Technology issues can always be resolved one way or another, but no store will be successful if it fails to take its users into account,” says Etteplan’s software unit’s Key Account Lead Toni Kokkonen.
Etteplan More has years of experience in building various self-service solutions. Thanks to this, and many user surveys, they have a thorough understanding of consumer behavior and needs in the various phases.
“We have collaborated with Etteplan for more than ten years. When we decided to create Europe’s first RFID technology based self-service retail store, it was natural for us to turn to Etteplan and to entrust them with the important task of integrating Easy Deli’s product management and payment systems into our backend solutions,” says Jukka Peltoniemi, who is responsible for automated services at Neste.
Automated product management
The Easy Deli store uses Nordic ID’s RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. Each product bears an unnoticeable RFID tag. The customer can pick the products and put them in their own bag. Once the products have been picked, the customer simply places the bag on the self-checkout, which scans the RFID tags in only a few seconds.
“To enter the store, customers must register in the Neste mobile app, which was also developed by Etteplan. The door will not open until the customer has paid for their purchases,” says Kokkonen.
The information on the purchases is automatically transmitted to the product management system implemented by Etteplan, which runs in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Product management includes the product pricing system, store management, reporting and receipt archive and the printing of the attachable labels. The integration service creates a connection to the product picking and identification system, the payment system and Easy Deli product management.
“Similar self-service solutions could also be provided for industry. A closed factory environment can accommodate, for example, a supplier-owned warehouse from which products can be retrieved as the need arises. No on-site payment is required; instead, the user and the quantity and quality of the retrieved products can be identified,” Kokkonen says.
Neste has another Easy Deli self-service store at its Siltamäki station in Vantaa, where it is also piloting another globally rare self-service solution, robotized refueling. The solution involves a robotic arm that fills up the tank with no human intervention.