Almost 90%, clearly the lion’s share of today’s point-of-sale (POS) system market, is dominated by powerful, x86-based hardware platforms. The systems sport touch-enabled terminals which provide much more functionality than just tendering a purchase. Modern systems are called on to provide information round-the-clock, and the hardware must be industrial-strength as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Since POS systems operate in many different industries they must be flexible and easily adapted to suit the environments they operate in. Additional peripherals which increase the system’s usability include magnetic stripe readers (MSR), thermal printers, customer displays, secondary LCD panels, cash drawers, barcode scanners, fingerprint scanners, and so on. Smart systems running the Intel® Atom™ processor are cost-effective, fanless, and consume less-power than rival platforms. Justifiably, the processor has been rated with the best performance to cost ratio in an x86 platform for POS applications. It also is backed by long-term support to help customers in planning a product roadmap strategy.
Our customer in the spotlight is one who focuses on the design and integration of embedded touchscreen POS solutions. They were looking for a trustworthy partner that could help them with the design of high-quality motherboards, allowing them to focus on integration solutions. The customer supplied finished systems to many vertical markets: hospitality, retail, gaming, manufacturing, labor management, healthcare, and kiosk. They needed a strong partner so that they could remain focused on creating the integrated solutions for their various markets. They also required that their finished systems and services allowed them to offer their customers a 3 year warranty and 5 year commitment to hardware longevity.
Advantech’s Design to Order Service (DTOS), proved to be just the type of partnership the customer was looking for. With DTOS in place, the customer was able to focus on their core competencies in designing, integrating, and delivering embedded touchscreen solutions. Advantech DTOS brought a lot to the table:
1. Modular Board Design Service (MBDS)
Advantech’s Modular Board Design Service (MBDS) offers a shorter lead time in the design and development of motherboards, while delivering a more reliable product that is compatible with a larger array of peripherals and applications.
2. Dedicated Customer/ Project Service Team
Advantech’s DTOS team provides customers with a dedicated project service which includes professional consulting early in design evaluation to help mitigate risk, build a realistic project management schedule, and develop a customization plan for hardware, software and design quality assurance.
3. Experienced Manufacturing
The team also provides experience and dedication in manufacturing and quality assurance. This ensures excellence in the quality and reliability of each shipment.
Benefits to the Customer
Advantech’s DTOS team delivered many benefits to the customer and proved to be the partner they were looking for. Notable among the benefits were:
Advantech DTOS promises high quality and speedy design-to-order service (50-day promise) to meet customer demand for quick time-to-market.
Coupled with the modularized system design process inherent in DTOS, our customer was able to launch their first POS platform based on an Intel® Atom™ D2000 processor in just under 6 months. Such an extensive application rollout would typically take others in the industry 8-10 months to complete. Quick delivery, with the outstanding performance of Intel® Atom™ processors, pushed the application to a new level unseen by other POS systems on the market.
2. Win-Win Partnership
As the first cooperative design between the customer and Advantech DTOS, everyone emerged a winner. The project resulted in delivery to market two months earlier than normally possible, it brought the high-performance of Intel® Atom™ processors to the customer’s POS design, increasing transaction speeds, and it increased reliability, reducing downtime risks. This winning solution isextended to the end-consumer as well; more reliable, faster transactions increase end-consumer satisfaction. The modularized design of Advantech’s DTOS solutions, allow for quick adaptation to ever-changing market requirements. This gives the customer the product longevity they were seeking and allows them to continue to launch their own series of POS solutions, remaining competitive in the fast-paced market.
3. New Business Partner
After the success of the initial launch the customer, in conjunction with the DTOS team, brought a second model to market just 5 months from project kick-off. The modular approach removed the necessity to re-design the system as well as the need to re-test certain phases. And the third launch was completed, delivering a smaller form factor, in only 4 months from project kickoff.