Denny's Restaurants lacked inventory control in their restaurants. StarTrak was an effort to move from their system of no inventory and manual orders to a totally paperless, electronic inventory/ordering system.
The system was actually very cool...
Inventory was taken on Telxon handheld devices (HHDs) that looked quite a bit like the old Star Trek phasers with their laser barcode readers.
The HHD transmitted the inventory to the Back Office computer via RS232-equipped cradle.
There the inventory was verified by the manager and compared to "par" (target stock levels).
The computer then generated a suggested order which the manager could approve or modify.
This order was transmitted to both the AS/400s at the Flagstar Home Office and to the Vendor(s) via Xcellenet. The Flagstar Home Office also received a copy of the physical inventory, as well as sales data from the Point-of-Sale system.
The Vendor received the order, generated a Sales Order which was sent to the warehouse for fulfillment and shipping, and a bill which was sent to the Flagstar Home Office.
The store manager received the shipped goods and compared the delivered goods to the purchase order.
The Home Office received the order, which was compared to the bill, and a check to the vendor was generated by Accounting. In addition, the Home Office compared stock usage to sales data through a system that broke the sales into usage by recipe.
Sound complicated? It was, and it took over a year to write the first release. However, StarTrak saved the company over two million dollars (that's $2,000,000.00) the first year in reduced shrinkage.
One thing that StarTrak did not do that was in the original plan for the product (but postponed due to budgeting) was receiving... The manager would be able to download the completed order back to the handheld, then use the device to scan items as they were unloaded from the truck. This would generate and Order Confirmation to improve billing accuracy.