The Seven Minute Cash Transaction Print Job
An initial report came in about an issue with print Jobs taking 7 minutes or longer to print when only cash transactions were involved.
Apparently, the problem had been on-going for somewhere between 3 – 5 months without having been addressed by the in-house MIS staff.
The end-users and MIS staff were convinced that the issue was a problem with their POS software.
When asked if any changes had been made to the hardware or software about the time that this problem started to occur, the response was an emphatic "NO, absolutely not!".
The following was later determined to be the case:
The cash drawer was originally connect to the registers LPT1 port and was configured for use as a parallel printer with the cash drawer being connected to the "Kick" port on the back of the printer. This means that the software would be sending a kick command to the cash drawer through the printer. This is a fairly standard configuration in most POS environments.
At some point the printer stopped working and MIS staff replaced it with a USB model, but didn’t adjust or change the Cash Drawer set-up or the software set-up to accommodate this change.
When selecting the "Cash" pay Code the software was now sending a cash drawer Kick to a device that was not longer available on either the local register or as a shared device on the network. At this point, it typically took the operating system over 7 minutes to give up trying to communicate with a non-existent device, after which the receipt would finally print.
To add insult to injury, at some point, the Cash drawer was connected to the PC by both USB and DB9 Serial connectors, and an RJ-45 connection to the back of the USB printers Ethernet port. This sort of triple cross connection process would have most likely caused the operating system to shutdown one or both USB/Serial ports due to conflict, thereby making the device inoperable even thought there might not have been anything physically wrong with it in the first place.
Also, impatient staff would reboot the workstation causing issues with system resources, user count locks, and causing ongoing data corruption.
Most of all of the above aggravation could have been avoided if a simple short phone call had been made to our support department.
If you are having issues like the above, please call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department for help in resolving them.