A consortium of 20,000 florists throughout the United States has cut a deal to standardize on Dell PCs running Windows NT with proprietary point-of-sale applications.
The florists, under the umbrella of FTD Inc., are not obligated to buy the Dell PCs, but the machines will be available to purchase or lease as part of the bulk purchase agreement. Dell would not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
Tom Hinshaw, VP of FTD's floral business unit, says that over the next few years the company will consolidate from 14 different types of electronic ordering systems used by its florists down to five. Some florists will continue to place order using Unix and mainframe terminals, but FTD expects the PCs to grow in popularity.
Dell will configure the machines with FTD's custom point-of- sale software and ship them directly to each florist, says Ralph Spagnola, Dell sales VP for large accounts. Florists will have three PC models to choose from, depending on their processing requirements.
The PCs will come with dual 56 Kbps modems, giving each florist two Internet connections. Florists will be able to take orders over the Web while conducting other communications and carrying out accounting tasks.