Staff at thousands of US shoe stores are spending more time on the shop floor and less time in stockrooms thanks to a new high-tech deliveries check-in process.

Employees at 4,000 Payless ShoeSource stores are saving up to 30 minutes a week as the automated process allows them to process new deliveries faster and more efficiently.

It also frees delivery drivers from having to wait for a store associate to check in inventory ordered for the store as the third-party delivery agents scan the boxes themselves with a hand-held scanner, then download the scanner data into the store's computer using a password.

Speaking at the Council of Logistics Management in Kansas City this week, Joseph Neal, vice president of logistics at Payless ShoeSource, said: "The stores are staffed by one to two people, and that person would be pulled off the store floor to deal with deliveries.

"But with the new system, we've found that accuracy improves because the delivery agents don't feel a need to rush."

He added that the proprietary system automatically reconciles the delivered goods to a store's allocation and adds the products to the store's inventor, with the technology due to be extended into the firm's 235 stores in Canada shortly.

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