Point of sales systems like most things have a history and significant milestones that influences their industry. The time was 1984. The interested company, Pizza Hut owned by PepsiCo. The goal, become more efficient in all areas of store operations.
Pizza Hut was a subsidiary of PepsiCo. PepsiCo gave a relatively unknown company called Norand (Des Moines) an open ear. Norand was working with multiple national chains to develop custom POS systems, but failing to deliver any functioning completed system.
The Norand POS concept was using fiber optics to replace standard cabling in a distributed network of POS workstations. The idea had merit, but so far, Norand was plagued with management problems in developing the software to run the POS. However, the POS concept caught PepsiCo’s attention. Andy Meyer of Norand, hired John F Cruz, a graduate of the University of Utah, as Project Specialist to head up the Pizza Hut project. John’s primary responsibilities were to work closely with Pizza Hut management and employees and design all aspect of the Point-of-Sale system, including overseeing software programming, testing, and Pizza Hut employee training.
The initial pilot test of the new system was in Colorado Springs were the Norand branch office was located. Only one Pizza Hut was installed with the new system. Shortly thereafter, a second test rollout was conducted in Altoona PA. During the pilot testing, Mr. Cruz was tasked with creating a national rollout plan for over 2000 franchise stores. The entire project took two years from start to when the Wall Street Journal reported the $40 million sales as the largest in POS history only referencing the President of Norand. None of the team that built the Pizza Hut system was mentioned, including John F. Cruz.
John founded a one-man company called Digital Performance to provide systems analysis and consulting services to state agencies. John Provided services to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Business Regulation with Bill Dunn as executive Director and Peter Van Alstyne as Deputy Director. John's first assignment was to do a Department review of all Division and find data flow bottlenecks and offer solutions.
STATE OF UTAH: in 1986 John F. Cruz started his first company called Digital Performance to provide government consulting services.
John was initially hired by Bill Dunn, the Director of the Department of Business Regulation, now known as the Business and Commerce. John was tasked to review each of the eleven divisions under the Department and analysis data flow bottlenecks throughout the department and propose solutions.
The most apparent problem was in the Division of Occupation and Professional Licensing DOPL. DOPL had high costs in using the State’s capital Information services computer solutions. However, the software was extremely limited and DOPL could not live up to its mandated responsibilities. In addition, the Department has an expensive Wang minicomputer that was mismanaged and only used as a word processor.
John proposed developing an automated licensure system for the Wang computer utilizing it available resources. The Department’s executive team wasn’t convinced. So John contacted two other state licensure divisions and designed out his licensure system vision. Later the department approached John to discuss a system development effort.
John showed them his prototype system. John went on to complete the development of the License Manager System and the Enforcer system using contract programmer Clark Whitehead, John’s good friend and brilliant programmer. Mr. David Robertson, the Director of DOPL referenced John’s License Manager and Enforcer as the best system among other state agencies.
While working for Main Hurdman, Salt Lake City, I was given the task to audit performance nuclear waste disposal contractors regulated by the DOE in three different states. Often the audits were performed under armed guards. File cabinets all had security locks. I examined the underground storage area where barrels of nuclear waste was stored.
John Cruz was awarded the contract by the State of Utah to coordinate UDOT's migration off Wang minicomputers to PC local area networks. The contract also included employee training on the new PC LAN software in which John hired 15 outside contractors and on-site coordinator Rachel Palmer.
John Cruz was awarded the contract by the State of Utah a yearly pre-approved contract that allowed state agencies to use John's services without going to bid. This was a first time policy which 3 top accounting firms also were given.
There’s no greater loss then to forget the memories
of those that built the foundation that give us opportunity.
John F Cruz
Progress is the end product of the vision realized by individuals.
John F Cruz