“Everyone benefits from good ideas,” said Zach Tigner, head of research & development for Take-A-Ticket (TAT). “That’s Zach’s motto,” added TAT president and younger brother Seth Tigner. “He’s going to get a trademark on that.” That’s the sort of banter common on the shop room floor of this instant ticket dispenser manufacturer headquartered in Albany, Oregon. The brothers are referring to the continuous custom improvements they make to prototypes for customers. The improvements become part of all future products.
TAT’s competitive edge sits squarely at the edge between innovation and efficiency. “Zack is a genius at customization,” noted Seth. “Nine times out of 10, a job needs to be fitted to the exact specifications of the retailer. He can design things in a matter of a day or two. We could be in production within two weeks.”
Customers can be leery about asking for changes fearing extra costs. “We never charge extra for designing product tweaks,” noted Seth. “We may go back and forth several times. The finished product has to work for the retailer and clerks. That is what we bring to the table.”
One example of this collaborative model is TAT’s relationship with IGT Texas. “We have been working with them for several years,” noted Seth. “We developed a curved lighted menu board. IGT is expanding this unit into all Texas Circle-K stores. It features a glare-resistant front, more powerful lighting and even something as simple as a longer power cord. Little enhancements add value for the retailer. IGT has been a great partner for us.”
In Texas, innovation met opportunity with another project at IGT’s request. Walmart uses wheelchair-accessible player-activated terminals (PATs). The units are less visible to shoppers then more traditional PATs due to their low profile. TAT developed a 31-inch sign that sits on top of the unit. “If TAT is selected, this new lit sign could roll out to other IGT states, following a successful pilot,” said Seth.
Similarly, TAT developed an in-lane check writer dispenser for Albertson’s. “This is a four-bin dispenser at the register,” explained Seth. “We ran a test in Texas. It helps with inventory management. The clerk scans the ticket just like a can of beans. We developed one for Oregon, piloted it in Texas and now Virginia is interested.”
The big message is that TAT is flexible. “Whatever improves the usage at trial makes the product better for everyone. We get ideas from one lottery and put them in all designs after that,” said Seth.