Serverless | Managed Services Provider

Trek10 Builds Missing Link Between Supermarket Chain and Amazon Dash Cart

McKeever Enterprises supermarkets wanted to adopt the smart cart technology and Trek10 made it possible. Published June 28, 2024


McKeever Enterprises, Inc. owns and operates 12 supermarkets located in the Kansas City metropolitan area. In operation for nearly 50 years, the company employs around 1,200 people.

QVS Software, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers the point of sales (POS) software solution that McKeever Enterprises uses in its supermarkets. This software stores pricing information and manages sales transactions.

Driven by visionary executives looking to enhance the grocery shopping experience, McKeever Enterprises proactively consulted with Amazon to discuss implementing Dash Cart technology in several of its supermarkets.

Dash Cart technology by Amazon is a smart shopping cart system that gives customers the ability to quickly and efficiently add, remove, and weigh items in their cart while shopping. Customers can then pay through an automatic process, allowing them to skip the checkout line.

Previously available only in Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods (a subsidiary of Amazon) locations, Dash Cart is now available to third party retailers.

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The team at McKeever Enterprises had the vision to adopt the emerging smart shopping cart technology. Yet the company’s software architecture presented an infrastructural challenge.

Dash Cart technology by Amazon is built to sync with a retailer’s existing POS software, with one caveat. In order to sync, the POS software must be deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS). For stores owned by Amazon, this is not an issue, since these stores utilize POS software housed in AWS.

However, there are many POS software solutions, including the QVS Software solution implemented in McKeever Enterprises supermarkets, that are not deployed in AWS. Discovering this roadblock, the team at McKeever Enterprises had three choices: let go of the vision of bringing Dash Cart to its stores; break its contract with QVS Software and find a new POS solution already embedded in AWS; or find a solution allowing Dash Cart to work with its current software.

The team at QVS Software was eager to develop a solution to sync its software with AWS, thus implementing the Dash Cart technology while retaining McKeever Enterprises as a customer.

“We wanted to adopt the smart cart technology,” says Tim Cosens, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at McKeever Enterprises. “We didn’t want the technology piece to stop us from implementing Dash Cart. We needed a solution, which is exactly what Trek10 and QVS Software were able to provide.”

Evaluating Trek10

McKeever Enterprises and QVS Software needed to partner with an AWS expert. The search for a partner with the knowledge and expertise to build the solution started at Amazon itself.

While developing strategies to bring this service to McKeever Enterprises, numerous members of the Amazon team identified Trek10 as the company with the right expertise for the job. Trek10 met with the Dash Cart team to demonstrate its experience in professional services and managed service capabilities. This experience clinched the deal and Trek10 was brought on board for the project.


In order to sync the supermarket’s POS software with Dash Cart, a custom software integration needed to be built. The skilled Trek10 team worked closely with teams at QVS Software, McKeever Enterprises, and Amazon Dash Cart to design and build the integration.

Trek10 approached this project with the mindset of providing a managed service solution, offering the clients the peace of mind that a tailored solution brings.

“While the underlying cloud infrastructure can be a challenge for any organization, what our clients value are solutions to help them grow and expand their business and their end-customer’s experience,” says Shane Fimbel, Chief Executive Officer of Trek10. “We were thrilled to produce this outcome for the McKeever’s team by deploying a fully managed service solution of the Amazon Dash Cart Technology.”

First, Trek10 needed to establish a secure connection that would allow the McKeever Enterprises network to communicate with Amazon Dash Cart. Trek10 designed, configured, and implemented a VPN on the McKeever Enterprises corporate server, ensuring that it could be accessed by any McKeever supermarket location using the Dash Cart service.

Next, Trek10 established an AWS best-practices serverless environment, a crucial piece of the puzzle in making the Dash Cart service work. This environment houses the software integration, which is used to sync the Dash Cart to the supermarket’s POS system.

Trek10 designed, built, and continues to manage the entire software integration, which uses the following AWS Services:

  • AWS Account/Region – The serverless infrastructure housing the software integration.
  • AWS Account Structure – Utilizes control tower/organizations and maintains separate accounts using best practices for main, production, and test accounts.
  • AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) – Software development framework that defines cloud infrastructure in code and provisions it through AWS CloudFormation.
  • AWS DevOps – The software integration is deployed and managed using the suite of DevOps tools: AWS CodePipeline & AWS CodeCommit.
  • AWS Lambda – A serverless compute service that allows companies to run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic to maintain event integrations or manage runtimes.
  • Amazon API Gateway – Utilizing an Open API contract for a restFUL endpoint that allows Amazon OrderConnector to communicate to the client’s systems.
  • Amazon DynamoDB – A fully managed key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale.

The Dash Cart workflow proceeds like this:

  1. If a product has a barcode, the customer scans the item using the cart’s built-in scanner. If a product’s price is determined by weight, customers select the product’s price look-up code (PLU) from the Dash Cart’s screen. The product is weighed automatically when it is placed in the cart.
  2. The Dash Cart sends item data (either barcode or PLU and weight) to Amazon.
  3. Amazon passes data to the Trek10 software integration, first landing in the OrderConnector.
  4. Amazon OrderConnector calls AWS OrderingLambda, located within the VPC.
  5. AWS OrderingLambda searches AWS DynamoDB to identify which store the data originated from, as well as its endpoint (the POS system provided by the QVS software at that store location).
  6. AWS OrderingLambda then calls the endpoint, via the VPN hosted on McKeever Enterprises corporate servers, and gathers catalog data, including pricing information.
  7. All of that information is then sent backwards through this process back to the Dash Cart, and the correct price is added to the live receipt on the Dash Cart screen.

The managed service solution comprises steps 3-7 of the workflow. Trek10 closely monitors these steps through its 24/7 Monitoring service. Trek10 can offer this managed service solution to any company looking to enhance and simplify its shopping experience using Dash Cart technology by Amazon.

Deploying the Dash Cart service required a confluence of three companies. One, McKeever Enterprises’ early adoption of the technology. Two, QVS Software’s willingness to support integrations and smart cart technology. Three, Trek10’s cloud expertise to build and implement the software integration.

Trek10’s work on this project has been well-received. “Our [Amazon Dash Cart] experience working with Trek10 has been really, really good. Thanks a ton for the great work!” says John Gunn, head of System Integrator Alliances at Amazon.

Business Impact

As the first non-Amazon owned company to implement Dash Cart, the impact of McKeever’s drive to advance its technology and modernize the shopping experience cannot be overstated.

Through perseverance, communication and partnership, McKeever Enterprises and QVS Software were able to overcome the software architecture challenges faced when implementing the technology. Dash Cart technology by Amazon is now available in five McKeever Enterprises-owned supermarkets, including both McKeever’s Markets and Price Choppers.

Customers are adopting the technology into their shopping routines. “Many of our customers love integrating the technology into their shopping habits,” says Tim Cosens. “We’ve seen a great adoption rate of the Dash Cart.”

Partnering with Trek10 provided an added benefit for the QVS Software team. Witnessing Trek10’s expertise has given the team hands-on experience in software integrations and AWS, enabling them to support other software integrations in the future.