VAR Lands POS Project For Pharmacy Chain
By concentrating on the pharmaceutical vertical, this POS (point of sale) specialist continues to grow at 20% annually.
Freedom Data Systems develops custom POS software systems for independent pharmacies as well as small and midsize pharmacy chains. Although Freedom is technically a software vendor, it designs and integrates complete POS systems. “We have been developing custom POS applications for pharmacies for nearly 20 years,” says Kerry Rook, GM of Freedom. “It is important that we stay focused on POS and not get sidetracked.” The single-focus approach is unique because so many integrators are crossing into complementary technologies. Rook says the single-focus approach has served his company well in the pharmaceutical vertical.
Recently, Freedom installed a centralized POS system for Eaton Apothecary, a 15-store chain with retail store locations and locations within hospitals and clinics. The company needed a centralized database that allowed the corporate staff to maintain the data, create promotional events, adjust tax tables, control price updates, and perform other maintenance tasks. The goals were to free up time for the store-level managers so they could concentrate more on their jobs. Eaton also needed a centralized AR (accounts receivable) package that would allow customers to charge purchases at multiple stores and receive one consolidated statement. Finally, store-level reports needed to be electronically sent to the headquarters on a regular basis.
Eaton had experience with Freedom as a result of using Freedom’s POS systems at individual locations. When it was time to add the centralized system, Eaton contacted Freedom. “After initial phone calls, representatives from Eaton came to our Manchester, NH facility to see system demonstrations,” explains Rook. “The visit allowed us to demonstrate how our system could address the company’s POS challenges.”
Three-Day POS Install Leads To Additional Sales
Eaton liked what it saw and chose Freedom to perform the installation. The software system consists of Freedom’s PRO/POS with CommandPost and Central Accounts Receivable. On the hardware side, Freedom recommended Ultimate Technology M600 keyboards and PD3500 pole displays, MMF cash drawers, Epson TMH-6000 thermal receipt printers, Welch Allyn TT8810 signature capture pads, and HP computers. All of these hardware products were chosen because they were compatible with Freedom’s software. Of particular interest is vendor Ultimate Technology, which allowed Freedom to build its own keyboard matrix. When a keyboard is sold for a Freedom Data POS system, it arrives with Freedom’s layout and programmed keys ready for use.
Rook says the Ultimate Technology M600 keyboard makes training new employees at the store level an easier task because of the color-coded keys and custom programming capabilities. Rook also recommends Ultimate for pole displays. “We recently had difficulties trying to integrate another manufacturer’s pole display with our software,” says Rook. “We haven’t had that problem with Ultimate’s pole displays, so Ultimate is a part of our standard solution.”
To perform the initial installation, a Freedom technician was on-site for three days. One day was required to set up the central site system and one day each to set up the two stores. Typically, a Freedom technician will be on-site for the “go-live” day to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
The best measure of success for an integrator is to secure continued business with existing customers. That has been the case with Eaton. The customer is continuing to add the Freedom POS system to all of its stores — all connected to the central location.