Consider Convenience Store Inventory Needs In Your POS Solutions
$91.5 million VAR Retalix opened up its products to include a wireless inventory solution for convenience stores that it recently installed in a 1,300-store chain in the Midwest.
So you've established yourself as a reputable provider in a niche vertical and are succeeding, but why stop there? VAR Retalix (Dallas) has made its mark in the POS (point of sale) solutions market with $91.5 million in sales last year in the foodservice, retail, and hospitality verticals. Retalix' POS customers include convenience stores (c-stores), and in that space, Retalix saw an opportunity to provide a wireless inventory management solution. "Competition is high for c-stores, and convenience alone isn't enough of a factor for people to pay the same premium prices that they had in the past," says Tim Klingenberg, product manager for Retalix PocketOffice (Retalix' c-store inventory solution). "To keep their prices competitive, c-stores need a much tighter control on store inventory." Retalix dedicated sales, support, and development teams to its convenience store segment to drive forward its inventory management solution, and landed its first installation two years ago.
A recent customer of Retalix' is Casey's General Store, a 1,300-store convenience chain in the Midwest. Casey's stores were using a manual method of receiving and checking inventory, which means inventory counts weren't always accurate, and Casey's relied on what a supplier said was shipped versus what actually may have been shipped. "The bottom line is, shrink is a big problem in the c-store industry. And how can a store begin to measure shrink if it cannot be sure what is coming in the back door?" asks Klingenberg.
Integrate Handheld Inventory Management With Your POS System
Casey's was already well into its rollout of Retalix' StorePoint POS solution in about 700 of its stores. The VAR talked to decision makers at Casey's, telling them of the benefits of an automated inventory system. "Casey's recognized the difficulty for c-stores of understanding their inventory shrink," says Klingenberg. He also says Retalix had an edge because PocketOffice was tightly integrated with the existing StorePoint POS solution. "My contact at Casey's told me, 'You came to me with an integrated solution that was designed to work within your suite of applications. That made the decision easier,'" reports Klingenberg.
Retalix sold Casey's its PocketOffice solution, with Denso TD SCAN (Southfield, MI) BGT-260 handheld computers. Klingenberg says TD SCAN differentiated itself from other vendors by its willingness to make the sale work, like sending evaluation hardware without needing preliminary contracts to be signed. The solution includes a wireless LAN setup in each c-store and is designed to run in a batch or online mode.
The handhelds enable Casey's employees to perform stock counts and ordering and receiving functions, all within the existing POS solution. Klingenberg says Casey's handheld solution includes additional functionality, but the store is not yet in a position to activate all of the functions. "Casey's will need to become adjusted to the program and the new operations before it can get deeper into the functions," Klingenberg says. Retalix trained Casey's employees in a 6-hour class, so that Casey's could then develop its own lab environment for the training. Retalix provided additional assistance, when needed, throughout the installation.
Casey's is installing the Retalix PocketOffice solution in its stores at a rate of 10 to 12 per week. At the same time, the c-store is installing Retalix' StorePoint POS solution in the 600 of its stores that were not already running it. By the time the wireless inventory solution is installed in the first 700 stores, the POS solution should be in all of Casey's locations, allowing for PocketOffice to continue to be installed seamlessly.
Of the stores where the inventory management solution has been installed, Casey's has realized a tighter control of in-store inventory quantities, costs, and profitability. The c-store chain cites significant reductions in shrink in its beer and tobacco departments as evidence.