Service, Expertise, Fast Installation (And A Bus) Result In Big Sale For VAR
A trade show meeting lands CompuRegister a deal to sell 200 POS registers to the growing 1/2 Off Card Shops chain of discount card stores.
Besides picking up the usual product literature at the June 1997 Retail Systems trade show in Chicago, Ted Ave-Lallement picked up a $750,000 account. Ave-Lallement is president of CompuRegister (Lake Ozark, MO). The 15-year-old company specializes in selling and installing PC-based point of sale (POS) registers. CompuRegister has 12 employees and annual gross sales of $5 million.
Roger Werling, MIS director of 1/2 Off Card Shops, a chain of discount card stores, was at Retail Systems evaluating POS systems. The 1/2 Off chain, headquartered in Detroit, includes 50 stores in four states. "The chain's previous system was slow. They also had some Y2K issues with the POS software," says Ave-Lallement. Werling chose to replace the software with JDA's WinDSS POS software. The Y2K-compliant software supports back-office functions, store inventory, point of sale operations and consumer information tracking.
VAR's Level Of Service Seals The Deal
Ave-Lallement offered Werling a demonstration of CompuRegister's various PC-based POS register models. Werling had also been evaluating IBM's and NCR's POS registers prior to and during the show. "He liked the fact that we had a relationship with JDA as a business partner," says Ave-Lallement. He also sold Werling on CompuRegister's 24-hour help desk and its overnight replacement of system components.
CompuRegister sold the 1/2 Off chain 200 CompuRegister Model 11 POS registers and 50 IBM servers. Four terminals and one server would be installed in each store. The Model 11 PC-based POS register features a Cherry 7000 keyboard, an Epson receipt printer and an APG cash drawer. CompuRegister assembles the system components into one unit. In addition to assembling each system, CompuRegister loaded the software and tested each system prior to installation.
Company Bus Speeds Installation, Keeps Cost Down
"We acted as an extension of 1/2 Off's MIS department," says Ave-Lallement of the installation. Two of his employees traveled on the company bus (CompuCoach) to each store location. They brought the POS registers and servers with them to prevent any shipping damage. CompuRegister employees routinely travel by company bus to installations.
"We charge $250 a day for all expenses, no matter how much equipment or how many employees we bring," says Ave-Lallement. JDA trained the trainer, a 1/2 Off store employee, on the new software program. The trainer, in turn, taught other store employees how to use the POS registers once the installation was complete.
New Stores Result In New Sales
It took approximately four weeks for CompuRegister to install all 200 terminals (the traveling CompuRegister employees did go home on weekends). The sales cycle, from the Retail Systems trade show to the completed installation, took nine months. The total cost of the system was $750,000.
Since the installation was completed several months ago, CompuRegister has upgraded the memory from 16MB to 32MB for each POS register. "The need for more memory was due to the number of daily transactions at each store," explains Ave-Lallement. He says the 1/2 Off card store chain expects to open another 30 stores this year, using the CompuRegister Model 11 POS register. Ave-Lallement is pleased with the results. "The size of the sale and the ease of installation made this one of our best installations in 15 years," he says.