More than just a checkout, POS solution drives bottom-line efficiency

Posted May 13, 2010

Wasp QuickStore POS

Mastering the POS basics – quickly

As Rod Works was growing its business, the company struggled to find the right point of sale (POS) solution. In trying out various options, Rod Works fell into the same conundrum faced by many smaller retail businesses. Affordable POS systems marketed to small business lacked the high-level inventory functionality of the enterprise-sized systems used by large chain retailers. Yet these costlier solutions were too time-consuming for the small retailer to learn and use.

POS software should change your business to be more effective, not change your business just to use the software,” said Aaron Brackett, retail director for Rod Works. “We built our business in a what-if environment, where we continually evaluated best-case and worst-case scenarios for the future. That way, we could weather various financial circumstances and challenging economic times. As a result, we wanted a POS solution that provided great management insight and could grow with us over time – without costing a fortune.”

Five years ago, Rod Works purchased QuickStore POS from Wasp Barcode Technologies. Because the enterprise version of the software offers multi-location functionality, as the company grew it was able to install QuickStore at each of its four retail locations and two clearance centers, as well as its corporate headquarters and warehouse.

Designed for specialty stores, Wasp QuickStore strives to offer smaller retailers the same kinds of efficiencies that larger chains already enjoy from their expensive
enterprise-version POS products. These include high-end capabilities such as automated inventory tracking, e-mail invoices, report generation and more.

From shuffling items to managing inventory

Once Wasp QuickStore was in place as a checkout tool, customer satisfaction quickly increased. Rod Works then was ready to tackle its greatest challenge: bridging the gap between the warehouse and retail stores.

“We had struggled with this for years,” Brackett said. “We didn’t have an efficient way to identify store needs from the warehouse. This affected the entire process, from transferring product to the stores all the way up to product purchases. Too often, we had products sitting on warehouse shelves instead of store shelves.”

Wasp QuickStore is backed by a centralized database, enabling each store to have full visibility into inventory at other locations, as well as the warehouse. The software includes features to both simplify and automate inventory management. It can:
– automatically generate purchase orders when items fall below reorder levels
– reduce inventory carrying costs by tracking inventory turns and aging
– receive merchandise into stock by scanning vendor UPC codes
– remove items from inventory at the time of purchase
– generate discrepancy reports to resolve errors in physical inventory

Rod Works uses a dedicated data field in Wasp QuickStore to label each bin in the warehouse. Each day, as the stores sell items, QuickStore generates a pick list that is sorted by bin location in the warehouse. Products then can be efficiently picked for transfers between the warehouse and the stores.

In addition, Wasp QuickStore gave Rod Works management new insight into its inventory. By running a simple daily report, the company knew exactly which items were moving – and which were not. This enabled better decision-making for purchasing, merchandising, managing stock levels and more, ensuring that the most popular items were always on hand.

Cutting warehouse costs in half

Because it was so critical to have the correct inventory items on hand at each store, Rod Works shipped items between the warehouse and various retail locations each and every day. Although this was timeconsuming, daily replenishment was needed due to their small stores and quick turn of products. The management team wanted to develop a more efficient way of operating the business.

“At our request, Wasp added special features to our reports. We could then export reports into a custom template that can be sorted by bin location in the warehouse. These are now standard features in Wasp QuickStore, and we have adapted our daily operations around them,” Brackett said. “Since we developed this process, we now have an effective way to locate each item in our warehouse. As a result, we have realized a 65 percent reduction in the man-hours used for picking items for stores.”

Thanks to these new efficiencies, Rod Works was able to begin pulling inventory for each store every other day, instead of daily. Needed inventory is listed on the reports according to where the items reside in the warehouse. This makes it simple for warehouse personnel to quickly move through the warehouse and efficiently collect items for shipment.

By optimizing pick lists with QuickStore, Rod Works dramatically reduced labor costs in its warehouse. In addition, Rod Works enhanced the accuracy of inventory fulfillment. The company further reduced costs thanks to fewer deliveries and less time spent in receiving at the stores. Typically, this kind of high-level functionality is enjoyed only by larger retailers using enterprise-sized technology solutions.

Rod Works continues to leverage QuickStore software for much more than checking out customers, including reporting, receiving and purchase orders, customer tracking and employee timekeeping. In today’s challenging economic environment, the cost savings and inventory efficiency Rod Works is experiencing has become critical to its success.

Filed under: Case Studies