In a recent case study by One Step Retail Solutions on Pump Station in Santa Monica, CA, the store increased its sales 20% in the last three years. A second store opened up 3 years ago in Hollywood, CA, watching sales go up 83%. Two more stores are being planned to open up this year, 2009.
Pump Station COO Cheryl Petran attributes their growth and continued success to point of sale technology which allowed them to forecast sales and manage inventory better.
With better financial planning and profit goals, Pump Station owners have been able to gain insight into what is going on in their business and use the reports to make the right decisions.
Ms. Petran feels they are out-pacing the economic downturn by forecasting smart and managing the inventory to her forecast. “Being proactive means forecasting, facing the reality of it and dealing with it,” said Cheryl Petran, COO of Pump Station.
“If you can really look at where you think you’re going to be and be realistic about it, then you can survive. I have a POS system with history that I can use for expansion. With our POS system we can quickly evaluate if our decisions were good or bad. I learned many years ago to manage your inventory smart and manage your vendors smart.”
Pump Station is continuing to expand their retail business, despite the changing economy.
How did you arrive at Pump Station?
I was originally a lactating mom with a history of retail behind me. I love the people here and love the business model. Los Angeles magazine in 2006 named Wendy and Corky two of LA’s most influential people!
What was the store using for POS and inventory control before installing their system from One Step Retail Solutions?
Handwriting and they had a little cash register, but the business was growing and there was a need to get the info and be able to track things better.
How have you financially benefited from this system? Can you give some specifics in terms of growth percentages or the like?
The Hollywood store opened 3 years ago and has gone up 83% in sales. Santa Monica, as a more mature business, has gone up 20% in last three years. Our POS system has allowed us to better forecast our sales, to forecast and manage our inventory, and to survive.
In the last year we have maximized the use of our POS system more than ever before. When I first came on, because I used to work for a large retailer, I showed them how to manage mark-downs, etc. I knew the possibilities and introduced these to everyone here, teaching them how to check inventory and use the POS system more efficiently to make better business decisions.
What specific features do you find are particularly valuable for your business?
Right now the min/max system of generating orders is replenishing the stores more efficiently. One of the scariest things in bad economic times is that your inventory will run away with you; open to buy is important, not buying stupid, we’re not going to come out of this year overstocked, and we’re managing markdowns very well.
What have been some of the long-term benefits of this system?
Better financial planning and profit goals. I can figure everything out in it. I create reports to give me what I need, setting goals that are reasonable because they are based on history. And the interface to Quickbooks is huge for me.
How do your employees like working with the system?
They really like it; they feel that it’s a good system. It works the way it’s supposed to, and if it doesn’t, it’s because we didn’t put something in correctly.
How has your One Step Retail Solutions system consultant been of help since installing the POS system?
My system consultant understands all facets of the business from SKUs to PL and balance sheet; he’s got a broad understanding from micro to accounting. I tend to think beyond just the report I’m in and he sees it the same way.
How are you outpacing the economic downturn?
By forecasting smart and managing the inventory to my forecast. If you can really look at where you think you’re going to be and be realistic about it, then you can survive. I have a POS system with history that I can use for expansion. For example, we were over-SKU’d a year ago, 80/20 rule, we got rid of the underperformers and kept the best performers. With our POS system we can quickly evaluate if our decisions were good or bad.
I learned many years ago: manage your inventory smart and manage your vendors smart. I can do both with my POS system.
What advice would you give to other retailers looking for a POS system and retail technology provider?
One Step Retail Solutions has very good systems and the service is very good. And very responsive! I also like the fact that they understand retail and things beyond what’s going into the POS.
While others are holding still, you are expanding. What do you see in the future for your company?
We plan two new stores in the very near future for 2009. Being proactive means forecasting, facing the reality of it and dealing with it.