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CUSTOMER REFERENCES IN THEIR OWN WORDS
CASE STUDY BRIEFS
EXTRA INNINGS INDOOR BASEBALL FACILITIES
Established in 1996, Extra Innings (EI) is recognized as the premiere indoor baseball and softball training center. Extra Innings’ state of the art facilities are dedicated to covering all the bases and fulfilling the needs of players of all ages and abilities. They feature a complete Pro Shop on site which may carry well over 100 items in various styles and sizes. Starting from a single successful location, Extra Innings now includes 36 locations in 18 states with many more opening soon.
When they decided to expand via franchising, one of the areas they quickly realized that would need to be upgraded and standardized was the front counter operation. Without a system that could be successfully duplicated across the country, each location would have different hardware and software making it extremely difficult for the main office to offer support and assistance. They also knew that the cash register and multiple paper journals they had developed in the past were more time consuming than helpful and had to go. Everything was handled separately in a different ledger that sat on the front counter beside the register. It often took twenty minutes or more for a new member to be set-up, pay their dues, make any additional purchases and register for the use of one of the batting lanes.
Thus began the search for a system that would give them complete inventory control, customer sales history, membership data, integrated credit card processing, purchase order capability and multiple reporting functions providing historical sales data across the entire operation. They engaged a consultant who reviewed the requirements for the new system, including User friendliness (ease of use), comprehensive cost which included the total hardware and software, information management features and reliability from a known organization that would be around to support the product as they grew. One of the major concerns was the ability to duplicate the solution easily anywhere across the
EI looked at several software packages with various demonstrated features that offered part of the solution they wanted but not everything especially ease of use. Several offerings were from small niche software vendors with limited history.
Assured Computing Technologies demonstrated the abilities of a full featured Point of Sale package called ‘Microsoft Retail Management’ (RMS), which was not only from one of the largest software vendors in the world, but offered robust features which included sales tracking by department, category, vendor, or item; customer history which showed every purchase made and the date the customer became a member, inventory control, integrated purchase orders, integrated credit card processing, unlimited custom reports, quick capture driver license scanning to prepopulate customer information and much more.
The hardware which consisted of Intel based All-in-One Point-of-Sale systems with integrated 15" touchscreens and credit card swipe, customer pole display, thermal printer, pdf 417 capable bar code scanner, heavy duty cash drawer and thermal transfer bar code printer was open source, standard configuration which is easily purchased and field replaced by next day air if needed. The final cost of the entire package for each new franchise was well within the estimated budget. The decision to move forward was a simple one.
Since the first installation, each new location is easily duplicated by simply downloading a current back-up of the item database from the main location and loading it into the new system. Hardware upgrades are easily accomplished as the technology changes since the hardware is not proprietary or based upon the software constraints. The EI Franchise Office has remote access into each location which helps alleviate any problems with sales or operation before they can become major obstacles to success. Technical support, training and software updates are easily accomplished via a secure internet connection from the offices of Assured Computing Technologies which minimizes cost for both the Franchisee and the Franchiser. After three years the proof of success is in the continued growth of Extra Innings and the success of each Franchise location.
PLASTER FUNTIME CHILDRENS ACTIVITY CENTERS
Their motto says a lot. Plaster Fun Time is the plaster painting place where kids do it
In 1995, Nancy Selvaggi and her partners wanted to create a place where children and their families could come in and relax. They created Plaster Fun Time (PFT) as a way for children to have fun by expressing themselves through painting. During the following 12 years, Nancy and her team opened more stores to test the process and discover which locations and processes were most successful. Plaster Fun Time, Inc. carefully developed figurines that children enjoy, materials that are safe and easy to use, and management and staff that are ideally suited to the needs of children and their families.
After opening 7 locations within the
There were several specific concerns that PFT had regarding any change in the operation of the stores and impact upon customers. First, and most importantly any new system had to speed up and simplify the entire customer experience at the register. In addition, cash control and employee accountability needed to be addressed since average tickets are lower than many other types of retail stores and based upon volume, each transaction had maximum impact on the entire operation. Shortages needed to be watched and explained. The proper level of inventory at each store and the ability to easily see what was on-hand at each location to avoid having excess inventory in one location while other locations were short was another item that was important in a new system. It was also desired that the new system would have the ability to track customer visits and provide a history of purchases. An item important for future growth was the ability to have cross-store Gift Cards that were easily tracked and accounted. All of this needed to be easily handled from a central location without significantly increasing the cost of operations. The length of time from idea to investigating solutions was 2 years.
Plaster Fun Time initially contracted with a software vendor in a remote area of the country with limited experience and a product that only partially handled all of the details PTF wanted in a new solution. The cost of inter-connecting each store to a central database for total transparency of sales, inventory, customers and employees was prohibitive and would have required a substantial investment in re-engineering the stores and the main office. It was not a viable solution.
Assured Computing Technologies was brought into the project to find a solution that would handle as many of the ‘needs’ as well as ‘wants’ without requiring infrastructure changes if possible. After meeting personally with the PTF Management Team and finding out what they were attempting to accomplish, Assured Computing Technologies presented a software point-of-sale product called ‘Cash Register Express-Enterprise Edition’ (CRE) which would allow each store and the main office to be connected via the internet in real time. Cash Register Express-
The final solution has resulted in a total integration of each store inventory, customer sales, employee files, store and company reports, gift cards and loyalty program which can now be viewed from the main office, while offering each store the capability of finding available inventory anywhere in the system. Customers that request a specific item at one location that is temporarily out of stock can easily be referred to another location or the store can request an intra-store transfer. Customer gift cards are now usable at any location and balance reports can easily be printed at the main office. All employee information is centralized and available in the main office which decreases payroll costs and speeds up processing time. The solution has proven so successful in both cost and function that Plaster Fun Time has already begun renewed expansion with store numbers eight and nine opening shortly. This solution can easily be duplicated for future regional franchisee’s own markets.
NEW ENGLAND HOTDOG RESTAURANTS
RED ARROW 24 HOUR DINERS
WITCH MOUNTAIN SERVICES
WE OFFER MORE THAN SIMPLE POS SALES. WE OFFER HELP AND ASSISTANCE IN DECIDING WHICH POINT-OF-SALE SYSTEM IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR YOUR NEEDS. EVERYONE FROM OUR SALES STAFF TO OUR TECHNICAINS TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT IS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS TO INSURE YOUR SUCCESS.We can answer questions regarding hardware, software, credit card processing, financing options, gift cards, web site integration, remote reporting and security.Your Success is our Success. Get real answers to your questions, not just marketing fluff. Let us help. Find out what the difference a True Solution Provider can make in your operation!
Our Solutions comprise products from a complete line of Point of Sale Hardware, and Point of Sale Software POS venders. We provide Point of Sale (POS) SERVICE, SUPPORT and SOLUTIONS to help you gain the most from your current technology and an easy path to upgrade your systems. We have complete Point-of-Sale systems for Retail stores, Point-of-sale for Gift stores, Point-of-sale for Liquor stores, Point-of-sale for Convenience stores, Point-of-sale for Video rental, Point-of-sale for Fine dining restaurants, Point-of-sale for Quick Service restaurants, Point-of-sale Pizza Delivery, Point of sale Beauty Salon. Point of Sale pet grooming, Point of sale for Nail Salons, Point of Sale for Grocery Stores. We carry a complete line of Retail Management Point of Sale or POS Software for the Small/Medium Retailer and for the Point of Sale Restaurant or POS Hospitality Vender. All of our Pole Displays, Cash Drawers, Bar Code Printers, Bar Code Scanners or Bar Code Readers, Receipt Printers, Touchscreen Monitors, Flat Screen Monitors, Standard and Specialized Cash Registers are the best in the industry. If you are a looking for a Retail Point of Sale or Restaurant Point of Sale solution consider our Retail POS and Restaurant POS solutions before you spend needlessly. We guarantee that you will save on your Point of Sale Software and Point of Sale Hardware solution. Located in Bedford, New Hampshire, with a Branch Location in Wisconsin, we service all of New England, the Midwest and entire U.S, Canada and Central/South America. Let us find the right Point of Sale system for your Restaurant or Retail operation. We install the drivers for any additional items you purchase.
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