Retailers that operate brick-and-mortar stores and e-Commerce sites are striving to capture a single view of sales and inventory.
For Schuylkill Valley Sports, implementing a web-based and device independent POS solution has helped the sporting goods retailer make moves into mobile and capture a more comprehensive view of sales and inventory.
A 40-year-old business, Schuylkill Valley Sports has 19 retail locations in the northeast of the U.S., primarily in Pennsylvania. The retailer also has a growing e-Commerce business and thriving wholesale division that targets sports teams.
By deploying Stratus Retail, a retail management system from Celerant Technology, Schuylkill Valley Sports employees can access a robust POS suite from any Internet-enabled device. Team members also have a comprehensive view of all sales and inventory levels across stores, on the e-Commerce site and other third-party sites.
Stratus is currently deployed on two POS terminals as well as one mobile device that is used at local sporting events. However, the retailer expects to roll the solution out to more machines through 2015, according to Nick Rhoads, IT Manager for Schuylkill Valley Sports.
With the new POS solution, Schuylkill Valley Sports has a “platform-independent solution that is easier to update, and gives us an easier way to take mobile sales,” Rhoads said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We go to a lot of events and set up at those locations. This gives us a more streamlined solution to do that successfully.”
“It’s what really distinguishes us,” Rhoads explained. “We have kids who play sports in these communities so we, naturally, are a part of those communities. We’re heavily involved in the athletic world; it’s what we do and love. So when a consumer interacts with us, they’re receiving help from someone who cares on a personal and professional level.”
Although Schuylkill Valley Sports previously had a POS setup for remote locations, the combination of a cash drawer, scanner and laptop became unwieldy for employees to manage.
“Now we have a more streamlined process with a tablet and attached scanner and mag stripe reader,” Rhoads said. “It allows us to set up faster and is very easy for employees to use, even if they aren’t as tech savvy.”
The mobile POS system also includes all the same core functionality as in-store solutions. “It’s just in a more lightweight package,” Rhoads noted. “Employees can complete a transaction and access all inventory.”
In addition to the customer- and employee-facing benefits, moving to a web-based system will allow Schuylkill Valley Sports to make system updates more seamlessly and improve data security across locations.
“Security is a big technology focus for us this year,” Rhoads said. “It’s on everyone’s minds, really. Stratus allows us to make updates faster. Rather than making updates on each machine individually, it’s more centralized.”
By mid-year Rhoads wants to have several stores operating solely on Stratus and implement more mobile devices that will be thoroughly tested out at other events in the Pennsylvania area.