Retail POS Systems : Tinder Box Point of Sale : POS Nation Case Study

Retail POS Systems : Tinder Box Point of Sale : POS Nation Case Study


My name is Craig Cass, my family and I
own and operate five premium cigar
stores here in Charlotte, North Carolina,
and one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
We also have a wholesale division, where
we sell to grocers — Harris Teeter, Lowes
Foods, golf courses, bars, and restaurants. What makes our stores different — we
like to think, is our selection and our
customer service. We spend a lot of money
to be in high traffic, high-end retail
locations. Some of the products we sell
in our stores is really what we feel
are some of the premier brands in the world.
Montecristo, La Flor Dominicana, Ashton, Fuente — really anything that we think is
some of the premier cigars in the world,
we try to have them in our humidors.
We have pipe and tobacco departments. A new, exploding category in this industry
that we do have a footprint in is the
vape category. We were looking for a new
software provider, so we started to ask
around in our industry what are the
products people are using. POS Nation came across our radar. We heard about it, were
looking at it, and ironically, I’m in the
humidor one day and I had a customer
mention POS Nation. Made the call,
connected, and really, the minute we
started that relationship, we realized
it was going to be a perfect fit for us.
For a decision maker in a company,
trying to buy product, understand our
turns, like any retail business, and you
get to the end of the year and your
account says, “Well gosh, you made some money.” And we look around and maybe we’re
cash constricted and we realize the money’s on the shelf, so without proper software,
it’s really difficult to manage the
number one component of a small business,
which is cash flow, right? Cash flow is
way more important in that income and
really, once we invested and put the POS
Nation software, the CRE, in every store
and really tied it together with the web
portal — now, we have real-time data that
we can look at daily as we’re making
purchasing decisions. We even
look a lot at our hourly sales
rates, it helps us manage our labor,
certainly our purchases, really, God I use
it for every decision I make.
Our industry is very seasonal. You know, the software helps us look at those things,
right, it helps us as a company, rotate
our inventories between Charlotte and
Myrtle Beach to capitalize on that
seasonal aspect of our volume. When
you’re a brick-and-mortar driven company
like we are, we sell way more singles
than we do boxes. Single sales are over
80 percent of the business. And one
aspect of POS Nation is we are barcoding the cigars that don’t come with the UPC
codes, and to be able to track those
single cigars and have the zebra
printers that we’re using to print a
small bar code for individual cigars has
been huge for us. What was very important to us as a company was being able to tie
all our stores together, all six stores,
and now we’re using the web portal, where
I can do my computer through my laptop.
If I’m traveling, I can pull up the web
portal, I can look at real-time sales
data, I can pull up inventory levels, and
it’s been very helpful for us as a multi-store operator, to get that real-time.
When I’m making decisions as a buyer,
when we sit down with companies, there
are many programs and partnerships we
have with different manufacturers and
yeah, I can pull up one store and look at it. But to be able to pull up the greater
company, and really pull up a
manufacturer on-site when they tell me
something is selling and something’s not, oh, I can pull it up and many times we can
we can tell them, “Well, no, you’re
incorrect, you know, this is not selling,
however, this is running,” and it helps us
as buyers to capitalize on the overall
volume of the company. One of my favorite aspects of working with POS Nation has
been the customer service. I’ve gotten to
know a couple of the guys over there and
really, the responsiveness, the quick
feedback we get when we have an issue.
They walk us through some of the
most mundane problems we might have.
They’re really obvious, but when you’re
kind of trying to figure out your
software, sometimes you get in the weeds trying to figure it out
and the answer is right there on the screen. But really, the patience to work with
us and help us figure it out, and our
goal here is to be better with our software
today than we were yesterday. Really, the guys there have been very helpful and
supportive on helping us get better
with our software.
We’ve been a customer for a couple years
now, and I feel like I know it fairly
innately now, and it’s really, it’s been very good for us.
I tell people all the time, my favorite
cigar is the one somebody gave to me
because I didn’t pay for it. The free ones
always taste better.

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