SAN FRANCISCO — POS (point of sale) systems provide many valuable benefits to the professional fabricare industry and in most instances could provide many more benefits than are being utilized.
Some of the benefits are extremely basic while others are much more sophisticated aides to effectively manage the business, customers and direction to capture opportunities for the company.
ADVANCED MANAGEMENT FEATURE: SALES MANAGEMENT
There are many aspects of the sales management capabilities; one of the most important is business development, featuring:
• Tracking Trends — Tracking directional trends in sales in various product categories can effectively direct managers as to where to invest in the business for maximum simultaneous growth and profit. For example, POS provided early alerts to the current sales growth in alterations and household specialty items that are valuable to customers and can be easily cross-sold to expand the share of wallet of existing clientele.
• Customer Traffic Pattern Analysis — Knowing when your customers are available and willing to frequent your stores is valuable in scheduling hours and staff, but also in providing an environment in which they can be better serviced and therefore can spend more with you on all you have to offer them (if they only knew what all of those services might be).
Unfortunately for profitability, the typical scheduling pattern is to schedule the most experienced staff when the fewest customers are actually in the store and the least experienced, poorest trained, part-time staff during the customer rush times. This mismatch between expertise and customer need represents a huge opportunity to the owners that correct scheduling to fill the void.
• Route Efficiency and Growth — Drivers can be more effective at selling if they are driving efficiently in a pattern that minimizes drive time and maximizes time available for sales and delivery. POS route management systems focus on efficiency and route geographical concentration to minimize cost and maximize efficiency and sales.
• Tracking Manufacture/Designer Labels — By tracking labels, it is easy to discern from whom your clientele purchases their clothing and other textiles, thereby providing clear guidance on profitable joint-venture partners to target.
• Testing Alternative Delivery Systems — Depending upon the lifestyles and work patterns of your customer base, patronizing your stores during opening hours may be inconvenient. An acknowledged alternative is, of course, routes, but many busy prospects are not comfortable with the route alternative. POS tracking and analysis helps determine what other alternatives might be appealing enough to run a test and then the test success can be objectively measured. Drone delivery, drop boxes, lockers, 24/7 kiosks, agencies and more unique options can be weighed for their value and potential.
• Testing and Tracking Promotional Results — How do you know if a promotion was successful? Do you judge it on increased pieces? On increased sales?
If on sales, how do you determine the difference between a growth trend that would happen without a promotion and the effects of the promotion itself? Did the increased dollars drop to profit or did the expense of rush production outweigh the income?
Did other departments fail in their customer promise in the attempt to process an avalanche of work created by a huge sale? Did the promotion success interfere with the long-term relationship with your loyal customers? Did you retain the prospects and customers who were attracted by the promotion?
All of these things can be determined by scientific tracking through a POS system.
Customer profiling is another key aspect of a system’s sales management capabilities. The more you know about your customers, the better you can meet their needs (both those they recognize and those they don’t yet know you can address). Simple data from your system can provide a myriad of information that is actionable to increase the relationship with your existing customers and to impress them with your interest in their needs and well-being. There are many services that have this profiling capability and can provide details about your best customer psychographics and motivators.
Equally important is a POS system’s best-customer profiling capability. This can provide a path to identifying the clones of your best customers so you can target prospects that are most inclined to appreciate and pay for your services. The profile will also help you craft the message and the media to best reach them.
ADVANCED MANAGEMENT FEATURE: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Your management team, at all levels, can benefit from information that is actionable. Information gives them power to make informed decisions in all aspects of the business. They no longer have to rely on their own experience (which may or may not be relevant to the specific decision to be made), on intuition, or on “That’s the way we have always done it.”
By providing specific relevant details, the decision impacts can also be tracked and evaluated for refinement.
This continual process of making a goal, creating a detailed plan to achieve it, tracking the results, and then refining the process to improve future results is key to building strong leaders for your team.
There is magic in your POS just waiting to be revealed. Capture it for improved success, sales and profitability.