Taking the POS Plunge: Merchants Tell Their Success Stories
Merchants who decide to modernize their stores with modern point-of-sale (POS) systems do so for a variety of reasons.
- Simplify business operations.
- Grow their business – improve performance.
- Manage their entire business from a single platform.
- Some old-school shopkeepers grudgingly install one because their accountants use software to do their books and want the daily transactions to flow into their programs.
- Some wouldn’t think of running a business without one. After all, it’s standard equipment nowadays, right?
Whatever the reason, any business that sells products, takes payments, records sales, places orders, or manages inventory, customers and employees can benefit from digitizing the processes they use to make their store go. Here are a few examples of businesses that decided to add POS solutions to their stores and how their performance improved.
- Business: Crosby Drug
- Location: Crosby, North Dakota
- Years in business: 45, 5 under current ownership
Joyce Woodward, manager of Crosby Drug in Crosby, North Dakota, has seen first-hand the difference adding point-of-sale technology to a retail pharmacy can do. She worked at J. Co. Drug for 13 years when it operated on a cash register. When Gabe Gratz and his partners bought the place five years ago and modernized it with Paladin Data Corporation retail technology, Joyce took over as manager. The change in operational efficiency was like going from night to day, she says.
“Before we got Paladin, we had a regular cash register. Things we sold went into different categories – Hallmark cards, over-the-counter items, school supplies, cleaning supplies. You had to know what category they fell into and know the price when you rang it up. Big headache. With Paladin, it is so nice to be able to scan products and have the system know what category they are and the prices,” she explains.
Paladin’s Market Driven Inventory Management™ system makes it Joyce’s best friend when it comes to managing the store. Paladin manages customers’ charge accounts and keeps all their OTC items properly stocked, categorized and priced. It also drastically simplifies year-end inventory and reduces labor costs.
“Starting in December, we used to go through the store and write down everything we had and the price. It was a pain,” she says. “Now, inventory is a lot quicker. Not as big of a headache. With the cost of wages being so high, I don’t have to hire people to help us do inventory, so it saves us money.”
Joyce also appreciates the reports Paladin provides to measure her store’s success.
- Business: Amory Hardware & Nettleton Hardware
- Location: Amory & Nettleton, Mississippi
- Years in Business: Nettleton 4 years, Amory 1 year
When Shane Wells was looking to grow his business – Nettleton Hardware – he wanted a point-of-sale solution that would handle all his retail chores. After looking around, he says he chose Paladin POS because it fits that bill.
“You can turn a cash register into a glorified point of sale. We went with Paladin because we knew it was going to help us grow our business,” he says.
Shane founded Nettleton Hardware about four years ago in Nettleton, Mississippi, a small town in the northeast corner of the state that had nowhere to buy hardware and lumber. He built the store from the ground up.
With the new store already operating, the growth opportunity for Shane’s business happened about 17 miles away in the neighboring town of Amory. Shane moved his Nettleton store to Paladin in July 2020 and when he got ready to expand to Amory a few months later, it was an easy decision to equip his new store with the same POS system.
“We use Paladin for everything,” Shane says, adding it works perfectly with House-Hasson Hardware, his main supplier. “It makes everything a lot easier. Communicating with our vendors is simple. I like the report system. We use sales reports a lot. It’s all easy to track.”
Being able to keep track of both businesses is also huge for Shane. He uses Paladin’s multistore capabilities along with Paladin Pilot and mobile access to know exactly how his stores are doing.
“I’m in Amory most of the time and I’m on Paladin Pilot two or three times a day to check on Nettleton. Paladin mobile also gives you a good snapshot of your business. It really lets you know what you have at any given time,” he explains. “I can even, if I’m on a job site, look at my inventory and check my stock and prices.”
- Business: Miller’s Pharmacy
- Location: West Henrietta, New York
- Years in Business: 16
Before Miller’s Pharmacy in West Henrietta, New York chose Paladin Data Corporation to provide its retail POS technology, it was doing business in much the same way it did when its doors opened in 1995. Staff used a simple cash register and a separate credit card terminal that produced a receipt that would be stapled to the register receipt.
Signatures were collected and documented in a pharmacy software system for things like HIPAA compliance and insurance proof-of-pickup. The software could log signatures and dates but wasn’t able to process payments. Since payment and signatures were separate, this called for extra work instead of a one-step process.
When owner Michael Welsch chose Paladin to supply his POS system and pharmacy integrations, all that changed. Paladin technology allows Miller’s Pharmacy to:
- Acquire automated price updates through a link with wholesaler RDC (Rochester Drug Co-op.)
- Recognize all OTC and Rx products through scanning at point of sale
- Integrate its IPS Pharmacy System and its wholesaler
- Require manager approval for check-out discounts
- Generate proof of pickup and filled versus pickup reports
- Collect and store electronic signatures for audit purposes
- Generate suggested order reports to simplify the ordering process
- Provide integrated payment processing which nearly eliminates human error
- Decrease wait times at checkout by streamlining operations
“Miller’s Pharmacy is now equipped to automate the ordering process and keep better tabs on pricing and margin control,” Michael says. “With so many regulations and requirements involved, Paladin made everything simple and effortless.”
- Business: Tri-County Hardware & Farm Supply
- Location: Paxton, Florida
- Years in business: 13 under current ownership
Dennis Gamble makes no bones about it: He is not tech-savvy. So, when he went looking for a retail POS for Tri-County Hardware and Farm Supply, he wanted an easy-to-operate point-of-sale system, intuitive software that would help him in every aspect of his store, and friendly, responsive support. After quite a bit of research, he chose Paladin Data Corporation as his technology provider and his store’s first retail platform.
Tri-County Hardware is in the tiny Florida panhandle town of Paxton, just a stone’s throw south of the Alabama border. Up until June 2018, Dennis and his wife Mary Alice ran the business a lot like a hardware store might have run over half a century ago. They used a cash register and a lot of paper and pens. So, bringing modern retail technology into their store was a little intimidating and almost like starting a new venture.
“I’m an old codger – not very tech-minded. And, of course, I resisted change. I wanted to (keep doing business) in the shoebox. This is the first system we’ve had, and Paladin works really well for us,” Dennis says with a laugh, adding that he was so resistant to change “the new system sat on the floor for darn near a year before we got into it. But once we did, we love it.”
Tri-County Hardware has used HDW, Orgill and Florida Hardware as its main suppliers over the years and utilizing Paladin’s multiple EDI (electronic data interchange) connections has allowed Dennis to steadily optimize his inventory and increase his revenue. Dennis said choosing Paladin has been a great move for his business.
“They came out here, set us up, and trained everybody,” he says. “They’re a good group of people. We’ve never made a phone call to them where we weren’t satisfied.”
- Businesses: Buffalo Hardware Store & Olson Fuel
- Location: Buffalo, South Dakota
- Years in business: 3
Buffalo, South Dakota is just about as simple and rural as life can get in the United States. But that doesn’t mean doing good business is easier than it is in any big city. In fact, running a successful hardware/lumber and building materials business out in the country might be harder because suppliers, technology, and even customers are scarcer and if there’s more than one location they’re often more spread out.
Those obstacles didn’t deter 24-year-old Buffalo native Sam Olson from purchasing the local hardware store and using Paladin Point of Sale technology as the foundation for what has become a multistore enterprise.
Taking over Buffalo Hardware was almost like starting from scratch. He remodeled the store, refurbished the exterior, and expanded the greenhouse and lumberyard. The previous owner operated with a cash register, pen and paper. So, Sam not only had to update the technology, he also had to implement an entirely new operating plan. Paladin POS helped him get a handle on his inventory, improve and set his margins, and eliminate dead stock.
To say it was a success is an understatement. Buffalo Hardware’s sales tripled in Sam’s first year as owner and in 2019 the store notched over $2 million in sales. He attributes some of that success to how easy it was to implement Paladin and teach it to his employees.
“We had to overcome an employee fear level – we had some with no computer skills at all. With the touchscreens, having the simplicity of Paladin and the ability to point and click – it seems just about anybody can run it, which was big,” he explains.
Since purchasing Buffalo Hardware, Sam has opened or acquired three other businesses – Buffalo Ranch Supply, Olson Propane and Olson Fuels. He uses Paladin’s multistore capability to run all but one of his businesses and says he’ll switch that one over eventually. Paladin gives him the incredible flexibility to see how his stores run individually and as a whole.
“It was just a natural fit for me being able to use Paladin to sell these products,” he says. “The data you get from it is so clean, easy to get to, and easy to use. It has improved our processes in preparing quotes and filling orders.”
Buffalo Hardware also uses Paladin’s Mobile2Checkout, to serve customers in the greenhouse, lumberyard, or at remote locations. The Mobile2 suite of products allows store associates to take Paladin with them away from the checkout stand. Mobile2Deliver lets stores track deliveries, attach notes, photographs, and collect customer signatures.