May

2

PROFITsystems Partners with Podium, Offers Customers Special Pricing

PROFITsystems clients gain extra pricing perks with Podium to increase their store traffic through positive online reviews

podium-mobile-logo

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (May 9, 2017) – PROFITsystems, a HighJump product and leading provider of solutions for home furnishings retailers, today announced a new partnership with Podium, offering a special rate for Podium services to PROFITsystems clients. Home furnishings retailers currently associated with PROFITsystems gain discounts and benefits in their access to Podium’s online review management software, which is designed to help retailers increase in store foot traffic with positive online reviews.

“By partnering with Podium, we’ve given our clients the opportunity to increase their in-store traffic by increasing their positive online reviews” said PROFITsystems General Manager, Joanne Gulnac. “We’ve negotiated a discounted rate on Podium’s software specifically for PROFITsystems customers, and those who have seized this opportunity are already reporting an uptick in store traffic. We’re always looking for more ways to help customers become more competitive and profitable, and we’re excited to work with Podium to help our retailers achieve the results they’re looking for!”

A leading provider of online review management software, Podium enables businesses to collect valuable feedback from customers in real time. Podium’s efficient mobile process makes it possible for businesses to collect hundreds of reviews on sites like Google, Facebook and the like, giving them full visibility into consumer wants and needs. This visibility empowers retailers to tweak their customer experience per the feedback received, ultimately increasing foot traffic and profitability as a result.

“As part of our partnership with PROFITsystems, we’re excited to help their clients increase foot traffic to their stores by offering them preferred pricing on our software” said Podium Strategic Accounts Manager, Chris Allen. “We encourage all of them to take advantage of the full Podium experience at this special discounted rate.”

About Podium

Podium is a leading provider of online review management software that enables businesses to collect valuable feedback from customers in real time. Podium’s efficient mobile process makes it possible for businesses to collect 100s of reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and many more.

For additional information on Podium, please visit their website at www.podium.com

About PROFITsystems, a HighJump product

PROFITsystems is a complete retail management solution for the modern home goods retailer. Key components include enterprise software, consulting, performance groups, advanced education, eCommerce integration and business intelligence. PROFITsystems features real-time inventory management, customer relations management, point-of-sale and accounting systems.

For additional information on PROFITsystems, please visit the website at www.profitsystems.com.

About HighJump

In almost every industry, buyers are becoming more fickle, and more demanding. For logistics executives, effectively meeting buyer needs has become a relentless quest for speed and agility. Traditional supply chain solutions – siloed, complex and hard-to-implement – no longer suffice, as competitors find ways to deliver goods faster and more profitably.

In today’s “now” economy, HighJump helps you stay agile, with adaptable, connected solutions that harness the power of your trading partner community. From the warehouse to the storefront, from the desktop to the driver’s cab, we can help you achieve new levels of supply chain responsiveness, performance and profitability.

HighJump’s suite of warehouse management, business integration, transportation management and retail/DSD solutions form a complete, powerful and adaptable platform that allow you to drive growth, customer satisfaction and revenue. HighJump: supply chain accelerated.

For more information, visit www.highjump.com.

 

Media Contact 
Guadalupe Pagalday
HighJump
1-800-328-3271 x2705
guadalupe.pagalday@highjump.com

Apr

26

PROFITsystems Launches Sales Performance Group for Home Furnishings Retailers

Industry experts will work with sales leaders and managers to increase store sales volume and gross margins

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 26, 2017) – PROFITsystems, a HighJump product and leading provider of solutions for home furnishings retailers, today announced it is launching a performance group focused on retail sales volume and margin growth called PROFITsystems TopLine Sales Performance Group. Home furnishings retail sales leaders and managers in member organizations will come together twice a year to share best practices and collaborate on growth strategies under the guidance of industry experts and consultants David McMahon and Wayne McMahon.

“We are extremely excited about this new performance group,” said Paul Sherman, owner of Sherman’s and charter member of the PROFITsystems TopLine Sales Performance Group.  “It will allow our sales managers and leaders to work with peers from around the country to maximize our sales. Even small improvements in this area of a business can have exponential results, which we’ve seen firsthand through our participation in the PROFITsystems owner’s performance group. Transformative changes happen when you get outside your four walls and engage with like-minded people.”

Performance groups meet twice a year, usually at a different member location. Participants tour a member’s operations, propose best practices, discuss challenges and opportunities, compare key performance metrics, and set and report on goals that push their businesses forward. The inaugural PROFITsystems TopLine Sales Performance Group meeting will be hosted at Sherman’s in Peoria, Ill., from May 30-June 2.

“When you get 20 committed, smart, motivated people in the same room, magic is created,” said David McMahon, vice president of consulting and performance groups, PROFITsystems. “In directing these groups for many years with Wayne, we have seen some spectacular results,” “Our groups contain some of the most innovative people and profitable businesses that we have encountered in the industry. Together, we will ensure this new performance group is a huge success.”

Applications are being considered for the new performance group at this time. All home furnishings retailers are welcome to apply. Considerations for acceptance include business profile and goals. For more information, email David McMahon at david.mcmahon@highjump.com.

About PROFITsystems, a HighJump product

PROFITsystems is a complete retail management solution for the modern home goods retailer. Key components include enterprise software, consulting, performance groups, advanced education, eCommerce integration and business intelligence. PROFITsystems features real-time inventory management, customer relations management, point-of-sale and accounting systems.

For additional information on PROFITsystems, please visit the website at www.profitsystems.com.

 

Media Contact 
Guadalupe Pagalday
HighJump
1-800-328-3271 x2705
guadalupe.pagalday@highjump.com

Category:
Mar

30

Solutions Sound-Off: Industry Peers Present Solutions for Dealing with the Challenge of Communication

On Day 2 of Elevate 2017, David and Wayne McMahon conducted an open forum session on “Challenges and Opportunities.” They kicked it off by asking attendees to sound off on the biggest challenges they faced within their retail operation. Once they selected a challenge, the entire audience worked together with David and Wayne to help provide a solution to that obstacle, often sharing their own best practices and tools on how they deal with things in their own store.

Of all the challenges discussed during this session, Darcy of Walker’s Furniture brought up an issue that much of the audience could relate to: communication. It’s a broad issue, one that runs deeper than the surface level, and it was covered in detail by David, Wayne and other members of the audience. Here’s a recap of the valuable discussion on how other retailers tackle communication in their stores:

Darcy, Walker’s Furniture: “I would say that one of our major challenges is the communication of procedures, ideas or concerns between 16 locations. I want to figure out what it is that we can do or say from the administrative side to help our sales people and managers understand that it’s OK to give us feedback and communicate openly; that we won’t use their feedback against them negatively.” 

David then asked the audience who else faced the same issue with communication in their own store. He then inquired who felt they had a positive culture of communication, and what systems they had in place to create that environment.

A representative from Weinberger’s Furniture was the first to respond.

Karly, Weinberger’s Furniture:We started doing a 30-to-45 minute call once a week between all of the managers and myself. We essentially spend the entire meeting touching base and talking about what’s happening at each store, if anyone has any major issues, what if any major sales are coming up, and just get everyone on the same page. It has helped a lot with streamlining communication and has also worked as an outlet for any questions needing immediate answers.”

Wayne: “I believe that communication and feedback is a multi-level issue. For example, if you have 15 locations, do each of your respective managers and leaders hold daily pre-shift meetings? If the answer is no, then that needs to be put into place, and your regional managers need to be the enforcers making sure these meetings are actually taking place. What about your general managers? Do they hold regular meetings with sales managers? Regular touchpoints between key players such as your managers, CEO, controllers and the like are crucial to ensuring that all important information is received by everyone, the necessary feedback is given and the lines of communication always remain open and fluid.”

David: “Not everyone is able to have that multi-level structure in their business, but I’ll tell you about a practice we’ve seen businesses of all sizes try out and succeed with, and that’s the practice of one-to-one. Whether you’re a $3 million operation or a $50 million operation, the practice of one-to-one works for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It was first tested out through one of our Kaizen Performance Groups, and we then brought it out to Sherman’s Furniture, where they’ve seen huge improvement since implementing it. The practice of one-to-one is essentially the practice of every person in your business meeting with their manager once per month to have a conversation about progress, obstacles and the general state of affairs. It’s a very simple, casual meeting, it’s documented and questions “How do you think we’re doing” or “Do you see anything we can do better?” if the employee is facing any issues that would also be documented during this meeting and then next steps would be discussed and outlined. Just a simple conversation like that to open up the lines of communication works wonders, and while it feels like a lot of people talking to each other at first, Paul of Sherman’s Furniture can’t say enough how transformative the one-to-one initiative has been for his business.”

As a few other audience members offered their own suggestions. One PROFITsystems customer suggested a podcast called Manager Tools, an educational series hosted by two men from West Point focusing solely on one-to-ones. She said the content shared has been extremely helpful for her business, and she recommends it to any manager looking for strategies to improve.

Another customer spoke about conducting a daily call with this entire operation. Every morning, everyone hops on at 9 a.m., kicking off the call with “good news” to acknowledge everything that’s going well. Following good news is challenges, when each person has the opportunity to voice not just the obstacles they’re facing that day, but what they need from management to overcome them. The call lasts no more than 15 minutes and has proven to be extremely effective in keeping the daily operations of his store running smoothly and efficiently.

David closed out this detailed discussion surrounding the challenge of communication by reinforcing how crucial it is to implement and adhere to a system that works for your store. It’s about constant contact, touchpoints and actually getting in front of employees and managers. Holding the necessary meetings between the necessary people often and in-person is the best way to communicate effectively, and that’s how you keep your operation, and everyone in it, organized, effective and profitable.

Mar

28

Tips and Practices from the Field – Prime!

By David McMahon

I’m sure you all know how the biggest and fastest-growing retailer in the universe, Amazon, generates recurring revenue from its customers, right? Amazon Prime. I bet at least half you reading this right now are Amazon Prime members. Yes, we Prime members are amongst Amazon’s best retail customers, and for that we get priority shipping, free books and on-demand videos and music. It’s easy – and it’s free.

Wait … it’s not free. But it is worth every penny.

So, why can’t other retailers offer a Prime service of their own? Actually, they can – and they are as the Prime membership model grows in popularity. Retailers of every kind are beginning to offer the same type of services provided by Amazon, and you can too. Here are a few ideas to help you get those mental juices stirring:

  • Come up with a polished, annual (12-month) subscription called: *Your Name Here* PRIME
  • Decide on exactly what your Prime program will offer members (unlimited deliveries, two sofa or bed pillows per year with purchase, buy one, get one 50% off card)
  • Decide on your 12-month subscription rate (ex: if deliveries are normally $99, charge $250)
  • Add the program into your selling system and train sales people on how to properly present and sell it

As you can see, this is mostly a play on increasing delivery fees, right? Well, not really – it is actually much more than that. I’m sure you’re sitting there reading this thinking to yourself, “Who in their right mind would pay $250 for delivery when they could pay $99?”

You might be surprised.

In reality, this is actually a loyalty program in disguise. Say someone is furnishing their whole house or thinking of doing a project in phases – this type of Prime membership would be a perfect fit, and the best part about it is that people pay to join, which means they’re serious.

People shop around, and if they’re looking at you, you can bet they’re also looking at your competitors. Give customers an extra reason to come back and shop with you first by offering them benefits they can’t resist. Be creative – come up with a Prime program of your own and start rewarding your loyal customers, both past and present.

David McMahon, is VP of Consulting and Performance Groups at HighJump. He works in the field improving all aspects of businesses like yours through consulting, speaking and performance group engagements. He can be reached at david.mcmahon@highjump.com.

Category:
Mar

14

HighJump’s Elevate 2017: A Successful First Day at PROFITsystems’ Annual User Conference

Day one of HighJump’s Elevate 2017 is now in the rearview, and we hit the ground running with a larger turnout than ever
before. Over 765 partners, customers and professionals met in Orlando, Florida to kick off four days of networking and informative sessions.

PROFITsystems General Manager, Joanne Gulnac, started off the day with a kick off session covering the products and services available to all of our customers to achieve efficiency and profitability.  Here’s a recap of the various tools she discussed, what they are and the many ways in which they benefit our valued customers:

  • Training opportunities

PROFITsystems offers customers various training opportunities to help them continuously improve how they run their businesses and leverage the features within RETAILvantage. From webinars to consulting services, customers have a world educational opportunities at their fingertips.  to learn about all of the training resources available click here.

  • Partners

Dispatch Track, DoorCounts, RuPractical.com, Furniture First and Nationwide are just a few of the businesses partnered with PROFITsystems. From discounts to exclusive benefits, every partner offers tools to help make our customers more efficient and profitable. Find out more about all of our partnerships.

  • Yammer

Yammer is PROFITsystemsprivate customer network where they’re able to sound off on current events in home goods retailing, discuss industry related topics, ask questions directly to the PROFITsystems team and stay on top of current news and announcements. Are you a client but not yet on the network? Request an invitation now!

  • AHA!

Our customer feedback portal, AHA!, allows clients to literally be a part of our software development process and have a hand in how RETAILvantage is updated and developed. Customers can submit suggestions and ideas through the portal, where our development team gets right to work on making them come to life. PROFITsystems clients can click here to request access and start submitting their ideas today.

Day one of Elevate 2017 set the precedent, and day two promises to raise the bar even higher with more best-practice and how-to sessions, open forum discussions and networking!

 

Jan

30

Did You Know When You Work in the Cloud…

By Lee Rychel 

cloud computing

The question comes up in most every instance when we are discussing working in the cloud, with both current server based clients and new customers: “What if I lose my internet?” – It happens. Although system-wide outages of any duration are rare, it can happen that your local internet provider is down because local outages can happen. The fear is we are done, out of business and unable to connect to our data. A valid one. Many retailers will install redundancies so that if one provider fails, another is available. There is an alternative.

In May of this year, Jan and I moved aboard a motor vessel. We took possession in Chesapeake, VA, to begin our new lifestyle and an incredible journey. PROFITsystems and the HighJump family insisted on one condition. We could do this if I could stay connected. No problem we said. Heck, nearly every marina has Wi-Fi. How hard can this be?

Reality struck soon after we left the dock. Marina Wi-Fi may be available, but it’s pretty much only sufficient for email and browsing. And then you usually need to be standing in the laundry room up by the office where the router sits behind a filing cabinet on that unused desk piled high with parts and papers. The kind of heavy lifting my job required including having a secure VPN to our corporate computers was just not possible in most cases. NOW What?LeeBoat

In a word, 4G. Our Verizon account includes some tablets and our phone’s capable of acting as an internet hotspot. For 7 months now we’ve been making our way down the East Coast. We take our time, sometimes spending a week or more in marinas, other times anchored out in the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) On October 2 we pulled into our home for the next month, Hilton Head. On October 7, Mathew, a category 2 hurricane, slammed head on into the island. Services were down for weeks. After a few days ashore, anxious to get back on board, we returned to witness the devastation. Fortunately, our home was secure and in a matter of minutes I was up on the net; working even though the area had no power or local services of any kind. Cell service was the only thing available.

Our Verizon service has never let us down. We’ve spent days anchored in remote creeks, deep in the coastal marshes – far from any towns or services. I’ve been able to connect to our servers each and every day since we left VA. Today, as I write this, we are in East Central Florida – with a solid 4G connection.

What struck me was this: in many cases I will be asked to either demo our POD product (cloud) or, I’ll need to get into the latest version of RETAILvantage2.3 to answer a client question. I use this same 4G hotspot to manage those activities while connected to our servers at the same time. In fact, I’ve pretty much forgotten that I’m on a wireless connection. I can do anything in POD that I can do on a local installation of the software. Granted, I’m not a store full of workstations entering sales and receiving truckloads of new furniture. But if I were a retailer working in our cloud and lost my local internet connection, I know I can get back online, back to my data and continue to run my business using a cellular hotspot.

Is the cloud the best answer for everyone? Maybe not. But having the freedom to work from anywhere AND keep my store online even when the internet is down, is indeed a huge benefit.

Category:
Jan

27

Could Your Software Pay Its Own Way?

By Lee Rychel

geek software

Every month we get a number of phone calls from clients addressing accounting challenges, typically originating from running two book-keeping systems.  You probably know that your PROFITsystems software includes a fully-integrated accounting system.  All transactions entered into your software automatically create G/L distributions defined by your system defaults.  Whether you use it or not, your accounting is being done behind the scenes every time you buy or sell anything in the software.

When I traveled to clients who were getting set up on the PROFITsystems software, I would always encourage clients to consider using the accounting tools nested inside this robust software package.  As a retailer using the software for many, many years – I insisted on the store using these built in accounting tools.  Why? Because it eliminated paying someone to do what was already being done for us.  In my store, even a receipt for pizza for the sales staff on a busy Saturday was immediately recorded in the Cash Paid Out feature in Enter Cash.  Distribution to the proper G/L account was done at that time.  In other words, nothing happened in the store that we did not record straight to the G/L.

So what’s the hold up?  Why wouldn’t a retailer want to save money?  If I have the information at my fingertips, why would I pay someone else to give me exactly the same result?  It’s like driving around in a lease vehicle while a perfectly good automobile sits in the garage.  An automobile you are making payments on, insuring and maintaining.  Does that make sense?  In running a retail business my goal was twofold – make sure we were growing the business profitably and control costs at every turn.

And the reason retailers don’t use the built in accounting?  You already know the answer.  The reasons range from any number of topics including:

  • Don’t understand how it works (there is help everywhere you turn here at PROFITsystems)
  • Don’t have CPA’s working in the store (not at all necessary)
  • Accountant won’t ‘allow it’ – don’t get me going on this one
  • Account numbers don’t make sense – (there’s good logic behind them, just ask me and we’ll explain)
  • My sister does the books – ok, this one I can’t win
  • We love XYZ accounting system and would never change that! A change that can save you real money?  Let’s chat about that.

Read more…

Category:
Nov

23

Backups Part II – by Lee Rychel

“No problem.  I have my data backed up in the cloud.  I’m good to go” . . .or are you?  As we discussed in part one of this series, there are two kinds of backups available to clients on local servers:

  • Local tapes
  • Offsite cloud based backup routine (which could include a local IT company backing up your data, or a commercial cloud backup program available on the internet).

Both of these techniques can work.  But be aware; in the case of interactive software such as RETAILvantage2.1, incremental backups are not an option.  Restoring from pieces parts of the total collection of files will only lead to corrupted data.  Only a full data backup will ensure you can restore everything to its original configuration, which is where the first challenge of the cloud comes into play.

Backing up huge amounts of data across an internet connection is time-consuming and gobbles up a ton of resources on both ends.  Most cloud-based backup systems will take one full backup, then only create incremental backups to reduce this load going forward.  Bottom line? This form of backup is not reliable when needing to restore entire sets of data

The next question is, of course, “are my files really being backed up?  How do I know?”  And the answer is test, test, test. Either with your IT team or with your backup provider, you need to perform periodic tests to ensure the files are both backed up successfully and restore-able should the need arise.  As with local backups, the only way to really know if you are getting a good copy is to go through the restore sequence up to the point of actually copying the file, and making sure there is something to restore from.

This is also another issue that has come to our attention from clients using on-line backup resources: billing. Remember those pesky bills from the Yellow Pages? The ones we all so quickly learned to toss out as they were nothing more than scams built to take our money and provide no benefit? We all got so used to them showing up in our mailboxes that we started throwing the envelopes away without even opening them. Well, old habits die hard, and we’re now seeing the same thing happen with online backup billing; for whatever reason, the bills aren’t getting paid.

We have had clients who were very excited that they were about to survive a server crash – “we have all of our data all backed up in the cloud! Yup we do!”  Except they didn’t.  Somewhere along the way the bill didn’t get paid, the backup routine was shut down on the cloud provider’s end, and because the account was never paid – the data was deleted.

Be smart about backups and you will sleep well knowing you are safe against any calamity. The other option, of course, is moving your entire data management software to the cloud. Cloud-based services such as our own PROFIT OnDemand, incorporates not only the latest version of our software (we only maintain one version in the cloud) but also ensures your data is not only safely backed up on a regular basis, but backed up using the proper rules to make it easy to restore from one PC to another.

A properly managed cloud is constantly backing up, upgrading and improving hardware resources, all while you sleep soundly each and every night knowing your data is safe.

Have a great rest of 2016, and remember, our goal is to make retailers more profitable.

Nov

23

RuPractical.com’s EMV Road Map

The EMV security standard for the credit card payment acceptance, put in place by EMVCois a game changer for the payments industry. During this time, RuPractical.com has been driving our product and technology development roadmaps to provide EMV solutions for PROFITsystems merchants. RuPractical.com continues to work with our US processing partners, First Data and Vantiv, to ensure EMV support for PROFITsystems’ integrated customers.

Part of this EMV roadmap includes PayGuardian, an exciting product suite that provides an all-in-one solution for point-of-sale merchants to solve their EMV end-to-end certification requirements. PayGuardian is a PA-DSS middleware product that will be available to our integrated partners.The EMV portion of PayGuardian is available on RuPractical.com’s EMV certified US-based processing platforms. PayGuardian offers solutions for Windows desktop, iOS, Android, and browser-based systems. Coming soon will be our Virtual Terminal with EMV capabilities!

As an early EMV adopter, RuPractical.com continues our development and certification work with PROFITsystems and will continue to communicate with our PROFITsystems integrated partners regarding our EMV roadmap.

Be sure to check back on a regular basis for the latest information on EMV developments and click here to learn more about credit card processing. To get all of the details about RuPractical.com’s partnership with PROFITsystems, read the press release!

Oct

21

PROFITsystems’ Mobile Point-of-Sale Application Provides Personalized In-Store Shopping Experience

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. – (October 20, 2016) – PROFITsystems, a HighJump product and leading provider of solutions for home furnishings retailers, today announced the release of its mobile point-of-sale application. This extension of the software provider’s flagship retail management system, RETAILvantage, aims to enrich customer satisfaction by extending the omnichannel shopping experience to the showroom floor. The application empowers sales associates by allowing them to access historical customer information, product availability and create a shopping cart without leaving the customer’s side. The mobile app integrates with RETAILvantage for CRM and inventory data

Mobile-slider-no-overlay

“Home furnishings retailers are challenged to compete with online retailers, and cutting prices isn’t always the best decision for the profitability of their business,” said Janice Johnson, product manager for PROFITsystems. “Our mobile point-of-sale application enables retailers to set themselves apart from the competition by providing superior customer service in the store, resulting in increased customer loyalty and improved sales ratios.”

Features of the PROFITsystems’ mobile point-of-sale application include:

  • Check stock availability instantly
  • View item attributes
  • Validate and update customer information on the fly
  • Create a shopping cart and add items
  • Review customer purchase history
  • Natively written for iOS

“We’re thrilled to provide our family of retailers a mobile point-of-sale application that provides sales associates with actionable information at their fingertips, helping them better engage with customers and build deeper relationships that will keep them coming back,” said Joanne Gulnac, general manager for PROFITsystems.

To learn more about the mobile app or to request a demo, visit www.profitsystems.com/mobile.

About PROFITsystems, a HighJump product

PROFITsystems is a complete retail management solution for the modern home goods retailer. Key components include enterprise software, consulting, performance groups, advanced education, eCommerce integration and business intelligence. PROFITsystems features real-time inventory management, customer relations management, point-of-sale and accounting systems. For additional information on PROFITsystems, please visit the website at www.profitsystems.com.

About HighJump

In almost every industry, buyers are becoming more fickle, and more demanding. For logistics executives, effectively meeting buyer needs has become a relentless quest for speed and agility. Traditional supply chain solutions – siloed, complex and hard-to-implement – no longer suffice, as competitors find ways to deliver goods faster and more profitably.

In today’s “now” economy, HighJump helps you stay agile, with adaptable, connected solutions that harness the power of your trading partner community. From the warehouse to the storefront, from the desktop to the driver’s cab, we can help you achieve new levels of supply chain responsiveness, performance and profitability.

HighJump’s suite of warehouse management, business integration, transportation management and retail/DSD solutions form a complete, powerful and adaptable platform that allow you to drive growth, customer satisfaction and revenue. HighJump: supply chain accelerated. For more information, visit http://www.highjump.com.

Media Contact 
Katie Wolfe
HighJump
1-800-328-3271 x1186
katie.wolfe@highjump.com

Category:
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