Six New Home Goods Retailers Select RETAILvantage and Join the PROFITsystems Family!

PROFITsystems is so excited to announce six new additions to our family of home goods retailers! Read on to hear about their stores and why they selected RETAILvantage as their retail management system.

PROFITsystems new home goods retail client

McKay’s Furniture  

McKay’s Furniture of North Kingstown, Rhode Island came to PROFITsystems concerned with the accuracy of their inventory data and quality of their current CRM. In order togrow, they knew they needed a system that addressed these concerns and worked to facilitate their success rather than hinder it. Thanks to the robust suite of features provided by RETAILvantage in the areas of inventory management, reporting and CRM, McKay’s felt compelled to make the switch. We’re so excited to help them reach their goals and look forward to the many successful years to come!

PROFITsystems new home goods retail client

Furniture Palace

Furniture Palace, located on the island of Curaçao, was in need of a new retail management system to support their growing business needs. The owners were thorough in their search for a new solution and very selective as they narrowed down their options. They knew they would become stagnant without the features and capabilities required for continued growth and prosperity, and that’s why Furniture Palace chose RETAILvantage. We are so excited they put their trust in PROFITsystems, and can’t wait to show them why they made the right decision!

PROFITsystems new home goods retail client

Sleep Etc.

Sleep Etc. of Norwalk, CT took their time shopping for a new retail management system and looked at many different providers throughout the process. As a two-store mattress operation with a high volume of custom orders, the decision makers at Sleep Etc. quickly saw how equipped RETAILvantage was to handle their specific set of needs. Ultimately, the unparalleled features and capabilities of our software coupled with our quick response times and transparency throughout the decision making process resulted in Sleep Etc. choosing PROFITsystems as the best fit for their store. Welcome to the family!

PROFITsystems home goods retail client

DeMeyer Furniture

From facing constant errors in their accounting system to their increasingly strained ability to track inventory, the owners of DeMeyer Furniture were realizing their current system was no longer sufficient. Based in Meridian, Idaho, DeMeyer set out to look for a more robust solution able to keep pace with the company’s growth and handle their expanding needs. After looking at various systems, they determined the best partner for their continued success was PROFITsystems. We’re so excited to have added them to the PROFITsystems family and look forward to facilitating their growth for years to come!

PROFITsystems new home goods retail client

Jenner’s Home Furnishings

Jenner’s Home Furnishings of Fort Mohave, Arizona was working to quickly grow their company and looking for a solution that would allow them to seamlessly integrate additional store locations. They decided RETAILvantage fit the various needs of their expanding operation, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them.

PROFITsystems new home goods retail client

Furniture Superstore

Like many other retailers that switch to RETAILvantage, Furniture Superstore of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was growing at a faster rate than their current system could seemingly handle. At the recommendation of Virginia Home Furnishings, another PROFITsystems customer, they contacted us for assistance. The owners of Furniture Superstore fell in love with RETAILvantage after several extended demonstrations, and with ease of use and overall commitment of our company to their success, they were sold.

Cheers to our newest additions and the exciting years ahead! We look forward to working with these fantastic retailers to increase their profitability!

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

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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

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.

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!

 

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.

So You Thought You Were Safe With Backups? Part 1 by Lee Rychel

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Happy New Year! With the new economy sorting itself out, it should be a great one as business is on the rise for many retailers. For others, this will be a year to remember with great sadness for a very long time. Those retailers will be spending hundreds of hours re-entering data and arguing with IT staff over who’s to blame, as they flush countless company dollars down the drain trying to get their business back on track.

You see, these retailers will fall victim to the “what, you have no backup copy???” elephant in the room. If you are running a local server – whether a small 2 user work group or a 100+ user network – it is imperative that you are getting daily backups of your data. Backups that can be removed from the premises each and every day in order to ensure your business can continue to function, no matter what calamity comes calling. Below, I’ve outlined some real world examples our support teams have worked on in recent years. Each of these situations was entirely preventable.

The store is on fire. Workers have inadvertently set some concealed roofing material aflame during repairs. After a period of working on the fire to prevent further spread, the staff is advised to leave the building. They take with them the box of backup tapes for their PROFITsystems software, leaving the server behind. The fire consumes the building, and only bed springs and hardware from their case goods remain. The server is melted to the size of a pack of cigarettes. It takes only a day to install new PSI software on their new server. The backup tapes are then loaded in to retrieve the company data – only to show they have not been updated for years. Apparently the program contained a fault, and while it was showing “Backup Complete” each morning, nothing was being written to the tapes.

In many instances this is the sad truth. Diligent staff is swapping tapes only to find that either the tapes have aged and are no longer readable, or the backup software itself is no longer functioning. There is only one way to make sure your backups are being done correctly, and that’s having a qualified person initiate a “restore” from those tapes, up to the point where they are assured there is truly current data available on the media. CAUTION: You need to make sure they do not run the restore program and overwrite data during this exercise, or you will end up with an older copy of your data on your server.

For many years I was a traveling consultant for both my own business and PROFITsystems, and during these years I would run that simple backup test for clients – just to see what they had backed up. After several years of doing this, I quit offering the test because I found that 3 out of 5 retailers did not have a good backup system. Many had nothing on their tapes period, and if they did, it was older and essentially useless data. It is pivotal that you make sure you are getting good backups on your removable media, and that you insist on a proper demonstration that backups are indeed being done locally.

Remember, backing up your local network is the responsibility of the retailer, or their network agent. If you are in our POD (PROFIT on-demand) cloud servers, we are doing the backups for you.

In the next installment, we will discuss other issues in backing up data that can create equally devastating results. Backup and confirm.

 

The Burden of Retail Payroll: How to Lessen it in the Warehouse and on the Floor

Payroll is expensive no matter which way you slice it. Between paying everyone their salaries and annual benefits, you wind up shelling out a significant chunk of change just to keep the people necessary to run your business employed. Does it have to be that way, though? From your warehouse to your sales floor, there are various opportunities to significantly cut costs and lessen the massive strain that payroll puts on your bottom line.

In the Warehouse

Keeping salaried employees on payroll within the warehouse, particularly during slower periods, is both costly and unnecessary. To break it down into simple terms: The busiest times within a warehouse are generally when shipments are delivered. Outside of those deliveries, the amount of work to be done is fairly minimal. Therefore, paying a full-time warehouse employee for a 40 hour work week, when there is realistically only about 15 hours of truly productive work to be done, is (very expensive) overkill. To cut the cost, make the switch to part-time employees. This will not only relinquish you of the obligation to pay an annual set salary (and benefits!) but also improve your efficiency tenfold, due to only scheduling employees when their help is actually required.

On the Sales Floor

When it comes to the sales floor, utilizing part-time employees is equally as beneficial for your bottom line, but for different reasons. Losing the cost of the salary and benefits of any employee is obviously one selling point of switching to part time help. Beyond that, it should also be noted that part-timers have been proven to average a higher RPU (Revenue Per Up) than salaried employees due to higher reported job satisfaction – which is significant.

 To illustrate this point, let’s look at an example from an actual retail operation:

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This particular operation had three “top” salespeople. Roy, a part-time employee, greeted 116 people during a month and made $66,559 in sales. Therefore, Roy’s RPU was $574 ($66,669 / 116). Don, one of the stores full-time sales associates, had an RPU of $389. Finally, Alan, another full-time employee, had an RPU of $338.

When you look at these numbers, it’s clear that Roy is the best salesperson out of the three, but the question then becomes why. Because Roy is in the store for a shorter period of time, his energy and drive to greet and help every person who walks through the front door is sky-high. He’s fresh, excited, and in a time crunch to make the most out of his limited hourly shift. On the other hand, Don and Alan are at the store every single day for 8 hours. They’re burnt out, slightly less motivated than Roy, and their drive to make sure every person is greeted at the door is likely less due to being on salary.

To conclude: add a higher RPU for every part-time sales employee on the clock at any given time, while subtracting the cost of employee benefits and salaries. Then, subtract the salaries and benefits of your full-time warehouse employees, while adding increased efficiency due to making converting those employees to part time. What do you get? A recipe for significantly lessened payroll burden, increased cash flow, and a much happier work environment to boot.

 

2015 Retail Performance Group Meetings: A Recap

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PROFITsystems’ 2015 performance group meetings have wrapped up for the year. We’ve been pleased to see each group expand as more retailers discover the benefits of sharing best practices, financial benchmarking, and collaboration with other home furnishings business owners.

A Typical Performance Group Meeting

During the year, group meetings were held in the various diverse locations of member storefronts, including Aruba, San Francisco, Banff/Calgary and Myrtle Beach. Each performance group meeting consists of members visiting the particular host’s stores and warehouses for the day, observing and learning from their successes, and providing constructive feedback for their improvement. Members also share their individual progress, goals, challenges, financial metrics and best practices with one another.

The Benefits of Idea-Sharing

It was great to see that the financial performances of most group members ranked in the top range of the 2015 NAHFA Retail Performance Report survey results. The high profits achieved by the performance group members are due, in large part, to the ideas for operational improvement and best practices members take home from each meeting.

In 2015, the quality of ideas disclosed during meetings continued to be really strong. Just a few examples of what was shared include:

  • Selling systems for the sales floor and for mattresses
  • Traffic counting systems to measure the numbers of guests in a store and enable true sales metrics
  • Inventory line-up systems
  • Ownership thinking practices
  • Perfect delivery systems
  • Management systems for employee evaluations
  • Video production systems
  • Digital marketing ideas

The implementation of any of these ideas has proven to be invaluable in increasing efficiency and profits, as well as providing a real competitive advantage.

What’s Next

In the coming year, the performance group meetings are scheduled for Austin, St. Petersburg Beach, Peoria and Syracuse. It is forecasted to be a rewarding year for all of the members.
If you would like more information on how to apply for membership in a retail performance group, please contact us or reach out to our performance group leaders directly:

- David McMahon

Control Your Financials. Grow Your Business. A High Point Market Seminar

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Coming to High Point Market? Learn to Control Your Financials & Grow Your Business.

If you’re headed to High Point Market next week, make sure you mark your calendars for Monday, October 19th, 1:00 – 2:00PM. Industry expert Lee Rychel will be giving a seminar you can’t afford to miss, titled “Control Your Financials. Grow Your Business.

Truth is, unless you have an accounting degree, you may spend more time running away from your financial data than analyzing it. High performers in the industry know better. They know financials are the Holy Grail of business. They know the ability to access this data in real time is the difference between feeling like you’re always catching up to what’s happened in your business vs making sound, proactive decisions that increase cash flow and profitability.

Join us in the Seminar Room at the Retailer Resource Center to hear why you don’t need to be an accountant or CPA to:

  • Run a healthy business from your balance sheet
  • Read your financial statements for insight into how to better manage your business
  • Look beyond historical financial information and find opportunity for business growth
  • Control where your cash goes and how you allocate profit

Together, we will take a look at actual financials, analyze them, and see examples of how to spot opportunities. As a bonus, Lee will show you how you can save thousands of dollars in your accounting bills. Leave feeling empowered to take control of your financials and grow your business.

Add it to your calendar now >>

Control Your Financials. Grow Your Business.
Monday, October 19th
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Retailer Resource Center, 1st Floor, Plaza Suites, Seminar Room

 

Contact Us

Need More Information?

Call us today at 800.888.5565 or fill out the form below.

PROFITsystems prides itself on providing the best support and being responsive to customers, prospects, and partners. Please provide the details below and a knowledgeable representative will contact you shortly.

For support related inquiries, email PSI.support@highjump.com or call 1.800.888.5564.