Sylvan Furniture Chooses PROFITsystems’ Retail Management System!

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PROFITsystems is excited to announce that Sylvan Furniture recently selected RETAILvantage as its retail management system! 

As a rapidly growing full-line bedding and Mattress 1st store, Sylvan Furniture decided it was time to take a more critical look at the software supporting its business. The company needed a system that could provide more visibility into, and control over, their vast inventory, and realized its current system could no longer meet the growing needs of its operation. As Sylvan’s began looking for a new provider, it narrowed its search to focus only on those companies which could provide the exhaustive inventory reporting, extensive financial data and integrated accounting tools it wanted.

With multiple solutions to choose from, Sylvan Furniture turned to members of its performance group for trusted guidance. “We get a lot out of our performance group. Being on the system they all use and love will make it easier for us to share data, benchmark our business, and share ideas,” said Karen Shaul, Sylvan Furniture store owner.

“We’re excited to be able to access inventory and financial reporting in a timely manner. Inventory control has been an issue for us, and we’re very excited to take advantage of features such as auto-markdown and the bestsellers report to become more efficient in how we discount and buy inventory,” Sylvan Mattress General Manager Rachel Rinard said. “We also love that your system integrates with Dispatch Track and DoorCounts as we use both of those services.”

“Our strong commitment to helping full-line independent retailers achieve higher profitability, matched with Sylvan Furniture’s 70-plus years in the industry serving the local community, makes this a perfect partnership,” said PROFITsystems General Manager Joanne Gulnac. “It’s exciting to work with such a progressive retailer and we are thrilled to have Sylvan’s join the PROFITsystems family!”

 

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.

Systems Define Outcomes: How Successful Retailers Grow Their Business

With hundreds of thousands of home furnishings retailers, what sets you apart? Merchandise? Customer service? Location? More often than not, the way to differentiate yourself (and make more money in the process) hides behind the obvious.systems blog

What do the most successful furniture store owners and executives get right? They’re systematic in how they improve their operations. They constantly review and correct. They’re diligent about examining business intelligence, spotting exceptions, and finding the root cause. They look into the future and set goals – then they devise a plan to get there.

Throughout the years, PROFITsystems has been privileged enough to work with some great operators who challenge themselves daily to run a better business. Here’s how they do it:

  • They utilize real-time business data: The best operators obsess about where their cash is going, whether best sellers are in stock, how to turn inventory faster, what follow-up process the sales reps are following. Analyzing this information in real-time and regularly is critical. How can you improve when you don’t know what’s been working and what hasn’t?
  • They have complete control over their Inventory: What’s selling and how is inventory being reordered or purchased? How and when are dogs being marked down? Which vendors are making the most money and in which category? Having the right systems in place to answer these questions is the key to controlling inventory.
  • They provide excellent customer service: From the time the customer walks in the door (or visits their website), the most successful businesses are organized to sell and deliver the right product without a hitch. It starts with full visibility and control over their inventory. They arm their sales reps with a system than can help them turn into business consultants, and use historical customer data to make recommendations or uncover new opportunities. Once it’s time to deliver the product, they can see which deliveries are still at their warehouse, which are in-route to their customers, which trucks those deliveries on and when they will arrive at the customer’s doorstep – at all times.

Information is power. Without it, you may misinform a customer or make a wrong decision. Successful home furnishings businesses have retail management technology and practices in place that allow every area of the organization to work in sync. They leverage real-time visibility and data on what’s happening in their business to improve efficiencies, increase profitability, and make customers happy so they keep coming back.

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In our upcoming webinar, we’ll be joined by Good’s Home Furnishings co-owner, Scott Lever, and Metro Mattress CFO, Jason Mehl, to discuss how they continuously improve their businesses. If your goal as a retailer is making more money while having more fun in (and out of) your business, then click here to reserve your spot today.

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Convert Bottom-line Profitability and Inventory into Cash Flow

Cash flow is king, and that’s no secret. While you strive for profit, having the right amount of cash in your pocket at the right time is critical in running a healthy operation.

Retail stores that pay owners fairly and are most profitable are diligent about measuring two key metrics for home furnishings retailers: net profit percentage of sales and inventory percentage of sales. Why? Because these metrics help you ensure you are moving inventory fast enough and achieving sales goals at reasonable margins. In turn, you avoid cash shortage and an extension of debt, which will cost you profit in the long run.

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Net Profit Percent of Sales

(Gross Margin Dollars – Business Expenses) / Sales

This key performance indicator is critical in building wealth. It reveals profit after all costs and measures the overall results of your organization.

Inventory Percent of Sales

Average Inventory / Annual Sales

Efficiently maintaining your inventory is one of the most important aspects of running a small to mid-size business. If you keep too much stock, you risk having it go unsold. You want to keep this ratio low, while ensuring you have the appropriate amount of best-sellers in stock so that you don’t lose sales.

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In his recent RetailerNOW article “Forget Profit, Cash Flow is King”, PROFITsystems industry expert David McMahon provides a five-step action plan you can follow to increase cash flow. He explains why having the right selection of best sellers, an aggressive markdown schedule that maximizes margins, and appropriate sales goals that take into account your fixed and variable costs, inventory turnover ratio and reorder lead times, is key to achieving double-digit profitability.

Walk away with a solid understanding of which factors are affecting your cash flow in a negative way and why, as well as where the opportunities lie to make changes in order significantly improve your profitability.

 

 

VIDEO: 6 Home Furnishings Retailers Share The Secret to Their Success

Discover why home furnishings retailers become more profitable after switching to RETAILvantage, the #1 in-demand retail management system.

Watch the 5-minute video:

“We’re very profitable, and we’re able to do some of the fun the things in our business and out of our business that we’ve wanted to do. And I don’t think that would have been possible if we hadn’t become part of the PROFITsystems family. I’m not exaggerating. I really do believe it’s why we’re still here.” – Becky Waldrop, Miller Waldrop Furniture

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