The Green Sheet Online Edition
October 27, 2008 • Issue 08:10:02
Manage merchants with inventive POS
Times are changing. Merchants can't just open their doors and expect customers to come pouring in anymore. Merchants must focus on offering quality products and services and operate leaner, more efficient businesses at the same time.
One solution that may help them do just that is InventTrak v3.0 - a POS software as a service application recently launched by Concord, Calif.-based InvenTrak Point of Sale Products.
After merchants sign up for InvenTrak online, software is downloaded to merchants' POS systems. Merchants can then process electronic payments, but all the data is stored off-site, on InvenTrak's servers. InvenTrak manages and packages that data for the benefit of merchants who can access it online and in real time.
Merchants control the parameters for reporting in order to manage labor costs and margins based on time-frames, as well as on the number of employees, number of stores and so forth.
Its customer relationship management tool, for example, allows merchants to recognize which of its customers are most valuable. Culling data from transactions, InvenTrak can tell merchants that customer A came into a merchant's store 700 times and purchased $700 worth of merchandise, while customer B came in only 10 times but made $650 worth of purchases.
With that information, merchants can focus their marketing efforts on customer B.
InvenTrak also gives merchants enterprise-wide communication capabilities. If a business owner with 10 stores recognizes a certain in-store item is overstocked, a message can be sent out instantly via InvenTrak to every POS system in every store to discount that item 25 percent to move it out the door.
"For merchants that have seven, 10 locations, typically they have seven, 10 ways of doing things," said Kevin Colaco, President of InvenTrak. "It depends on each store manager. And so applications like this really tend to standardize what you do and how you do it."
InvenTrak developed its service after gathering input from clients about what they wanted in a POS application.
"We took the basic approach of there are things that people do in their everyday operations that make money, there are things that affect their cost of money, and how do you create simple tools in which they can identify what aspects of their business are productive and what are not," Colaco said.
"Merchants just simply run a report and it tells them, here's some of my most productive employees in terms of sales: These are my most productive stores, these are the hours I have overruns. So if I'm really looking at cutting back hours, here's where I cut back."
Navigating the channel
InvenTrak has been distributing its service directly to merchants. But now it wants to generate a reseller channel through ISOs and merchant level salespeople. Colaco believes the service is as much a merchant manager as it is a business management tool.
"We think there's some synergy with the ISO market," he said. "Typically what we've found out is that an ISO develops a customer. And as the customer starts getting successful and starts growing, they look at POS applications and, at that point, they leave the ISO that got them to that point.
And so InvenTrak allows ISOs to have a really detailed, very comprehensive tool that doesn't require a lot of technical knowledge to sell or to support or to implement."
For more information about this opportunity, contact Eric Kirk, Director of Sales and Marketing, at email@example.com or at InvenTrak's 800 number.
InvenTrak Point of Sale Products
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