140-STORE RETAIL CHAIN GAINS OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES
AND IMMEDIATE COST SAVINGS AFTER DEPLOYING MYPOS CONNECT.

CHOICE

When Popeye’s Supplements found out that their retail POS system was being discontinued by the developer, they began a two-year journey to find a replacement solution. After evaluating more than 10 POS systems, Popeye’s Supplements chose MyPOS Connect.

SITUATION

Founded in 1989, Popeye’s Supplements is a national retail chain of more than 140 stores specializing in sports nutrition products. Owned and operated by 24 Franchisees, each running their businesses independently of each other, Popeye’s Supplements coordinates their buying and marketing programs to maintain consistent product quality and promotional pricing across all stores.

One of the largest franchise owners in the country with 21 stores, Aaron Labarre was struggling with the limitations of his retail systems. The process of issuing their weekly store replenishment orders to his suppliers had become such an arduous task that it took a minimum of 16 hours each week. And receiving the orders at the stores was a very time-consuming, error-prone process that often couldn’t be completed in time for the next ordering cycle. This caused a lot of duplicated orders resulting in too much stock being shipped to his stores. In addition to operational inefficiencies, the stores’ POS systems would inadvertently lose between 5 and 10 transactions each month, for no apparent reason. This caused ongoing accounting headaches at head office and it negatively impacted customer satisfaction levels.

On the marketing front, Labarre was using a third-party app that collected customers from his point of sale systems, maintained them in a proprietary database and then sent out two or three email campaigns each month. But over the years his stores had collected more than 330,000 email addresses, which proved to be too much for their email servers to handle because it would take 10 to 15 hours to send out each email blast. This really cramped Labarre’s style and when there were issues with emails not being sent, he couldn’t get any assistance to fix the problem. Then there was the rising cost of having his corporate network servers hosted by a third-party IT company. Combined with the overwhelming monthly fees Labarre was paying for his email marketing service, it was becoming more and more obvious that he needed to make a change.

Many of the other Popeye’s Supplements franchise owners were experiencing similar difficulties. So in one of their annual meetings they collectively decided to search for a new retail point of sale system that all Popeye’s Supplements franchise owners could deploy.

Customer

Popeye’s Supplements is a leading retailer of sports nutrition products with over 140 stores managed by 24 franchise owners.

Business Challenge

With over 3,000 products and more than 2 million customers, replenishing store inventories and sending regular promotional emails had become too complicated and costly for their current retail point of sale system. Popeye’s Supplements needed a new system that could simplify these processes, cut operating costs and provide a global customer loyalty plan while giving each franchise owner their own private corporate database.

Solution

Popeye’s Supplements chose MyPOS Connect, from Tri-City Retail Systems, because it has:

  • Multi-store management with a separate database for each franchisee
  • Global Customer Rewards program
  • Comprehensive inventory management
  • Low-cost email marketing integration

“Tri-City Retail Systems really demonstrated that they understood our business and were open to incorporating our ideas into their software. Other solution providers seemed unwilling to provide many of the customizations we wanted but Tri-City Retail welcomed our input and suggestions”

Aaron Labarre

Franchise Owner

EVALUATION

The search took 24 months, during which time Popeye’s created an exhaustive list of requirements that were submitted to 11 different retail POS solution providers. After many meetings, discussions and demonstrations they decided on a short-list of two finalists who were asked to provide formal, on-site demonstrations of their solutions and pricing presentations. The demonstrations were conducted at a Franchisee meeting and included grueling Q&A sessions. After many subsequent discussions and some additional follow-up with the finalists, they unanimously chose MyPOS Connect from Tri-City Retail Systems.

When asked to explain the key reasons for their decision, Labarre recalls, there were a few reasons we all agreed that MyPOS Connect was the right choice for us. The software is very scalable and able to manage separate databases for each franchise owner while providing a central shared database for our new digital customer rewards program.” Labarre went on to say, “and Tri-City Retail Systems really demonstrated that they understood our business and were open to incorporating our ideas into their software. Other solution providers seemed unwilling to provide many of the customizations we wanted but Tri-City Retail welcomed our input and suggestions.”

POINT OF SALE SYSTEM DEPLOYMENT

Since Labarre was a key contributor to the evaluation, it was decided that his franchise would be the first to deploy the new retail POS system. Two members of his management team were chosen to work with Tri-City Retail to deploy MyPOS Connect at their franchise head office and their 21 stores. They also worked with the program development team at Tri-City Retail to design the custom programs and enhancements that would be used by all Popeye’s Supplements franchise owners and their stores. The implementation was done in three stages, starting with a User Acceptance Test phase, followed by a Pilot Store phase and then a Final Rollout phase. When asked how he thought the implementation project went, Labarre exclaimed, “phenomenal, the three-phased process worked great!” “With 145 staff across 15 cities, the implementation was surprisingly smooth. The learning curve for POS users was short and the store managers were able to quickly learn how to do their tasks.”

Deploying the software was so easy that Labarre’s team had no trouble performing the software installations themselves. They were even able to perform all of their store-level user training programs, even though they had many other operational responsibilities at the time. This freed up more of the deployment budget for custom programs and reports; of which there were many. Over 120 custom reports and 10 custom apps were created according to Popeye’s Supplements’ exact specifications.

“With 145 staff across 15 cities, the implementation was surprisingly smooth.”

Aaron Labarre

Franchise Owner

BENEFITS OF MYPOS CONNECT

Almost immediately after going “live” in their stores, Popeye’s Supplements saw multiple benefits. “We didn’t realize how much pain we had until MyPOS Connect streamlined our processes and highlighted the inefficiencies in our old system,” says Labarre. “Reporting”, he says, “is so much better. It used to take days to put all the month-end reports together that we needed. Now everyone gets their reports emailed to them automatically.” With his previous system, some of Labarre’s month-end reports took 3 to 4 hours to organize and process, now they’re generated in just seconds. And since most of the management reports are now automatically emailed to the appropriate regional and store managers, they have all but eliminated this tedious task.

Another immediate benefit that Popeye’s Supplements experienced was significant savings in the time it takes to process their weekly stock replenishment orders. “With over 2,700 inventory items it used to take 16 hours each week to process supplier orders for the stores,” says Geoff Beswick, Operations Manager for Labarre’s franchise. “But after deploying MyPOS Connect, this process has been streamlined down to just 3 hours per week. Out of curiosity, we analyzed the process of performing inventory procurement using our old system and using MyPOS Connect; we actually compared the number of clicks it took to process our weekly orders on both systems. The results were shocking”, says Beswick. “With our old system, this job took 1,512 clicks; but with MyPOS Connect, it takes only 11 clicks!

Popeye’s Supplements found that MyPOS Connect increased efficiencies at every level of the inventory management process. Even store-to-store transfers can be issued in a quarter of the time it used to take with their previous system. Before installing MyPOS Connect, the people responsible for replenishing store inventories focused their time on fast-moving items because they didn’t have time to analyze slow-moving items. This resulted in frequent stockouts and lost sales. Now all products are analyzed and replenished according to sales trends, on-hand quantities and optimal reorder points. None of their products are overlooked, which translates to higher sales and fewer disappointed customers.

There are also significant improvements in the way Popeye’s Supplements is now handling email marketing campaigns. With MyPOS Connect’s integration to Sendinblue, a leading email marketing platform, Labarre can send his promotional flyers to 330,000 email addresses in just 15 minutes. “And the reporting and analytics we are getting on click-throughs and views of our different email campaigns are so much better than our previous system,” says Labarre.

Labarre also saw immediate cost savings as well as all these operational efficiencies helping to improve sales and decrease operating costs. He used to pay over $3,500.00/month to send out his email campaigns; but after deploying MyPOS Connect, that expense dropped to just $350.00/month! And since Labarre no longer needs to maintain his own database servers, which were outsourced to a third-party hosting company, he will also save more than $40,000.00 per year in server hosting fees.

When asked what advice he would give other retailers looking at using MyPOS Connect, Labarre said, “definitely I would tell them to go ahead with it, and I highly recommend using Tri-City Retail’s three-phased installation approach. The only suggestion I have is to coach the (people at your) pilot stores to be more vocal and give more feedback before rolling out to your other stores.” When asked to elaborate, Labarre continued, “we ran into some problems with missing data that wasn’t discovered until well into our rollout. These issues should have been reported by the Pilot Stores but instead, they just decided to cope, rather than speak up. Luckily it was easy to fix the items in MyPOS Connect without any disruption to the users.”

After Labarre’s successful deployment of MyPOS Connect, many of the other franchise owners immediately jumped on board. Popeye’s has deployed more than 145 POS systems across 75 stores; with planned implementations for the remaining 65 stores within the year.

“With our old system (generating weekly store orders) took 1,1512 clicks; but with MyPOS Connect, it only takes 11 clicks!”

Geoff Beswick

Operations Manager

There are also significant improvements in the way Popeye’s Supplements is now handling email marketing campaigns. With MyPOS Connect’s integration to Sendinblue, a leading email marketing platform, Labarre can send his promotional flyers to 330,000 email addresses in just 15 minutes. “And the reporting and analytics we are getting on click-throughs and views of our different email campaigns are so much better than our previous system,” says Labarre.

Labarre also saw immediate cost savings as well as all these operational efficiencies helping to improve sales and decrease operating costs. He used to pay over $3,500.00/month to send out his email campaigns; but after deploying MyPOS Connect, that expense dropped to just $350.00/month! And since Labarre no longer needs to maintain his own database servers, which were outsourced to a third-party hosting company, he will also save more than $40,000.00 per year in server hosting fees.

When asked what advice he would give other retailers looking at using MyPOS Connect, Labarre said, “definitely I would tell them to go ahead with it, and I highly recommend using Tri-City Retail’s three-phased installation approach. The only suggestion I have is to coach the (people at your) pilot stores to be more vocal and give more feedback before rolling out to your other stores.” When asked to elaborate, Labarre continued, “we ran into some problems with missing data that wasn’t discovered until well into our rollout. These issues should have been reported by the Pilot Stores but instead, they just decided to cope, rather than speak up. Luckily it was easy to fix the items in MyPOS Connect without any disruption to the users.”

After Labarre’s successful deployment of MyPOS Connect, many of the other franchise owners immediately jumped on board. Popeye’s has deployed more than 145 POS systems across 75 stores; with planned implementations for the remaining 65 stores within the year.