ArcherPoint and Care-A-Lot Wag Tails Over LS Retail
Care-A-Lot Pet Supply is a leading retailer of products for pets, operating through an online store, phone sales, and retail store locations in Virginia. The stores also offer additional services like pet grooming, boarding, and training courses for cats, dogs, and other small animals, as well as a day care for dogs.
Since its beginnings in 1988, Care-A-Lot has expanded from a one-store retailer to one of the leading pet supply companies in Virginia, while maintaining its identity as a family operated company that aims to provide the best service and products to customers and their pets.
As Care-A-Lot started expanding and increasing the number of store locations, they realized the management systems they had in place could not meet their new needs. At that point, Care-A-Lot was using four different systems: Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) for accounting; NCR Counterpoint for POS; a home-grown product to manage warehouse inventory; and a fourth custom solution for inventory purchasing. This caused a number of problems and limitations, the most urgent of which were:
Lack of Integration
The various systems were not communicating with each other, making store management complex and time consuming.
Insufficient Level of Transaction Detail
GP had been integrated with Counterpoint, but it still couldn’t provide the level of detail, such as drilling down from the GL into individual transactions, that Care-A-Lot required.
Problems with Managing Multiple Locations
The systems could not effectively handle inventory and sales in more than one store. Care-A-Lot was forced to manage their locations as if they were separate stores, resulting in increased complexities, wasted time, and lack of visibility.
Loss of Support
Care-A-Lot discovered that the version of Counterpoint they were using would not be supported past a certain date, which prompted them to look for a different system which could guarantee long-term support.
Care-A-Lot evaluated alternative systems, searching for one that would provide:
- Deep integration, from financials to POS across multiple stores and warehouses
- Ability to manage multiple locations within the same system
- Longevity, with a guarantee of long-term support
- Flexibility to meet all needs, from in-store sales to e-commerce to service delivery
When Care-A-Lot came across LS Retail at Microsoft Convergence, they realized that, unlike its competitors, it ticked all the boxes. Moreover, unlike other large solutions, LS Retail could be adapted to a multiple-store environment while remaining economically feasible for the company. Care-A-Lot opened its third store and went live with LS Retail and also rolled out pin pads (EMV). The system is now in place in all stores.
LS Retail has helped Care-A-Lot grow and improve efficiencies with features such as:
End-to-End System Integration
All processes, from financials to warehouse to sales and eCommerce, are managed effectively with just one system. With full visibility, Care-A-Lot is able to:
- Know what customers are buying regardless of the channel (in-store, online, phone, etc.).
- Stay on top of inventory management including reorder points.
- Efficiently manage multiple locations with one system.
Improved Web and Catalog Sales
The company is also using the solution for web and catalog sales, which has improved their effectiveness and reliability. In the past, customers would be charged at the time of purchase even if the items were not in stock; now, thanks to LS Retail, the customer is charged when the product is sourced.
The strong presence of LS Retail in North America with the backing of Microsoft reassured the company that the solution will be available and supported for the long term.
LS Retail can be easily adapted to fit the company’s needs—for example, the ability to customize each user’s POS screen to fit their needs; the ability to pull up specific transactions, for example by scanning the barcode on the receipt the customer brings in, helping with loss prevention and more; and the ability to set return limits—for example, requiring a manager’s approval for returns over a certain dollar amount.
LS Retail is very powerful and nimble and offers offline capabilities, reducing the risk of technical issues and downtime. With LS Retail, each register can be run independently.
Cross Selling functionality
This feature has proved essential to effectively managing the training courses and grooming services offered by Care-A-Lot. Trainers and groomers are paid on a commission basis. The previous system did not have the ability to track commissions; the company was forced to save copies of receipts and manually calculate commissions. Thanks to LS Retail's Cross Selling feature, Care-A-Lot can now calculate their on-commission staff’s pay accurately and with immediacy, saving the management and payroll department a significant amount of time, and at the same time, guaranteeing employees that their pay is 100 percent accurate.
Discount and Mix and Match Offer Functionality
This function, which Care-A-Lot uses heavily in their retail stores, allows management to set up offers and test them thoroughly before they go live. Previously, Care-A-Lot had zero system control over discounts; in other words, the system would allow the offer to be used even if the sale did not meet eligibility requirements, resulting in possible lost revenue. LS Retail eliminates these uncertainties, improving accuracy and preventing loss.
Care-A-Lot has big plans that are already in the works. In addition to upgrading their ERP to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central to better support financials, warehouse operations, click and collect/click and pick up functionality, and more, they will be using LS Retail solutions across the company and will increase the use of Power BI and AI as they focus on continuous improvement:
- Providing an excellent, seamless customer experience—from staying in touch to customer service to membership/loyalty--regardless of channel.
- Supporting other lines of business, like the company’s doggy day care/hotel/grooming services.
- Improving promotions and campaigns across all channels.
- Identifying and using demographic data to gain a more holistic view of the customer base, which will impact other areas of the business including inventory.
- Facilitating collaboration between the eCommerce system and the stores.
- The ability to add more sales channels down the road.
Learn more about Care-A-Lot.
What Makes ArcherPoint Different?
Our clients see their business systems as unique and important to their competitive position. They prefer software and technology to support their business processes, not the other way around. Our clients are looking for a strategic partnership with the company that implements their software, not just a vendor. They demand the most talented, experienced professionals who understand how to quickly, efficiently solve their business issues. If this describes you, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our people, company and solutions.