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A POS Revolution: Changing How Retailers Do Business



"Their product has an enormous amount of horsepower, but the company is nimble enough to be able and willing to alter it to fit your needs," he continues. "And, if you think you know a better way to handle an operation, they will rewrite the code."

Art's Cameras Plus Offers Gift Cards

Art's Cameras Plus is a newer user of the ProphetLine for Windows gift card function software, implemented to provide gift cards to customers. "The gift card function has been absolutely imperative in allowing us to compete with the big-box stores," says owner Tony Miresse.

Art's implemented the point-of-sale software in 1997. Miresse started with the inventory control, accounts payable/receivable, and bar code functions. By having the bar code function, it paved the way for the gift card program.

Art's uses the gift card function, not only as a "gift" purchase, but also as a promotional vehicle. For example, instead of giving a discount on a product, Art's gives the customer a gift card at a certain value to use in the store on a future purchase. This ensures repeat customers. "We also use the function to implement a club card program on the photofinishing end," says Miresse.

SimJo Photo Provides Internet Solutions

Terry Simmons, owner, explains how ProphetLine has helped SimJo Photo, which uses the software's integrated Web shopping cart. Simmons' relationship with ProphetLine "enabled my clients to e-mail files early on in the history of Web-based photofinishing, and now it's paying off. ProphetLine has been a gateway for us to do a lot of other things."

When Simmons first began investigating point-of-sale systems about nine years ago, he came to the conclusion that if the system was not Windows-based, it would be left behind- Windows was the way of the future.

Through his research at trade shows and online, Simmons discovered that ProphetLine was the only Windows-based POS system at the time, the most reasonably priced, and with the best integration components.

The Web shopping cart function can take a retail enterprise hampered by location and size and bring it to the same level as larger players in the industry. The original version of the ProphetLine program was approximately 95% of everything you could want or need. The other 5%, ProphetLine was customized to SimJo Photo's individual needs. This 5% allows SimJo Photo to conduct business easily with state and federal agencies. SimJo Photo has the capability to e-mail a link to customers that will take them directly to the specific catalog page, even to the specific item, so there's no need to "hunt" for items. This function keeps customers on the SimJo Photo site and decreases the chance of them searching out other vendors on the Internet.

However, the purpose of the shopping cart isn't just for sales. It allows the retail operation the ability to track the location of people visiting the site, the type of browser being used, the time of day, the date and so forth, thus creating a database for targeted direct-mail campaigns and advertising.

ProphetLine helped SimJo Photo to build a Web presence that Terry Simmons has expanded into a multi-tiered website with many photofinishing modules. It offers four methods of sending photos to the store for finishing, and there's also an FTP site for professionals that includes a digital drop box with a user interface. ProphetLine provided the gateway that allowed for the creation of domain e-mail (simjophoto.com).

"We are a 2,200-square-foot retail location that does $2 million in sales per year," says Simmons. "We are very happy with our volume."

For more information on how ProphetLine's retail software packages, visit ProphetLine's website at www.prophetline.com.

If you have any business software solutions to tell us about, let us know at feedback@photographicprocessing.com.


   







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