Retail Anywhere POS Leverages Windows Embedded POSReady
Retailers want to improve the customer shopping experience while also keeping tighter control over inventory and ordering for higher profitability. Nakajima USA, a specialty retailer best known for distributing Sanrio “Hello Kitty®” products, recently replaced its aging point-of-sale (POS) solution with Retail Anywhere's POS and retail management system, powered by Microsoft Windows Embedded POSReady. Benefits of the new system have included a 25% decrease in POS operating costs in addition to significant improvements in credit/gift card processing and inventory functions. Situation
Nakajima USA is a leader in the design, sales, and distribution of some of the world's most popular lifestyle products. This specialty retailer has handled an extensive range of items for global brands, including Disney, Warner Brothers, and the internationally renowned Sanrio “Hello Kitty®” character.
Today, Nakajima USA is the primary partner in managing Sanrio’s U.S. retail presence, all independently-run licensed Sanrio stores, as well as day-to-day management of Nakajima-owned retail locations throughout the U.S.
||Retail Anywhere provided a, fully integrated solution that met our business needs with low upfront costs. Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 gives us a secure, locked down OS optimized for retail.
Director of Company Stores
“Our company’s retail footprint has grown tremendously since 2004, from 17 to 40 company store locations,” says Jennifer Pearce, Director of Company Stores, Nakajima USA. “This put a lot of pressure on our legacy POS system which was seriously outdated by early 2010.”
Pearce continues: “The old system had dial-up modems for credit card processing, which created delays of up to several
minutes for customers at busy times like the holiday season. An even bigger issue was the fast-approaching deadline for PCI security compliance.”
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information for the major debit, credit, prepaid gift, ATM, and POS cards.
Additional business requirements for the new system included the ability to get a live view of inventory at store level to improve inventory control and ordering efficiencies.
Nakajima also wanted devices with an optimized operating system (OS) that could be locked down for greater security. Finally, the company wanted to improve its customer relationship management capabilities for targeted promotions and other marketing activities.Solution
Nakajima turned to software developer Retail Anywhere, which provides POS and
retail management solutions to mid-size retailers across North America.
“We have always been a ‘Microsoft shop’ and our solutions have followed the progression of the Windows Embedded product family from its beginning to today,” explains Brenda Whisenhunt, Director of Marketing, Retail Anywhere.
The company partners with IBM for POS hardware, and Whisenhunt notes, “Windows Embedded is a versatile platform allowing us to be hardware-independent and run on almost any type of POS system the customer wants.”
||We just rolled out a store locator function on Facebook that lets consumers print discount coupons. The Windows Embedded-based POS system lets us see how many Facebook coupons were redeemed, the average transaction size, and more. All the information we need is right where we need it.
Director of Company Stores
Retail Anywhere recently ported its flagship POS solution to Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, which she also describes as “a natural progression that makes sense for our target market.”
The development framework for the solution is .NET 4, the language is C#, and the database is SQL Server. An in-house team of six developers attends Microsoft’s training and annual technical conferences and many are certified on several Windows Embedded platforms.
Nakajima began deploying the Retail Anywhere POS solution with its integrated retail management system in the second half of 2010. The solution was rolled out to all 40 Nakajima-owned store locations. There are one to three registers per location.Benefits
For the retailer, the benefits of the new POS system start with live in-store inventory control.
“We can now gauge in-stock status of products in the stores in real time, instead of relying on periodic back-office reports,” Pearce states. “Because our products come from overseas, there is a long replenishment cycle for our warehouse. The POS gives us faster visibility into which core products are selling and need to be restocked, therefore allowing more efficiency in managing inventory ‘turns’ within our stores.”
Nakajima’s customers now enjoy faster service with the new POS. “The register system is much easier to use, and touch–enabled in most locations which has increased overall transaction speed by 30 seconds,” states Pearce. “Speed at the register is also a result of the integrated high-speed credit card and gift card transaction processing enabled by Retail Anywhere, Windows Embedded POSReady, and Mercury Payment Systems.” Retail Anywhere’s POS integrates with Mercury Payment Systems for credit/gift card functionality. Such broad integration is a major factor in reducing Nakajima costs.
Better customer relationship management (CRM) is another major benefit for Nakajima. “We are just starting to capture customer demographics at the register, where we can also tie in notes and comments,” explains Pearce. “This allows us to capture historical purchase data, so we can more effectively target our email campaigns. The POS also lets us set up promotions such as discounts on specific product lines, then run a report to see whether the promotion was successful.”
She adds: “We just rolled out a store locator function on Facebook that lets consumers print discount coupons. The Windows Embedded-based POS system lets us see how many Facebook coupons were redeemed, the average transaction size, and more. All the information we need is right where we need it.”
Within this year, Nakajima plans to fully utilize Retail Anywhere’s CRM functionality to more accurately target promotions and product development.
The retailer also looks forward to utilizing features that help reduce overstock, develop new sell-through strategies, and control operational inventory loss.
Finally, Nakajima will use the new system’s internal and external reporting functions to reduce workload in its back office and provide important and accurate data regarding sales, inventory, and promotions.
“Retail Anywhere provided a fully integrated solution that met our business needs with low upfront costs,” recalls Pearce. “Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 gives us a secure, locked down OS optimized for retail.”
Keyword: Retail & Hospitality; Retail Point-of-SaleThis case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.