“Managing a music store is supposed to be fun, ” says Miles Stewart, manager of two MusicianSupply stores in South Carolina. Unfortunately, inventory management is a time-consuming manual process, especially when products had to be transferred between their two locations. That was before they found Rain Retail Software, which streamlined their business processes with an integrated, cloud-based POS system that’s designed to make life easier for retailers.
Here’s how Rain POS significantly increased efficiency for Miles and his team so they could concentrate on helping customers, increasing profits, and enjoying their work again:
Challenge # 1: Inventory management a Time-Consuming, Multi-Step Process
“As a business owner, it is important to ensure that you are always leveraging the most effective, yet economical solutions possible,” says Business.com.
But for MusicianSupply, a dual-location retailer offering a large inventory of musical instruments including guitars (acoustic and electric), amplifiers, drum sets, sheet music and a full line of accessories, inventory management was neither effective or economical. It demanded a lot of time and effort, plus the manual, multi-step process lacked the level of accuracy the retail store so badly needed.
“Before we switched to Rain, it took twice as long to get the same job done.” ~ Store Manager, Miles Stewart
The Solution: An All-In-One, Cloud-Based Website & POS System
MusicianSupply was thrilled to discover that there was a web store solution featuring a single database to manage inventory between the website and point of sale in a seamless, integrated process:
“We picked Rain retail software as our web store solution because when we saw the demo, we were blown away that we could actually have one data base for all of our inventory—for our website and for our point of sale software—without having to manually reconcile the two every time one item sold.” ~ Store Manager, Miles Stewart
This reinforces what Business.com has to say regarding the significant impact cloud-based technology can have on business processes, “The overarching goal of any business is to make a profit, and cutting operational costs wherever possible can greatly impact that goal.”
“I would recommend Rain Retail Software because it eliminates a lot of steps that you don’t realize your taking and it helps keep track of inventory that you may or may not know that you’re loosing.” ~ Print Manager, Sarah Steves
Businesses with perpetually updated inventory management systems—like the cloud-based POS platform used by MusicianSupply—will have an advantage over other stores with less reliable inventory software. That’s because, in addition to streamlining the inventory process, it ensures that inventory items on a brand’s website are represented in real time.
When customers know that the inventory items they see on a brand’s website are accurate, they’ll be more likely to visit their store and make a purchase. This helps build trust and drive more foot traffic. MusicianSupply can certainly attest to the promising correlation between accurate inventory numbers and an increase in store visitors:
“We’ve begun to have customers select a product online, like a guitar in a certain color, and come into store and speak with one of the staff members about that certain guitar and it’s actually on the shelf in our stock room but because we had it listed on our Rain website, the customer was able to select it anyways even though it wasn’t on display at the time which has been fantastic.” ~Store Manager, Miles Stewart
Challenge # 2: Transferring Products Between Two Store Locations
Trying to keep track of products on the sales floor—and in the store room—can be challenging enough as it is. But when you consider the added time and effort it takes to transfer inventory between two store locations, the level of difficulty goes up a few notches.
“Before using Rain Retail Software, we would have a lot of challenges transferring inventory between our two locations,” says MusicianSupply manager, Miles Stewart. “Tracking the quantities that moved and their costs had to be done manually and was almost always done incorrectly.”
The Solution: A Fully Integrated, Collaborative Website & Point of Sale
Business.com cites a Frost & Sullivan survey showing that companies investing in collaboration technologies increased productivity by as much as 400%.
With cloud computing, employees can collaborate the same real time information necessary to accomplish their goals, whether that involves receiving inventory, processing transactions, or adding products to their POS.
By switching to Rain Retail Software’s integrated cloud-based Website & POS system, the MusicianSupply team is now able to access and update data for their two store locations from anywhere as long as there is internet service. And because the website and POS use a single database, relevant information changed in one location is simultaneously adjusted across their stores and website so it always represents accurate information no matter who’s viewing it.
“After switching to Rain it streamlined the transferring process between stores so it was a two or three or four click process instead of an eight to ten step ordeal…and it’s fool proof really.” ~ Print Manager, Sarah Steves
Challenge # 3: Keeping Track of Repairs & Services
Before Rain Retail Software, MusicianSupply found it particularly challenging to keep up with the day to day tasks involved with tracking services and repairs without a reliable system in place to bring all the pieces together into one streamlined process.
Like other business procedures the store previously struggled with, managing services and repairs amounted to a lot of extra steps that demanded too much time.
The Solution: POS With An Integrated Service & Repair Tracker
By implementing Rain’s fully integrated POS system, MusicianSupply’s repair department became significantly more agile, with a flexibility, functionality, and efficiency they’d never experienced before:
“One of the most useful features of Rain is having our repairs integrated directly into the Point of Sale system. We can quickly pull in the repair total and perform the checkout, add accessories to it, all on the same transaction…and probably the best time saver is automatically emailing the owner after the repair work without having to make a phone call and leave a voicemail for five or six or seven people every time there’s a new batch of repairs that need to be picked up.” ~ Store Manager, Miles Stewart
When businesses operate efficiently, they are more likely to experience increased profits and growth. That’s what happened with MusicianSupply.
By automating their inventory management processes with an integrated, cloud-based POS system, the music store replaced time-consuming, multi-step procedures with automated, streamlined processes that simplified the day to day operations involved with running a retail store.
Not only did MusicianSupply notice a marked improvement in efficiency, but they were able to focus more of their efforts on helping customers and making profits. As an added bonus, their work became more enjoyable.
“Managing a music store is supposed to be fun,” reiterates Miles Stewart. “Now that our point of sale, website, repairs, rentals, and lessons are all built into one system, it is again.”
Also published on Medium.