- Marshall Grattan, Owner
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Successful entrepreneurs have a talent for recognizing opportunities that others don't.
No matter what sector their businesses serve, they find and fill a customer need. It could be a brand new idea or innovation – or an improvement on an existing way of doing business.
Either way, that essential attention to a detail at which others have failed paves the way to better business.
Marshall Grattan, owner of pet supply chain, Pet Station, came from a retail background and saw the pitfalls common to corporate retail, like lackluster customer service and irrelevant product selection.
His mantra – I can do this better.
Clearly, he was right. 11 Years ago, Grattan launched his first store, but by this year's end, he will have opened his tenth. From the start, he laid out his business plan with three core values:
"I'm not about sales," Marshall commented. "I'm about service and getting you what you need for your pet."
To deliver on these customer experience standards, Marshall needed technology to help him tighten up his operations and pass the benefits on to customers.
The tool he chose to use to optimize store operations was Retail Pro, because of its robust capabilities.
"Retail Pro is a very robust program that makes a lot of intuitive sense," said Marshall. "I saw the power in Retail Pro, and I took the time to learn what is possible with this POS. I find great benefit in smart features such as purchase orders, min/max functionality and calculators, auto utilities, such as transfers, item allocation functions, sale functions, price change schedules, and a lot more."
Pet Station also stores product information such as main ingredients, price per pound and pertinent notes within Retail Pro. That provides his well-trained employees with a quick reference for looking up answers to customers' questions.
Marshall is a strong believer in training, both to equip his team of store associates to deliver on a good customer experience, and for himself as the strategy brain for technology use in his stores. He continuously seeks to deepen his understanding of Retail Pro, maximizing ROI.
"We have a standing appointment with our Retail Pro Business Partner, Big Hairy Dog, for ongoing training and consultation on how to build our retail strategy in Retail Pro," he commented.
Retail Pro has features that ease the task of inventory management for pet retailers in particular.
For example, retailers can easily manage their multiplicity of vendors and UPCs with Retail Pro. Inventory can be received by the case or by the unit, and can be mixed and matched. Auto reorder also accommodates case and unit ordering, and multiplier buttons further simplify the process.
Retail Pro also allows retailers to service customers where it is most convenient for them: For example, retailers can use mobile POS and multiple printers that allow customers who are picking up large or heavy items to drive to the back of the store, have their cars loaded, and pay – they never need to leave their vehicle.
That helps retailers keep their stores looking lean, while keeping stock on-hand to serve every customer.
Currently, they are evaluating the latest solution from Retail Pro, Retail Pro Prism for use in his stores as he continues to expand.
Streamlining their operations with efficient technology helps Pet Station then direct more focus to building a culture of service and customer appreciation. For Marshall, that extends even to the company's choice of a loyalty integration.
Early on Marshall saw that pet stores have different loyalty needs than other retail verticals, and yet the disparity is seldom recognized among loyalty technology providers.
For example, someone with a tiny Chihuahua who purchases tiny bags of food every month is just as loyal and worthy of reward as someone with a big dog buying giant bags of dog food, he explained. The problem is when VIP customers are determined by average spend with the company: Owners of small animals aren't being recognized and rewarded.
So Marshall went to his Retail Pro Business Partner, Big Hairy Dog, for a solution. Big Hairy Dog, in cooperation with Astro loyalty solutions, created a deep integration to Retail Pro to reward loyalty fairly. Astro is a software database specialized for pet retailers, to help them track thousands of vendor promotions, such as purchase 11 bags and receive the 12th bag free, aimed to generate repeat business.
In addition to providing a positive customer experience, the integration tracks inventory that is given out in rewards on the back end and streamlines purchase order creation and stock replenishment accordingly.
From the start, Marshall has aimed to attract customers with great customer service. With Retail Pro, Marshall has streamlined his store operations, allowing him to focus on providing service that differentiates his business from the competition.