The SIG SAUER Academy in New Hampshire, USA is the state-of-the-art training facility where professionals using SIG SAUER firearms go for highest quality firearms instruction and tactics training. Its 127 indoor and outdoor ranges, tactical training areas, urban environments, shoot houses, maritime training area, and force-on-force village provide simulated environments to help current military, law enforcement, or credentialed professional security respond better, faster, and more accurately for the mission in a potentially deadly situation.
The Academy grounds also include their Academy Pro Shop, which carries the complete line of Sig Sauer products and accessories, as well as other top industry products and accessories. For a company as steeped in history as gun manufacturer Sig Sauer, maintaining a reputation for quality service and products is critical — and having reliable, accurate and easy-to-use software tools like Retail Pro is imperative in achieving that goal.
Travis Hardy, Pro Shop manager at the academy, said customer satisfaction is critically important, which makes implementing the Retail Pro retail management solution crucial. The software provides the Academy Pro Shop with personalized information quickly and efficiently, allowing the business to understand — and act upon — what customers want. But while tracking sales metrics and purchase history is necessary for discerning shopping trends and recognizing loyalty, Sig Sauer Pro Shop’s immediate need was for point of sales efficiencies, because of the phenomenal growth recently seen by the training academy. Roughly 18 months ago, Hardy explained, the Academy expanded its new retail location to three times its then-current size, and customer interest has kept pace. Even with the completed expansion, Hardy says sales are so strong that the business could easily use twice as much space.
Much of that traffic was the result of increased publicity around product introductions and a recent uptick in gun ownership interest nationwide. "We've released new products and more people becoming responsible firearm owners, but mostly this growth is product driven, tying back to our parent company making a phenomenal product," Hardy said.
With that growth, the company has relied on Retail Pro to provide quick and reliable payment processing. As with any tool for retail use, a large part of its success depends upon its ease of use, as employees can be ingenious in circumventing procedures they deem time consuming or difficult.
"Our old software really was not a point of sale system. It was just monotonous and slow and difficult. With Retail Pro, we move through 6 customers in the time it would take for one transaction using our previous software. It helped us increase transaction efficiency and speed," Hardy said. He added that Retail Pro’s clean interface allows even newer employees to easily use the software.
Seasoned retail workers recognize the advantages of Retail Pro as well. "For those of us that have used other systems, we’re all thankful Retail Pro is here. It’s a lot easier to get customers through the line faster, and to keep that customer control. When you have a POS system that takes a long time or looks up information slowly, you start to lose the customer’s attention, and ultimately, their interest." The Retail Pro 9 user interface is intuitively designed, allowing sales associates to focus on engaging customers, rather than navigating the POS system. Streamlining the checkout experience significantly diminishes queue-related customer frustration, and happy customers tend to be loyal customers.
"We are pleased with Retail Pro; it definitely does what we need it to do. It tracks serialized product for us," Hardy said. "The POS system gets people in and out the door quickly, and it tracks our sales metrics." The bottom line and profit margin are the most meaningful metrics the Sig Sauer Academy Pro Shop currently gathers with Retail Pro retail management software; tracking repeat business and rewards programs are on the horizon. "We know there is a lot more potential to mine the data we get from the solution."
Despite Sig Sauer’s unique product line, the Pro Shop functions pretty similarly to other types of retail stores, with one exception: Its products are serialized. Since 1968, guns have been required to carry serial numbers, so they can be traced if they are used in the commission of a crime. Retail Pro 9's ability to keep track of serialized parts is key for the Pro Shop.
"Being able to track serialized product is probably the most important feature Retail Pro offers us," Hardy said. "It takes the human error out of industry compliance requirements." Such tracking is enabled by clear, real-time visibility into inventory and transaction history.
Sig Sauer Academy Pro Shop is dedicated to their reputation of quality customer service. The Academy Pro Shop relies on the Retail Pro technology to help make retail processes faster, more accurate and more efficient, so they can be the customers' first choice, always.