Danielle Ewert on Attaining Transparency with POS [Episode 404]
P. O. S. systems. How can get the most out of yours? Welcome to tell me something. Good about retail podcast of the retail doctor. I'm your host Bob Phibbs in this episode. I'm talking to Danielle Senior Director of on boarding and training for Springboard Retail Pos. We've talked about her experience boutiques her tips on how to get the most out of your P. O. S. and the positivity retailers. Let's go good morning. Good Morning Bob. I am thrilled to have you here today. We are in the midst of trying to figure out what's happening with the virus. Were recording this in the middle of March but I just wanted to get started since you are a person who does on boarding and we were sharing a story about. What's going on at your daycare. Could you share with us? Absolutely of course are daycares are taking. We're we're in. I'm in Massachusetts. I'm in I'm in Cambridge specifically so wedged between two large universities. Mit and Harvard. Who have Closed up shop so I'm for a very big kind of bustling area. We're in a little bit of a ghost town right now But our daycares are still going strong and they're taking some pretty wonderful and funny precautions of one being teaching kids how to wash their hands properly via really fun songs. They're bringing in guitarists and doing hand washing songs in in the classroom. Which has been pretty pretty funny. They send us videos and pictures of them chorus during the during the workday. So we can feel like we're participating And my daughter is a rambunctious seventeen month old and not potty trained and walking around of course but barely speaking And she can properly wash your hands because of the precautions that a daycare taking the she knows wash for a good amount of time. She knows how to lather. She she goes for the Towel Dryer. Hands. It's kind of incredible. See I think. That's that's what I take from. This is that we've gotTA teach millions of people. Finally that society's health starts with personal health and I could tell you I'm sixty two years old and learning how to wash your hands. I can't think of the the only thing about washing. My hands was my uncle Ray. So I'll tell you this quick story so we were we my My Dad's brothers and sisters would get together and we would all do a family camp back in the sixties for a week. And I'll never forget the day I was in the bathroom and I'm washing my hands with cold water and my uncle says you know you should use hot. Water turned on the hot. I was like oh I mean no one had ever said any that to me so I think those blind spots are informing some of the ways. People think about things like hand washing now like oh I never did it. Well that doesn't mean it was definitely next thing that you didn't do that right so. I wanted to speak to you today because you are head of on boarding and training which means we are alike in many ways. So what kind of things do you? How do you interface with retailers? So where point of sale and inventory management system. And we we do everything we do everything remotely so when we're interfacing Like right now you and I are screen sharing where we can see each other where we're speaking over our computers This is this is exactly how I work with with my clients. We work through Zoom and we share computer screens and our team walks them through their their accounts Best Practices and we teach them hands on how to how to use our system and how you onboard in a way that will benefit their their their business. And it's nice because when we do screen share will often have them drive so they're doing the clicking 'cause it's better for them for their muscle memory So we're walking them through but they're doing because most people you learn by doing we'll see that's what I am so thrilled to speak to you about because I consider myself a pretty good trainer and I think there's a certain mindset to training you either have or don't have right you either get like oh it's causing effect and going back to the simple thing of your daughter seventeen months we've made it fun right. We didn't say okay. Now we've got all we're all GONNA die. Oh great thanks for that. My seventeen month old is is loving this idea and you mix it up but also you have to repeat it right. They didn't just come in and say we're GONNA do. We'RE GONNA Wash Hands Twenty seconds and I would think that would really be important in your case because with Pos Systems. Let's be honest. They scare the crap out of most retailers. Don't they because they can do so many reports and you know they and the guy sells it or Gal sells it. It's Yeah I can do this. And this and this and this and you're like can just figure out what my average sale is and so. How do you overcome that maybe bias right A. It's too much for me. What are some techniques because I think it has applications it on the front lines well right that it? We have to really understand learning. So what tips. Could you give us about what you've learned for example? Well going back to the doing. I think I you have to do it calmly because retailers are. I think there are no busier. People in the world and retailers and the last thing people want to do is spend their time you know configuring their data from a previous system to a new system linked. That's daunting and if you decide to do. The data work yourself. Better be pretty excel savvy. Because that's it's it's so much work. In the data clamp. It's literally the last thing that retailers want to do so. We interrupt replica. So why do they do that to save money? Let's be honest and you don't realize I wrote my book. The retail Docs guide to grow your business. Same thing so we get done to the publisher. They're all set now. We need index the book. It'll cost you another two thousand dollars. Do you WanNa do it one us. Oh I'll do it. Oh my God you know by like the end of the first week. I'm pulling my hands. I was like I cannot give you enough money to get this off my hands and ultimately it's done better and I would think that's the same for you so that how do you get people to understand. Just what that workload might look like right. I mean that thankfully it gets. That's handled pretty walnut the sales process. What's cool is we have? A lot of. Our sales team actually comes from our support team that we've all kind of grown up through through the ranks there so they have a great understanding of the system. How much work is actually involved and one of the things? That's really I think so. Powerful about our teams in general as we almost all come from extensive retail backgrounds. We are all either boutique managers. We were buyers We're inventory manager as we were merchandise manager. Ab- so everybody comes from this really kind of core understanding of like. You don't have time to do this. So let a professional do this and like are you. Do you really WanNa be like concatenation in excel when you should be on your sales floor. It's not the most wonderful use of your time So that perspective helps on that Front Fisher Now there are some never met calm demeanor up that call about it because you're aware that this is so well it's scary right isn't it? It's scary to I might do something wrong. And you're kind of voice of saying we'll do it together which I think is really important training. It is this together and you know. There's there's plenty of resources that we utilize US webinars. Everybody does learn differently. Some people prefer to listen and watch and learn late at night in bed. Fine We have resources. We have articles. We have POW twos and and plenty of videos to watch But the one on one sessions I think are by far the most powerful because then like I get to learn about like you as a retailer. And what like why you the product? Why why did you choose to change? Because you lacked reporting and you're buying reports aren't up to par. Are you managing inventory across three different stores? And you can't allocate your merchandise properly like. What are your pain points so we can take that time and kind of cover that together? Since that's why you changed a most people would say yes. Yes yes it's it's like. Yes that's what I'm looking for his information and and that's the other thing with POS systems. You know for me. And I'm I'm dated because I haven't purchased Peo- Systems Brian. Ten years for anybody but my whole thing was set up the best reports and have them come to. You don't feel don't get stuck in the idea. You have to go looking for them. Would that be your advice in a system in twenty twenty? Yes I think you should have core reports that you you rely on and that you know those metrics are how. You're you're moving your business. But the way our reporting features where it's it's incredibly robust you can really relate to now so we have just less of groups and metrics so that you can create fairy if there's a very specific situation that you need to report on at this very moment in time. You're seeing this really unusual dip in the cell of bottoms and you need to run department report on on bottoms by location by color. Maybe not a report. You're going to need all the time. But you're seeing this really unusual trend in a product that you typically did really well in you can run that type of report on the spot so yes have your core saved reports that are going to help you kind of buy and run your business and make high level decisions but are reporting feature is is built on what you need at this very moment in time and teaching people by touch literally giving people fake sandbox accounts that mirror their account so they could play with these things prior to going live on the system. Because you need to play for training the gotTa meet with Success Right. Practice before you go live. That's my thing you know. I teach retail sales training. And I want you to practice on other people before you're doing it with my customers really going to cost me money right. And that's how you master these tools. Because they're they're simple but retail business in general is complex. So especially if you're coming off of a legacy system you've been on for like thirty years be reconditioning to get onto. A new system is so wild just because buttons look different even if it functioned similarly right and so what does a little bit about your background of being in Boutiques and fashion education. What what kind of things have you done before the budget to springboard absolutely so? I'm a Chicago Gal and I went to Columbia College Chicago For Fashion Business. I'm not fully knowing a lot of merchandising going on. They're not exactly where I wanted to landed the retail industry but knew that was that was the industry from a very young age. Kinda funny enough Thinks the people just born with it and you're born with it and you're stuck in it forever. It's a good thing I I helped manage and run a wonderful clothing boutique back home in West Chicago for Eight nine years experience. What kind of system do they have the brain but was it a full feature? We were pen and paper. We were pen and paper was a nineteen fifty women's this. I consider myself on the youngest side but definitely not insulting. Sorry it was not at all now. It was. It was a store that was really well established in another region and they they they moved back to the Chicago area and it had worked that way for for ages and it worked. It was a very kind of intimate very high end routinely so it was a very Have again very intimate experience with the customer. So pen and paper suited the the feel of the store. And I imagine with all of you you were also really cognizant of what was selling it. What wasn't saying. I think that having that direct interaction with customers. You can't duplicate right. I mean that's the whole point you get a full featured System like Springboard Retail Pos. So that you can dive into those numbers because most likely in two thousand twenty. You're going to be far removed from the situation. Then when you might have started. Is that correctly? It's also just much harder to come up with concrete. You intuitively know my you know. This type of earring is not doing as well as it did last season. And I'm not entirely sure. Why so as a retailer and has a good retailer? You have that intuition. You're working with the customers your pen and paper. You know what's not working but you can't pull the exact numbers so when you are going to buy there's still this margin of error that you can't back up with with numbers and I think is a wonderfully intuitive as most retailers and buyers. Are there still something really powerful about having numbers to back up? What like what you know is happening in your business. So that you can act on it more confidently absolutely. I think that is the key. And you know the the margin of error these days for making a bad by is A lot narrower than it ever was right because now you know that someone else online has a cheaper or more available or a million other things and data is really the thing that determines everything will explore more in just a bit but first a quick word about springboard retail P. O. S. This season is sponsored by springboard retail PEO S. You know one of the biggest challenges I hear from listeners. And whether they're selling from a store from trunk shows pop ups or just online. Is THEY WANT GREAT? Easy to use data on top of that they want customizable reporting. That's where springboard retail comes in their best in class reporting. Helps you run a best. In Class Retail Operation Ir sales higher margins and faster sell through. Springboard retails customer. Success team will help you get all of your historical data into springboard and get you up and running in a flash with a one on one personalized on boarding experience that's run by actual humans and now it's even easier for you listeners. To supercharge your business with springboard retail. Theo s just visit springboard retail dot com forward slash retail dot com and. You'll receive twenty percent off your first year now back to the show. So how could we encourage some of those people out there? Who ARE LISTENING TODAY. Who might have a legacy system and it works fine? I actually remember speaking to some people one time. And they said we don't know the data because then we'd know how much shrink it was and I was like that is really the wrong way to look right. It's like I want to put my head in the sand whatever's left. I'm happy with right so yeah I think it's it's daunting for people to see their numbers for the first time. I think if you're start if you start really digging into your business can be very emotional. Process speak has you've always you've run your business certain way for so long And I think one of the things that ends up being very shocking for anybody knew who comes onto My team at springboard is how emotional the actual importing process is for clients I mean these these businesses are. They're they're they're so personal and they're they're part of their their livelihood and they're typically part of their families and the whole process is so wildly emotional that changing system in general and learning more about your own business. That whole bundle is is. It's an emotional experience. I encourage people to do their research. If you'd think a system is going to change your business don't be scared of it going into the fitting room for the first time like. Oh my chance of my pants. Have all shrunk. Well exactly. Maybe the mirror is a little bit less kind and then How would they? How would you know what kind of things makes a full featured? Pos System better than Legacy systems because you brought up a very good point a lot of people still work in excel spreadsheets and then download and try to match to whatever it was and the caddy reports aren't well. They're not really all there. There's you know if some of them are over here in summary here so what does that actually. Obviously I think it saves you time but what else as a merchandiser and as a as a as a a store manager what other benefits could you get from that? Well I think in this day and age. There's no reason to not have full transparency. Especially IF YOU'RE A multi location business. I think having the ability to see your numbers your inventory kind of the movement of your inventory. The sales of certain reps of yours Look across the entire business as a whole you should be able to see things at a store level but you should be able to see things at a company level as well even if you just have to store that becomes incredibly powerful. That empowers you to that. Move your product around properly so that you have higher turnover you have things. That aren't moving to saleroom just because one locations going to do better with it than another location so I think transparency across your business is is easily one of the biggest things. People should be striving for great point too because invariably you get John who loves this. One item sells the crud out of it in one location the other locations like. I don't know why they sell it. That stuff the ugliest stuff ever. You don't have time. Necessarily you probably could get John to convince them somehow. But out of ten thousand skews. You're not necessarily GONNA know it so instead you say. Oh It's not selling here you put it on sale in that store and the one that has already selling on you put it on sale. You clear out you say oh. It was great except that you could have made more money if you just move the merchandise if you just known that it's not a packed it up and gave all that merchandise. Nobody has no has no idea how to sell to John. He just plow through it and location a then then your margin on that that item was so much greater amounts that's ultimately how you pay for a great pos system. I think that's ultimately people say what's my what's my. Roi On this well the Roi based on giving you back hours in your day and even though the on boarding might be a little scary to have that full transparency for you to be able to say. Hey that's That's the best way we can. We can do this. And then you could also have that in line with your online shop to buy online pickup in store you have full transparency of inventory and and. I do think that shrink is a big thing. Most people don't look at that. You know merchandiser supposed to get twenty four units. Nobody really checks it really twenty arrive and then you end up looking and you have ten in your store and you like well. Where did that happen and it just starts to say Oh we have to improve our processes you know. That's the whole thing with data right. It isn't that it's bad or good. It's that it helps you navigate how to be more profitable business. I think almost every subject we ended up teaching and on boarding ends up relating to best practices for loss prevention. And it's it's such a huge part of what what retailers are dealing with even if they don't realize how much they're dealing with it. Every workflow has holes in it that allows errors. I mean we're humans there's GONNA be data errors but that that's lost product and that's lost money so whilst preventions so huge so huge the I would agree. So do you have any advice? Any anything specific you would. You would say retail owners in general. Well that's our and you don't have eight hours any advice. Top three things you might say to a retailer. Well I know things are just in general right now. I think things are kind of scarier time I think retailers are inherently optimistic people. I don't think people venture into retail. Because they're they're pessimistic beings. They WANT TO BE AROUND PEOPLE. They want to make things more beautiful. They want to make things more efficient for people. I think that Maintaining your your optimism. You have to you have to kind of re connect to why you you went into retail to continue to be successful. I think some of the things we're seeing right now. I have this this amazing client that we recently on boarded in in New York she. She runs She has kids stores and the minute. The new started spreading with corona virus. If my stores close I'm going to be online. Says she is putting her feelers out in every single creative outlet. She can and in like no time. She's already like building a website to to maximize the fact. She's going to have time off of her floor And it's just it's such a positive way of going into something that feels so daunting and so scary and it's just it's the right attitude and I think we have to kind of reconnect to that attitude. That's why we're here so I we all joined retail may honestly believe retail. Could make the world a better place by the people working in shopping retail. That's what we do. I mean I love that idea about We're inherently optimistic. Nobody gets retail. I bet no one will buy anything about the ugliest up. Ever GonNA lose. My shirt. People don't do that when they opened a bar restaurant or something right. That's like we are planning for the future and I always say you know. Imagine on nine eleven none of us could imagine a nine twelve. That wasn't even possible and the things that were coming out to us like. Oh we've known these guys out there for a while and now there's all like our eyes got opened and I think that's kind of what we're going through is understanding that okay so there's a lot of ways we can get sick but we're in this together and I don't want to dwell on that Tell me something good about retail. What I think we've been only talking about good things about retail. I know I was GONNA say I don't have anything else to add because honestly you're just a great and I love your attitude about retail and you've been really helpful talking about training and certainly how a grape yo s system like springboard retail can help A retailer and I appreciate you helping. Us sponsor our season this time but more importantly Just any final thoughts about you know what else that you might say he thoughts. I just want to encourage people to if you if you feel like you do have a hole in your business Obviously I think springboard is wonderful product kind of plug a lot of those those gaps that people feel that we often feel are just kind of part of the business but just encourage people to do research there are. There are so many wonderful tools out there to get your name out. There is so many different. You Know Omni Channel options To to sell to never stop being creative and don't don't get complacent with what you you've got. There's there's there's there's always room to grow. I think that's I think that's perfect. And how can we find out more about springboard retail us? Well we have some really fun avenues. We actually putting a post out about all of the digital housekeeping. That you can do if you are stuck at home So things that retailers can actually do Our our team is working on that right. Which is very exciting. I think there's GonNa be some actual housekeeping things. You could do your at home. Sprinkling the store maybe But you can find it. Springboard RETAIL DOT COM Wonderful resources there connect with some really wonderful people on my team on the sales team. I'm find out a little bit more about us and their links to our social media accounts in our blog post so Even if you just end up reading about what to do if you're stuck without your clients for the next few weeks and how to maximize your time. It's great. Thanks for joining me today. Thank you I really enjoyed it. Thanks again to my guest Danielle Ewart. I enjoyed speaking about how. Pos Systems can help with loss prevention. The idea that there are holes in business processes that lead to lost merchandise which can be found in a good pos system. That's really important on next week's episode. I'll be speaking with Dan. Hodges of retail store tours as somebody who leads brick and mortar store tours in the US Asia and Europe. They'll share the five things. He notices in those retailers who are succeeding at physical retail. You won't want to miss it. I'm Bob Phibbs the retail doctor. Thanks for listening. Tell me something good about retail. Is The podcast of the retail. Doctor Visit Retail Doc Dot Com to learn what makes Bob Phibbs the authority of brick and mortar retail across the world who works with some of the biggest brands all the way down to the smallest mom and POPs as a listener of the. Tell me something good about retail. Podcast you can receive free information and guides when you visit Retail D. O. C. DOT COM and sign up for our exclusive weekly newsletter for more information to access the complete archives of past retail and to see about Bob speaking to your audience. Please visit retail doc dot com.