Entire inventory is stored and tracked with Microsoft RMS
Ordering is automated using reorder points, and can be generated daily. Items are bar coded, and if a product comes without one – as wines often do – the system’s Label Wizard easily generates them.”I use nearly all the features in Microsoft Retail Management System,” says Matt. “But I depend on inventory tracking.”
The POS system’s assembly function for tracking SKUs that have been assembled into stock and special-order gift baskets has proven valuable, he says. “We want buyers to see what they’re getting,” he says, “but not each item’s price. Our system lets us consolidate all 25 items under one SKU.”
Nearly every wine shop I visited had a poor idea of its inventory,” Matt says. He also saw customers rooting around aimlessly for a dusty bottle of the right variety and vintage, learned that there was often no efficient way of putting items on sale, and discovered that many store owners didn’t know their profit margins. Matt’s is primarily a wine store with 350 different wines, equating to an SKU of almost 11,000 bottles, he says.
Microsoft Retail Management System offered “superb inventory tracking,” which gave him tighter controls on buying. Ordering is also automated so his customers never see an empty shelf, he says.
RMS assists Curious Wines with the on-line side of the business too. “We do half of our business on-line, and although our website is not integrated with the system, we can still use the RMS to process everything.”
Up-to-the minute reports
Microsoft Retail Management System generates instant reports on anything from inventory to profit margins, taxes payable, gross sales and top-performing vendors, products and salespeople. “My item reports show whether sales and specials are successful and if I should adjust prices,” he says. “This takes the guesswork out of pricing.”
Accurate reporting promotes accurate buying, he says. “We know exactly what we have at any given moment. And at inventory time, there is no better tool than the quantity lists I get in a couple of mouse clicks.”
“Microsoft Retail Management System is easy to pick up,” says Matt. “All my employees learned it rapidly; some did so on their own.”
Customer Information for Increased Sales
His customers enjoy hearing about their buying histories, Matt says.
“Customers like knowing what they bought and liked, or what they didn’t. They walk in and demand to know what they bought last Christmas.”
Another benefit the store derives from its expanding database is the ability to store an active client list of 3,000, he says. “We use Microsoft Retail Management System to send out a monthly mailing about our events,” says Kane. “We can base mailings on customer purchase histories and then contact them by direct mail or e-mail. Kane can also analyse sales by wine type to determine new ordering levels, and by address to see how his market base is spread, he says, adding, “It gives me an amazing amount of information I use in marketing.”