Company Name: ACE POS Solutions
Location: Toronto, Canada
Number of Employees: 15
Annual Revenue Growth in 2017: 15%
Projected Revenue Growth in 2018: 20%
Vertical: growing retailers (they cater to retailers with 5,000 to 50,000 SKUs)
Vendors: Avery Weight-Tronix, Brother, Chase Paymentech, CipherLab, Elavon, elo, Epson, First Data, Global Payments, Honeywell, Magento, Moneris Solutions, NETePay, QuickBooks, Sage 50 Accounting, Shopify, SII, Star Micronics, TD Canada Trust, TSYS, Vantiv, WorldPay, Zebra Technologies
Products/Specialties: ACE Retail 3000 – Window-based, full-feature POS; ScanNow – Android-based mobile inventory scanning app. One of ACE’s key differentiators is multilingual support (e.g., English, French, Spanish and Chinese) and the flexible, agnostic integrations built-in to the software.
There are nearly 1.1M small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) in Canada, according to the latest research from Canada’s Business Register, comprising almost 98% of all business in the country. Small companies have similar goals as their larger counterparts — provide great customer experience and grow sales — but they often lack the financial and staffing resources to achieve their goals and so must take a few shortcuts.
A case in point is a current single-store sporting goods retailer in Langley, British Columbia selling new and used athletic gear, sporting equipment, clothing, and accessories. Like any smart business, this ACE customer wanted to expand its reach beyond the local Langley population by selling online, so it selected an ecommerce solution and uploaded its merchandise — all 10,000 SKUs — to the platform.
Disparate Systems Lead to Manual Processes, Errors and More
Because the retailer’s ecommerce platform and POS software weren’t integrated, the merchant had to manually update its POS every time it made a sale online. “It’s inventory quickly got out of sync,” says Don Kang, director at ACE POS. “A customer would place an order online, and it wasn’t until after the transaction was complete that the retailer discovered it couldn’t fulfill the order, and it had to either refund the customer’s money or scramble to find a replacement.”
Another challenge was charging the appropriate tax rate for online orders. “Unlike brick and mortar purchases where customers all pay the same local tax rate, online orders are charged based on the buyer’s location which varies province by province,” says Kang. “The merchant’s online platform wasn’t able to make the distinction, so it wasn’t able to charge the correct rate.”
After ACE POS became aware of the retailer’s challenges, it met with the store owner and proposed a solution. “They were already using our ACE Retail point-of-sale solution, and we have an API with Shopify, so we recommended replacing their existing platform with an integrated solution,” says Kang.
Because the retailer had so many SKUs on its legacy platform and its inventory wasn’t accurate, the ISV had to manually check the merchant’s inventory, upload in-stock inventory to Shopify and remove out-of-stock merchandise. “The entire process took nearly three weeks with two people using the built-in integration tool to upload data from the POS to Shopify,” says Kang.
Once the data upload was completed, the new solution was tested, the customer was trained on the new platform, and the cutover was complete, the merchant noticed an immediate difference. It no longer had to perform double entries to manage its inventory, and it didn’t need to worry about manually calculating online sales taxes. “Shopify maintains live integration between the merchant’s web and brick and mortar inventory,” says Kang. “Plus, our software enables the retailer to run reports via a browser to receive real-time updates on sales and inventory. Another nice feature with the new solution is that the customer now has more control over which products are sold at its brick and mortar store and which products are sold online. Its previous ecommerce platform didn’t give it the option to make this distinction. The real benefit of the new solution is that it allows the retailer to focus on running its business and taking care of customers rather than worrying about inventory accuracy, tax rates and putting out fires caused by out-of-sync systems.”