Chetu Reviews: Wild Birds Unlimited

Chetu gives a Review of their Custom Retail POS and Big Data Solution

Chetu Reviews the Problem

The increased complexity of managing daily retail operations has predicated the need for stores to implement extensive Point-of-Sale (POS) systems that seamlessly integrate with inventory management systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms and analytics modules. Robust POS systems that are properly integrated facilitate access to real-time, on-demand reports of critical business metrics. This information is relied on by decision makers to make sound, profitable choices.

Retailers with fragmented, legacy point of sale systems, lax data collection methods or insolvent inventory management platforms suffer from a dissonance in data that can lead to a loss of profits. In the case of Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU), the largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with over 275 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, management relied on a decentralized inventory management system to benchmark operational decisions.

As a fast growing organization, WBU wanted to develop a set of tools that would permit its franchise store owners to gain better insights into the data available in their POS system, as well as help increase efficiencies in the store by streamlining POS maintenance operations. “While we understood our franchise owner business needs and had plans on how to get there, we needed a partner who could help us develop the solution” said Charles Braganza, Director of Information Systems at WBU.

With increased efficiency and oversight at the forefront of this new initiative, WBU reached out to Chetu to develop a POS and analytics software solution that would enlighten each WBU franchise owner to their store’s operational statistics, as well as allow upper management to analyze data from each store’s sales receipts, individual customer databases and stock inventory systems. WBU required an integration of their POS infrastructure to a robust analytics platform to:

§ Perform inventory analysis

§ Generate sales-by-month reports for each location

§ Generate item-specific reports to establish sales volume for forecasting

Review of Chetu’s Solution

Chetu worked with WBU to develop a tool with a set of modules that consisted of:

§ Batch maintenance

§ Customer maintenance

§ Item maintenance

§ Purchase order maintenance

§ Sales summary updates

§ Transaction maintenance

§ Reports

Using .Net and SQL programming languages, Chetu developed the POS tools to seamlessly integrate with WBU’s POS platform. Leveraging WBU’s in house data warehouse, Chetu utilized SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to provide WBU’s corporate offices quick and easy access to individual store metrics. Through custom implementations, Chetu provided a user friendly front-end dashboard with an intuitive User Interface (UI) to view the highly complex material. With a combination of SQL Reporting Services and custom UI design, WBU was able to pull data reports based on region, age, total sales, average visits, number of transactions, as well as itemized and specific reports that detailed each store’s profits. 
 Additionally, the new system allowed management to enhance WBU’s customer loyalty program called the Daily Savings Club (DSC). The company was able to generate reports in a tabular format that could record and rank stores by:

§ Number of DSC members

§ Number of unique members compared to the total unique customers

§ Overall percent of sales generated from DSC members

§ DSC members’ average ticket

§ DSC members’ average visits

§ Average annual sales per DSC member

§ DSC members’ renewal percentage

§ DSC members’ percent of bird food sales

“As a long-term, back-end software partner, we were able to seamlessly integrate their requested upgrades while maintaining the integrity of their data and structure of their existing systems. Thanks to their feedback and professionalism, the rollout and implementation went smoothly,” said Sanjeev Kota, Director of Operations for Retail at Chetu.

Overview of the Results

The value of the software upgrades was quickly realized by WBU. By upgrading their point-of-sale system and implementing more detailed reporting and inventory analysis tools, Wild Birds Unlimited was able to more acutely monitor their core customer base, while improving operational efficiencies. The infrastructure improvements led directly to cost savings and a healthy ROI. Braganza adds, “The new software tools has given our WBU franchise store owners a new sense of ‘empowerment’ over their business at the local level, and helps provide system wide insights and analysis to the staff plus leadership team at the corporate level. Our ability to have quick access to data enables us to be agile in changing market conditions and helps us remain the leader in our industry.”