Magazine Article | March 1, 2006

Mobile POS System Enables Increased Service, Growth

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

A winery digitally tracks sales and inventory information with a wireless POS system to meet increasing business demand.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, March 2006

Domaine Serene Winery, located in Dundee Hills, OR, grows grapes, manufactures wine, and sells the finished product. Domaine Serene sells its wine during tours of the winery, through online orders, and during events held on- and off-site. Allan Carter, marketing director of Domaine Serene, wanted to expand the winery's retail operations to better cope with its recent growth. "As a result of increased sales, we needed to increase productivity, reliably track inventory and accounting data, and enhance the customer's experience during each purchase," says Carter. "Traditionally, orders were processed manually using handwritten, paper invoices. This process was not fast, reliable, or effective and led to decreased productivity of the customer service staff. Order processing took longer, and errors were not uncommon."

After researching solutions that could manage the complete life cycle of wine, including growing grapes, manufacturing and distributing products, tracking sales, and providing better customer relationship management, Carter turned to New West Technologies for a custom solution. The solution maintained Domaine Serene's existing winery software, Blend, while integrating it with Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS) using custom-built software. The RMS store operations software is accessed through Elo TouchSystems' monitors located at the winery.

In addition to RMS and Blend, the solution includes other software applications to enable mobile retail processing. New West Technologies' Mobile POS, Mobile Suite, People PoP, and Mix & Match run on Symbol MC-50 handheld PDAs with Zebra QL320 mobile wireless printers. Mobile POS, which is mobility software designed for PDAs, facilitates tent sales on Domaine Serene's site. Mobile Suite enables inventory tracking, product bar code scanning, and wireless information transmission. This provides immediate purchase updates to the RMS database. People PoP is a directory search tool that automatically populates customer information based on phone number, while Mix & Match is a price-discounting tool that allows customers to choose a variety of wines and purchase them at the case rate. In addition, Elypsis Wine Club Manager and ShipRush for UPS and FedEx were integrated into the solution to track wine club members and make shipping easier.

Mobile Solution Improves Product Traceability, Reporting
Since this is a custom-built solution that includes several interfaces, Carter pondered introducing each software package separately. Based on extensive testing by New West Technologies, it was decided to install everything at once, resulting in a speedy and successful implementation. Employees took ownership of aspects of the solution in their own individual areas of expertise, and trained the others.

"This solution has completely upgraded the way we do business," states Carter. "Now I can track every bottle sold, including samples, employee purchases, and non-wine merchandise. It's very easy to tell when inventory is running low, and our sales reports are accurate and effective." Domaine Serene recently held an open-house event with more than 1,000 customers visiting the winery, which was the first time the RMS solution was used on a large scale. "Everyone commented on the efficiency we maintained, and it freed up customer service representatives to do what they do best — sell wine," says Carter. "We feel we've improved the customer experience, both during the sale and after, which will provide additional value and increase customer retention."