When B.C. Moore upgraded its POS system, it included a frame relay network that reduced the retailer's payment processing time by 88%.
B.C. Moore & Sons is a family-owned and -operated department store with 79 locations across the South. Until recently, it had a DOS-based, legacy POS solution that used a dedicated phone line to process credit and gift card transactions, which took 20 to 30 seconds. Also, B.C. Moore could not process debit cards. As consumer use of debit cards increased, this became a larger problem. Finally, the cash register model used in the stores had been discontinued.
"We were in a position we did not want to be in," says Guy Penegar, store systems director at B.C. Moore. "We had old hardware that had to be replaced, old software that did not have any future growth potential, and a need to streamline the checkout process."
Realizing it needed to upgrade its POS system, B.C. Moore chose Visionary Retail Suite from Millenium Retail Solutions. Penegar says B.C. Moore chose this solution because typical third party applications -- like integrated debit/credit card processing, CRM (customer relationship management), signature capture, and proprietary credit card processing -- were all included in the base product. "The vendor was able to give us multiple solutions and a very clear migration path," he explains. B.C. Moore also installed new hardware, choosing NCR's RealPOS 80 and 80c POS workstations.
Frame Relay Network Enables Near-Real-Time Communication
The crux of B.C. Moore's POS upgrade was the 56K frame relay network it integrated into the system, which enabled stores to communicate directly with the home office in near-real time. The network enables debit card processing and provides credit/gift/debit card processing times of 2 to 3 seconds, a reduction of about 88%. The POS upgrade also included electronic signature capture, eliminating paper receipts and the labor associated with processing them.
B.C. Moore piloted the POS solution in two stores during the 2003 holiday season, and after thorough testing, continued rolling out the solution. It was installed in all 79 stores by November 2004. The only integration issue the retailer encountered was transferring the data from the legacy system to the new POS software. "Layaway, customer, and employee information, as well as house accounts and sales histories, were all in DOS files," says Penegar. "We had to convert the files and integrate them into the new POS system."