Maryland Public Television producer Frank Batavick directs the filming of a segment about StoreReport, instructing Brandon Rhodus (manager Keith’s Superstore #115) on how he would like to set up the audit scene while cameraman Kim Moir and audio man Gordon Master stand by to film the sequence. The film was commissioned by the University of Maryland, is hosted by computer guru Robert X. Cringely, and will begin airing in April 2008. For an air date near you click http://www.transformationage.org/carriage.html
Watch the clip on-line:
QuickTime Movie www.storereport.com/assets/storeport.mov (this may take some time)
If you’re a convenience store operator, and you’re watching your profits disintegrate everyday (and who isn’t), and you’re wondering why no matter how many trade shows you attend, associations you pay dues to, and magazine articles you read, it just gets worse .... then you’ve come to the right place.
Prediction: If convenience store retailers do not move fast to take control of their inventories, there will be no convenience stores. At least not as we have known them in the past. Massive bankruptcies and reorganization over the past few years should have been warning enough. In order to survive, operators must get “lean and mean”. We cannot warehouse 100+ days of our supplier’s inventories and remain profitable. Operators in America alone are losing BILLIONS of dollars each year, allowing wasteful practices to run amok, while creating opportunities, similar to the opportunities for automobile and steel takeovers by foreign businesses.
The real answer to your problems is located in the pages of this web site and it’s all free. We won’t charge you a dime for it. We won’t even ask you for a contribution. It’s the information that your suppliers and your associations don’t want you to know. Because if you know what we know, they’ll be in big trouble. Heck, they may have to go back to working for a living.
We have been working in the convenience store industry since 1978. That’s right! Thirty years of watching it grow, peak and shrink. You’ve tried everything and just when you think you have everything working right, a new hole opens up and down the chute you go. Sometimes it seems like your suppliers are trying to drive you out of business. No, they don’t want you to go out of business. They want you working for them so they can bleed off every penny of your profits, little by little, day by day, month by month, year by year.
First the major suppliers eliminated the float on fuel taxes costing marketers over a billion dollars in one week. That was back in 1985. At about the same time, they expanding their programs to compete against you in your territories, drawing a ring around major cities telling you, “don’t cross over this line”. Their latest plan is to stop selling unblended fuel, robbing you of the blending tax credits you could have received from blending your own E10 at the rack. Your fuel profits can no longer sustain your ability to make money in your stores. It’s not getting any better. By cutting expenses to the bone, you may have crippled your ability to provide the level of customer service needed to sustain the image you need to attract customers to your stores. What next?
Your grocery suppliers have taken control of your in-store inventories and have turned your stores into warehouses where they can stuff their unsold inventory, inflating their own balance sheets, and clogged up your aisles, stock rooms and your coolers with junk you can’t sell . Rack jobbers engage in all out warfare in your stores, stealing as much shelf space as they can from each other. It’s a bad habit and it will ultimately destroy them as well as you. But it’s too late now for them to turn back. Suppliers are top heavy with pre-salesmen and drowning in products that they never should have bought in the first place, because their inventory is a mess. They don’t know what they are selling you and you don’t know what you’re buying. That’s why 40% of all disputes (read on) are settled in favor of you the retailer. Your suppliers don’t know a barcode from a barfly so, who cares? They have run out of space, just like you. They have sales meetings with their pre-salesmen offering trips to Maui to the first person to get rid of junk that’s clogging their warehouses and is about to expire. They bribe your management with big screen TV’s, extra inventory you don’t need, and exotic trips to far off places. “Shippers” (God love ’em) clog your storerooms with 10% of the inventory you can sell and 90% you can’t sell.
Sometime back you slipped from under the driver’s seat. Or maybe you just thought you had it and never did. Everybody else but you is running your business and you know it. Your associations tell you that “Category Management” is the panacea and micromanaging your inventories is too costly - and a waste of your time - they have climbed into bed with your suppliers who contribute millions of dollars to these associations through trade shows and advertising. They have convinced you that your employees are too dumb to do anything but run a cash register. They push, they shove, and they intimidate your employees into believing the eight-foot train of soft drinks is something you ordered. Your cut for all this is more trade shows to go to where more bad advice is given out and everybody there has “the answer” to your problem. So maybe you buy into it and what happens - things just get worse. Your employees spend hours everyday fiddling with complicated software that produces mounds of unintelligible data the piles up in your office warehouse like cord wood.
We have spider in my neck of the woods we call a “garden spider”. She builds a massive web system to trap insects that carelessly fly into it. It doesn’t take long for the word to get around and the spider begins to make changes to the web so it is not recognizable by her prey. It works! The next day there are insects in her web again. A small change in the pattern of her web fools the insects into believing that the web they avoided no longer exits. Are you the spider or the prey?
I hope you can make some use of the 30 years of experience and research we bring to the industry. I hope it will wake up our competitors so they will start providing you with solutions instead of more worthless upgrades and 10-20 year old technology. But most of all, I hope it will help you manage your businesses more efficiently and survive the difficult times that lay before us.
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Scott Systems rents its software for a small monthly fee. All programs and services are accessible over the Internet.
- There are no annual license or support fees
- Data and accessibility is 100% secure
- Utilize your existing equipment
- Use our Wide Area Lan
- Can be customized to suit your unique requirements
- Complete Bookkeeping & Accounting Systems
- General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Retail Store and Bulk Plant Accounting, Inventory Control, Accounts Payable, C-Store, Payroll, Fuel and Sales Taxes, Analysis and Decision Support Systems
- Convenience store software
- Remote store software networked to headquarters in realtime
- POS services
- Realtime integration to existing POS systems
- POS systems
- Complete POS systems for non-fuel retailers
- Store perpetual inventory
- True just-in-time inventory
- Item control and analysis
- Remote site realtime monitoring
- Auditing functions
- Suppliers Integration
- Pre-Shipment notification
- Automated receiving
- Automated ordering
- Network all stores and offices
- Wide Area Network for all stores, offices and remote sites