One Blog |May 23, 2018 | POS Tracking Software

Implementing Best-of-Breed POS Tracking Software Is A Best Practice

Mark Fullertion

A Few Words From Our Chief Blogger

Please bear with me for a moment. Before I get to the discussion of “best-of-breed” and “best practices” let me share the following short story which I think will be worth reading as we move into the main topic of this blog post.

A Pleasant Surprise

Every company wants to add customers and keep customers – we’re no different.

Since we started our company over 10 years ago, we have enjoyed a very high customer retention rate of over 95%.

Put another way, our “churn rate” is very low. Which means our customers like us and like the value our software brings to their business.

It was somewhat of an unpleasant surprise to us when we lost a good customer after they had been using our products for about two years. We tried to get them to tell us why they left, but we never could get sufficient information from them.

Another two years passed and our ex-customer informed us they wanted to “turn their subscription back on” – they want to become a customer again.

“What happened?” we asked.

The bottom line is they were told by their route accounting software (RAS) provider that they had developed a point-of-sale (POS) ordering module that was “just like” OnTrak’s – and that it would be part of the vendor’s RAS system and therefore “free.”

Our former customer, after waiting and waiting for nearly two years for a POS application “just like” OnTrak’s to be developed, decided they just couldn’t wait any longer – even if their vendor was willing to provide the POS application “for free”.

Of course, we are delighted to have our former customer once again become a current customer.

The Best-of-Breed and a Best Practice

Meanwhile, other OnTrak customers, who are beer distributors, let us know that they considered OnTrak’s products to be “best-of-breed,” and that they considered the use of PermaTrak (for permanent POS) and SignTrak (for printed signs and displays) to be a “best practice.”

This sequence of events with our returning customer gave rise to the underlying message of this blog:

It is very important to use “best-of-breed” or “purpose-built” applications developed by companies who have a particular expertise or focus.

Let’s start with route accounting systems.

Sometimes called back-office systems, they are typically designed and developed by companies who have a deep understanding of a beverage alcohol distributor's requirements for order entry, billing, inventory control, purchasing, accounts receivables, and payables. They do a good job for distributors.

Like RAS, there are other advanced applications, such as warehouse management and logistics that are offered by software vendors with the specific expertise these systems require. These advanced systems typically are easily integrated with RAS systems to provide customers a seamless user experience.

Similarly, point-of-sale (POS) tracking, measuring, and management reporting systems – different from just simple POS ordering “modules” – are offered by software developers who are focused on beer, wine, and spirits distributors and their unique point-of-sale marketing and promotional requirements.

Note: We have not been able to find another software company that provides the wide array of POS Tracking capability as OnTrak

Single Vendor Solutions vs. Best-of-Breed

Companies of all sizes and shapes, including beverage alcohol distributors, have faced this selection challenge for decades, and it doesn’t look like it will ever go away.

Either find one software solution provider who does it all, or or find multiple vendors who provide best-of-breed software solutions that address specific areas of your business.

The single vendor approach allows you to only have to deal with one vendor should issues arise. However, it would be rare to find one vendor who has enough resources to develop software to address all your needs.

With the multiple vendor approach there is the chance that there might be finger pointing between vendors when issues arise. However, in most cases these best-of-breed solutions have been developed by companies that have a single focus on addressing a specific area of your business, but are also well aware of a customer’s need to share data across disparate systems.

So choosing the right approach is not always easy, but in today’s information technology environments we see the multiple vendor approach working quite well. That’s because the ability for systems to integrate, as well as share data, occurs daily in beverage companies across the country, especially within our 100 customers.

All-In-One Solutions vs. Need for Specialization

The need for state-of-the-art Route Accounting, Transportation Planning, Warehouse Management, and POS Marketing systems has never been greater than it is now.

The temptation may be great to pick a vendor whose core competency is Route Accounting and hope that they have developed these other functions (like POS) with the same attention to detail as their core applications.

They may say they have developed an “all-in-one” solution, but often the truth is that these ancillary functions are outside of their core competence. So, while their core may be best-of-breed, the odds are low that the additional functions are.

We believe, selecting companies who develop very powerful, specialized solutions is the better approach. Don’t you want to know that the software you implement provides best-of-breed capabilities for your core business processes?

In these best-of breed situations there may be some concern regarding integrating these applications and data, but in fact this type of integration has become a common practice.

For example, today we exchange data with all the leading route accounting and back office systems in the market.

In fact, using best-of-breed applications from different vendors may be the only way to truly achieve your “best practices” goals set by top management.

POS Best Practices Implementation with OnTrak

The best approach to implementing your POS marketing best practices system is the same as the approach you would deploy for any of your core competencies:

Adopt a POS tracking and management application from a company that is focused on developing specialized POS solutions and delivering them in an on-demand, web-based environment – Often referred to as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

Technology implementation has traditionally presented itself as an arduous, expensive and distruptive process.

There is some very good news:

Implementing a SaaS POS tracking system, compared to traditional application software, is easy and inexpensive.

SaaS software – like that from OnTrak – does not require a big budget and will not require resources from IT to support it. In addition, it can be up and running in a few days rather than in weeks, months or even years.

Conclusion

The beverage distribution landscape has changed and continues to change.

The benefits you’ll gain by adopting best-of-breed, purpose-built POS tracking and management applications are real.

Implementing our POS marketing software creates a best practices environment that does not have to be overwhelming. In fact, with our approach the journey has been made both easier and more affordable than ever before.

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For more information on how OnTrak’s POS Tracking Software helps distributors track, measure and manage their POS Marketing campaigns click on either of the following two links for find out what we know about:

Beer Distributors

Wine & Spirits Distributors

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To request a live, 30-minute demonstration of our POS Tracking Software, please call our product experts on 513-936-4041, or click the button and select the one or more products from the following list:

Request a Demo

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PermaTrak - Permanent Signs and Displays

SignTrak - Custom Printed Signs

SampleTrak - Beverage Samples and Tastings

MenuTrak - Custom Beverage Menus

*Integrated reporting and analysis tools are included in each of our POS Marketing software solutions

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