One Blog |October 20, 2020 | Blog
What to Look for When Choosing a POS Management Tool for your Beverage-Alcohol Distributorship
Since 2007, OnTrak Software has provided beverage-alcohol (BA) distributors the ability to order, track, manage, and measure the POS “initiatives” and promotions that make up the final push that converts a shopper into a buyer. During these 13+ years point-of-sale marketing has increased in its importance and value to BA distributors due to the explosion of SKU’s and shoppers’ (and consumers’) shift away from traditional broadcast TV to commercial-free streaming platforms like Netflix. Additionally, even viewers of “traditional” broadcast and cable TV channels often record their favorite programs and fast-forward through the commercials.
Today, your customers’ customers are easily avoiding TV spots – POS is the only advertising shoppers actually seek out. Instead of hitting the “fast forward” button, shoppers will actually stop to look at BA POS.
From our perspective, BA suppliers and their wholesale distributors started taking POS seriously as an offensive marketing weapon in 2006 when OnTrak’s solution, “SignTrak” (ST) came to market as our first product to help BA distributors begin to take control of the “black hole” that POS represented.
The first few SignTrak customers immediately took advantage of SignTrak’s ability to automate the POS ordering function. They quickly adopted ST’s approval feature and quickly appreciated the near total elimination of expensive “do-overs” or reworks.
A “Permanent” Solution
Next, one of our ST customers told us they continue to spend more and more on permanent POS and it keeps getting “lost” – or appropriated. Working with BA distributors we’ve learned is the best way to develop new and valuable products for the market. We learned, for example, that many, probably most, distributors use Excel spreadsheets to track their permanent POS – and it’s not working. We developed PermaTrak with a distributor in Arizona and enhanced (by adding features and functions) it with the assistance of another distributor in New York. SignTrak and PermaTrak although written by OnTrak developers were designed with the help of our customers. Over time, virtually all of our product’s improvements have been customer-driven.
For the first thirteen years, OnTrak was the only BA distributor POS tracking, measuring, and management product on the market. In many ways our flagship products, SignTrak, PermaTrak, MenuTrak, and LineTrak remain unique in the BA distributor universe. We proudly make that claim because our software applications are more than “sign ordering” or data input tools. Of course OnTrak’s products do an exceptional job of saving time during the POS ordering process – that’s perhaps nowhere more on display than in MenuTrak which streamlines what can be a very labor intensive process.
More than Order Entry
Yet, for many BA distributors over the past couple of years, automating POS ordering, they discovered, wasn’t enough. The time savings and even the inventory accounting (front and center in PermaTrak) were helpful but POS, they reasoned, should also be about increasing sales (revenue) and profit (income).
OnTrak’s products are much more than ordering tools. One of our customers said – speaking of PermaTrak: “The magic of OnTrak’s applications is that they have proven to help our sales teams boost sales.” They continued, “With PermaTrak we can track expensive POS assets, remain in compliance with our state’s ABC requirements, and determine the impact (on sales) of any particular POS initiatives we want – we can optimize our utilization of our permanent POS which lifts both our customer’s and our own sales.”
OnTrak’s products are, in short, tightly focused (on POS) Management Information and Decision Support Systems.
Use a Little or a Lot
OnTrak’s products enable and support POS order entry, data retention and transformation, and information utilization. OnTrak’s products are based on a centralized database of your raw POS data. Your data is stored in the OnTrak database in such a way that parts of it may be selected and used in calculations, and is formed into useful information – POS intelligence customized by you – that can be used to help BA distributors better manage the outcomes of their POS initiatives in addition to saving hundreds of hours of your sales reps’ time every year. They’ll have more time in the trade – selling.
Additionally, OnTrak products, such as PermaTrak and SignTrak are systems that can be easily used by people who are not computer specialists. OnTrak includes iOS and Android apps and these apps together with the OnTrak system helps you and your reps to order, track, and review POS decisions. In other words, OnTrak systems are computer applications that support the process of POS initiative decision-making in situations that are geared toward increasing the efficiency and effectivity of those at-retail marketing programs.
When you’re considering a connected tool to help you with your particular “POS black hole”, we suggest you look beyond a solution’s POS ordering capability and ask about tracking, management information, and decision support features and the benefits that will accrue with these capabilities.
The Bottom Line
Of course, you knew we’d say that OnTrak provides the digital tools that will help your sales managers and sales reps analyze and respond to marketing situations more clearly leading to better POS decisions and improved top and bottom lines.
If you would like to learn more about our products, we’re happy to chat about the benefits offered to both you and your customers. Please get in touch!