Ciggys4Less wanted a scalable point of sale (POS) system offering customization for each store, real-time sharing of data, integrated e-commerce solutions, fast credit-card and payment processing, and 24/7 support, and found these qualities and more with POS Prophet Systems all-in-one solution.
High costs and concerns about potentially toxic ingredients in commercially manufactured cigarettes have led many consumers to investigate roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes. One of the national corporations riding this wave is Ciggys4Less, with franchises located in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, as far north as New York, and a California store. The premise is fairly simple. Customers visit a Ciggy's location where they rent time on a cigarette rolling machine. After purchasing loose tobacco and rolling tubes in the store, the so-called Ciggy Filling Station produces a carton of cigarettes in about ten minutes.
On average, each franchise location serves between 50 and 100 people each day, offering the customer multiple tobacco blends and filters which are combined to create the perfect smoke. Like many business models, the goal is a consistent product that pleases the customer time after time. Each store must produce the right tobacco blends containing proper moisture levels, quality tubes, and well maintained rolling machines, to keep loyal customers returning for their "ideal smoke."
Prior to upgrading their point of sale system, Ciggys4Less had three franchise locations using a slightly older POS system which was not scalable enough to support additional growth. The company planned to roll out many new stores in a short period of time and needed a POS platform (including both hardware and software) that would easily handle those additions.
Ciggys4Less District Manager Justin Hepburn talks about some of the challenges. "We needed a POS system that could handle many new stores and would also allow some customization at each location," he said. "We also wanted a centralized database to tie locations together, in order to share a complete customer base for better marketing and customer service."
Executives of the company demanded the following capabilities in a POS system:
(1) Real-time sharing of all data between stores,
(2) The ability to transfer product between different locations,
(3) Support of multiple price levels based on customer types,
(4) Accounts receivable for the wholesale side of the business,
(5) Integrated e-commerce for the wholesale side,
(6) An integrated loyalty program on the retail side,
(7) Fast, integrated payment processing,
(8) The ability to build "packages" of several items with the push of a single button, in order to sell multiple products in just one transaction.
By partnering with POS Prophet Systems (PPS), Ciggys4Less met all of their needs with just one organization. Commonly in the industry, there's a POS software developer who then works with a middle man (a POS reseller) to distribute, install, and support the products. But since POS Prophet Systems bundles all these services together, things are simpler for the end user.
As Ciggys4Less continues to add more franchises nationwide, managers acknowledge that their unique licensing business model will put some pressure on the POS system and require plenty of enhancement and added features. The ability of POS Prophet Systems to provide fast and reliable support was a strong selling point.
The new POS system has given both individual store managers and those at the district level and higher, the ability to spot changes in sales volume (both increases and decreases) very quickly. That means that both struggling and overachieving franchises receive immediate support, based on individual needs.
"It has also increased efficiency at store and administrative levels, with the ability to quickly access different information modules such as customer accounts, inventory, employee time sheets, and retail transactions in one window," Hepburn said.
And managers and employees are especially happy with the rapid response from POS Prophet Systems when a problem occurs at the store level.
"On top of being visually attractive, the entire system is very user friendly and easily taught, with customer support portals for accessing operating information, and direct contact to tech support for quick fixes for errors or problems that occur," Hepburn said. "What used to take weeks to get solutions, now can take days, hours, or even just a few minutes."
Point of Sale Specifications
The Ciggys4Less corporate office maintains a database on a central server running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Each location uses POSexpress Version 3.0 software as the foundation of their point of sale system. POSexpress Integrated Web Store adds functionality for the wholesale side of the business and POSexpress Integrated Appointment Book allows customers to reserve a rolling machine at their local store.
The only hardware change made initially by POS Prophet Systems was replacing the printers at the three original stores with Aures ODP200 Thermal Receipt Printers. The brand new stores will deploy all-inclusive hardware solutions from POS Prophet Systems that include the following:
(1) Aures Galeo 200 all-in-one Touch PC
(2) Aures PS-50 bar code scanners
(3) Aures ODP200 Thermal Receipt Printers
About POS Prophet Systems
A full service point of sale provider, POS Prophet Systems develops, sells, and supports affordable and easy to use POS software solutions for their retail partners. They also specify and recommend compatible hardware pieces.
POSexpress software is used by 850 retail businesses worldwide. Solutions from POS Prophet Systems include point-of-sale, inventory management, high-speed credit card processing, e-commerce applications, CRM, marketing tools, integrated gift card and loyalty programs, and accounting programs. Once the solutions are in place, POS Prophet Systems offers professional training and implementation, data conversion, 24/7 live support, and business application consulting.
POS Prophet Systems software developers are certified Microsoft Partners and the implementation and support teams have over fifteen years experience in training and support of retail operations.
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