NCR Counterpoint Case Study
As the Director of Operations of a Vineyard, I have written this document to express my delight and enthusiasm for NCR Counterpoint and POS Highway. A year ago, our company switched from Microsoft Dynamics to NCR Counterpoint with the help of the staff at POS Highway. Admittedly, we were nervous. Who wouldn’t be when switching over POS systems? There’s a lot to learn and prepare for.
We found the transition process to be smoother than we ever could have expected, and that is in part thanks to the intuitiveness of Counterpoint, but mainly due to the excellent preparation, training, and support from the staff at POS Highway. We are now in love with the features of Counterpoint and are always planning what to do next with all the features that are available.
As a vineyard, winery, and tasting room, we were looking for a POS that could handle e-commerce, have little to no learning curve for our staff, and open up doors of possibilities that were not possible with our last POS. Counterpoint delivered in spades. Below are some of the many factors that steered us towards choosing Counterpoint and POS Highway over the other leading POS systems and providers out there.
Our biggest worry about moving to a new POS was transferring data. We had over 14,000 customer records, 1000 items, and each item had inventories. The idea of having to manually enter even part of this had us apprehensive about change.
We found that exporting data from our old POS into an excel file and then batching it into Counterpoint was a fairly simple process. Importing customer data from a loyalty program is simple as well. Basically, any database that can batch out a CSV or XLS file can be imported into Counterpoint without any hassle or programming. When we adopted Counterpoint, we moved to our tasting room’s customer records and items from our old database. Later, we imported wholesale customers, loyalty program data, and purchasers. With a brief tutorial from our POS Highway rep, there are now a few of us that feel comfortable importing data to the system. Also, to put you/us at ease, our POS Highway rep always makes a backup of our database – just in case. We don’t like Murphy’s Law, but we respect it.
Wine Club Software
I would venture to say that almost all vineyards and wineries in need of a POS have a wine club. This was a major concern of ours when we were looking for a POS. For years, we used a third party loyalty program to run our wine club. The third-party system ran as a plug-in through our old POS. If you have used a program like this, you know it comes with compatibility issues, manual inventory adjustments, customer record sync issues, extra fees, etc… We set out to find a POS that had a wine club program build in, but could still handle all the other facets of our business.
POS Highway has developed a wine club program that runs right through Counterpoint. Revenue and inventories are adjusted when the wine is shipped or picked up, simplifying the whole process. The back-end nuts and bolts are simple and intuitive, and on the front end of things, cashiers have no problem releasing a paid order for pickup or shipping. Cashiers can update a customer’s card on file in under 10 seconds by swiping the card as well. On top of all this, we don’t pay our fees to the third party site anymore.
Using Counterpoint Mobile for off-site events and markets is easy and effective. The staff at the event has full access to the items, customers, and pricing at the event. Sales are tendered to a drawer that can be reconciled from the main site at the end of the day. The program is simple to use and works great for an on-the-go style of sales. Best of all, it can utilize anyone’s iPhone or Ipad with the app.
Automatic discounting has reduced our transaction time at the registers by 15 percent. Counterpoint allows us to set logic through a promotion system that has been very helpful for us. We can set which customers, and at what volumes certain items get discounted automatically. Our wine club members get 15% off wine, 100% off tastings, and 20% off events, etc… This was a lot for our staff to remember, and even more for them to manually enter into our old POS. With Counterpoint, we are able to set levels of discounts on the back-end so that our cashiers rarely ever have to override a price. On top of this, the potential for user error is almost non-existent since the system takes care of discounting.
We store wine at three different bonded facilities. The federal government and New York State, in particular, are sticklers about what alcohol you have where. When removed from a bond, a tax must be paid. With Counterpoint, we are able to manage inventories at three different locations easily and eliminate our old inventory management software. Now we can run a month to month inventory all from the POS and fill out our tax forms in a quarter of the time.
For wholesale customers, Counterpoint has really simplified the process for invoicing and billing. Certain customers can be set up with a house account, limits can be set, and the promotion system can be used for different volume discounts. For most customers, we scan 4-6 barcodes off a sheet, enter the quantity, process the order, and send an invoice all from Counterpoint. We halved the time it took to write up and invoice an order. For reporting purposes, we can send weekly and monthly wholesale registers right from the reports tab in Counterpoint so that we can track the rate at which each wine is selling.
Always up-to-date technology
Our last POS system was static. We bought Microsoft Dynamics RMS 2009. It was great… for a while. It’s no mystery that technology is rapidly progressing, and we found our POS system got lost in the dust. Windows 7, Windows 10. EMV card readers, Bluetooth printers, e-receipts. None of these even crossed our minds in 2009, but are just a part of the normal business now. Our rep from POS Highway is always letting us know what’s new and what could save us time or give us more utility in our business. Counterpoint is ever evolving, so we don’t have to worry about getting behind the times.
In our wine business, we find that many of our repeat customers know what they like. Certain wines even have a strong following of people. However, with any business that is weather dependent, we don’t always have the pleasure of producing a large quantity of each variety of wine each year. Often times we will sell out of a wine before the next vintage is released.
With Counterpoint, we can run a customer report of people that purchased 12 or more bottles of a specific wine in the last year and then email those customers specifically about a new release. We host events as well and have used this feature for offering discounts to upcoming events for those who have attended past events. We also use this feature to let our top purchasing customers know we recognize them. Any POS can run these reports with a little tweaking, but Counterpoint has really simplified the process and allows for many different options to filter criteria.
We sell our wine on our website as well as in our store. Website maintenance of items can be tedious at times when vintages change and as quantities get low. Counterpoint’s e-commerce feature, NRO, allows us to adjust what is in the web store right from the POS. I can’t speak to this as a user yet since we are still in the process of adopting NRO, but it is without a doubt going to simplify our web store maintenance.
All in all, POS Highway has helped us grow our business by helping us take advantage of all that Counterpoint has to offer. Counterpoint has exceeded our expectations in all regards, and we couldn’t be happier with the decision we made.