As part of Bematech’s Partner Plus Program and an extension of our March Newsletter, we had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Dale Pinney from Olaf Solutions Inc. Celebrating over 30 years in business, Olaf Solutions has been in the garden industry to help small business owners with their store’s needs. Bematech and Olaf Solutions dive deep into how and why servicing garden centers can prove fruitful! In this interview Bematech and Olaf Solutions discuss why a POS system is crucial for garden centers, how stores can improve their ROI with Olaf software, the future of Olaf Solutions and much more.
Q: What industry do you provide point-of-sale software for? Tell us a bit about the customers you service.
A: Our Software is a combined effort with Positive Software company in Washington and Olaf Solutions. The Green Enterprise Management (GEM) is a solution that was developed for garden centers and nurseries to sell, track and manage the horticulture industry. Since we work with so many garden centers and nurseries we are able to provide a much more knowledgeable understanding of their business needs, proactively developing the software to make the customers more profitable.
Q: What do you feel is the major difference between what you provide and other Garden POS software companies?
A: The ability to scan the carts used outside to select plants without having to unload the cart at the register is the number one advantage. The customer can then go inside to the register and pay for their purchase. The second major feature is the marketing aspect of the product with the ability to send emails and texts to customers, and the ability to know what the customer purchased before.
Q: How do you embrace your competition?
A: Any good company respects the competition and as we teach our garden centers, whose major competitor are the big box stores, the key is to provide excellent customer service.
Q: Please share why you choose to recommend Bematech product(s) for your customers.
A: Our customers depend on our recommendation of hardware to provide a very fast, easy process for dealing with their customers. If we provide an unsatisfactory solution, it reflects on us so we are always looking at the products that are available and in-house testing the products to see if they meet our standards. We found that the Bematech products met and exceeded our standards and are proud to have added the product line to our offerings.
Q: For garden store owners, what are the 3 selling points on why to upgrade to a POS software?
A: Studies have shown consistently that companies that incorporate a Point-of-Sale system with inventory control will generate a net profit increase over other systems of between 8 and 15% a year. The software should help them in stocking inventory based on actual sales, not seat of the pants projections.
A good software system will also help them provide customer service (i.e. Faster check out time, consistent pricing, history of the customer’s purchases, knowledge of inventory) thus making the customers experience at the garden center a more enjoyable one. It will also free up management to provide a more hands on experience with the garden center’s customers.
Q: Why should garden owners take the leap to POS?
A: A few of the reasons why garden center owners should take the leap to POS are as follow:
Q: How can stores improve their ROI with your software?
A: The ROI numbers that we often work up for our customers show that not only will they see a return on investment just in overhead and management costs, but the marketing aspect and getting other cost in control generally pay for the system in less than a year.
Q: What features are you most excited about for customers to use?
A: The new interactive texting feature is generating the most excitement. With the ability of both preset text questions that the computer answers and open texting of questions to the center. We are also able to text out coupons that the customers can redeem to generate additional business.
Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful garden store owner?
A: Extensive knowledge of plants, local growing conditions, and the ability to teach the customers how to tend and plant their purchases, especially to those of us who do not have green thumbs, (like me).
Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success in the garden industry?
A: The ability to provide the plants that grow best in the local environment, and teach the customers how to tend for the plants. That way the customers enjoy their gardens and landscaping which translates into repeat sales and loyalty.
Q: What’s next for Olaf Solutions?
A: We are now working with Landscapers to make the software more useful to them, so in the next couple of years the GEM software will be applicable to the whole horticultural industry.
Questions about becoming a certified Software Partner? Do you want to know more about integrating? Are you interested in evaluating hardware? Please reach out to:
Alessandra Gomez Solutions Development Manager 516.248.0400 X1413 Alessandra.Gomez@Bematechus.com