“Too Many Goods, Too Many SKUs”
The goal for Crossroads, a feature of the older downtown Bloomington for 27 years, is to not only make sure the factories producing the goods it sells are run in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, but to also ensure that the artisans and workers creating the goods are fairly compensated – right down to the coffee served in the store.
Renee Warren, store manager, is proud of the high quality of each handmade item, pointing out how no two items are the same and how rolling tweaks to the design and features of the item are common.
This, of course, created a problem for Crossroads, which Warren summed up as “too many goods and too many SKUs.” The enormous inventory of jewelry, soaps, candies, toys, clothing, and coffee made managing and updating every single item unwieldy.
“We Needed Artisan”
Warren and the others needed a robust POS that was equipped to handle a seemingly endless variety of handmade items. And their old, single POS cash register simply wasn’t cutting it. “We’re all volunteers, except for me. I’m paid and work part-time,” said Warren. “We had [the old POS] for 10 years. It was hard for volunteers to use.”
Crossroads had enough of their old POS and began integrating inventory and sales with CerTek Software’s Artisan POS. Immediately, they noticed a difference. “We needed Artisan Point of Sale because we have a huge inventory,” said Warren. With Artisan, making the switch was a breeze: over the course of a weekend, with the help of a local IT professional, they uploaded their entire inventory and trained staff on the new system. By Monday, they were up and running with the new POS – described by Renee as “smooth sailing,” with no glitches to be seen.
From there, the ability to generate a customized sales report in a “very timely manner” was a snap. Beyond a few data entry errors, including typos and duplicate entries that were quickly and easily cleaned up, Warren described Artisan as a “much more streamlined system” than their previous POS. Their volunteers all took to it swimmingly with a minimal learning curve.
“Somebody Answers Right Away”
Warren in particular gave high marks to CerTek for their personalized, attentive customer service. In the rare event of a technical issue – or, more typically, an update that required explanation – the experts at CerTek were readily available and always happy to talk. “Usually we just email and somebody answers RIGHT away,” Warren commented. “It’s always been great. Good information.” With Artisan, Crossroads has been able to continue its mission to provide equal opportunity, living wages, and sustainable living for artisans, their families, and communities in poverty around the world.