Especially during ski season, travelers flying in and out of Salt Lake City International Airport love to buy Utah T-shirts. Before switching to a hosted retail software solution, the Air Terminal Gifts (ATG) stores frequently ran out of stock, thereby losing sales. "It was either feast or famine," says Chan Crismon, vice president of technical operations for the 16-store chain.
No more. Now Crismon can be in any store or at headquarters and log on to the internet to see how the shirts are selling. Today the warehouse delivers stock to stores running low before they run out, thanks to outsourcing.
The 40-year-old chain has been using Tomax retail software for 20 years. For the last 10 it utilized Tomax's legacy Unix-based system with its classic distributed architecture. It had a server at every retail store as well as a server in its office. Each night every store used a dial-up modem to report its sales to the corporate office. Then corporate would download updates and new prices to the stores.
"It was pretty chaotic," says Crismon, especially since the chain has six different concepts in the airport. In addition to the stereotypical airport stores, it also operates an upscale women's clothing store, a Southwestern gifts store, and an environmentally friendly store.
ATG wanted to take advantage of Tomax's current generation of retail software, Retail.net, which has an Oracle database. ATG, however, didn't have an Oracle expert on staff and couldn't afford to hire one. So it decided to allow Tomax to host ATG's operations.
Source: Outsourcing Journal, http://www.outsourcing-journal.com
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