fbpx Is support lacking from your current POS solution? At RICS Software, it is our number one priority to ensure you have the right people from our team available to help you when you face challenges running your business. As a RICS client, you get more than our software, you get our people too. You shouldn’t have to worry about being set loose once you go live with a new POS system. You should be educated on how to get the most out of your technology and have access to resources when you can’t figure it out. As a software as a service (SaaS) company, our people are included in your subscription, so that you never have to pay additional fees for getting help or education. It comes with the territory. At RICS, we both design and support our product, so if you have a question or concern about the functionality, we can quickly provide you with an answer. Not only do we have the developers of our product under the same roof as our support, we have former retailers on our team who speak your language. We understand the challenges and pain points that come with running a retail business and we want to help. Our goal is to provide you with a seamless transition from your current system to RICS. We support you every step of the way and want to continue to provide education on how to get the most out of our system. Not only will our onboarding team make sure you are properly trained, but our support team is available to answer questions seven days a week. You can also access our educational library equipped with How To’s, articles, and guides to help you become an expert at using RICS. Let us help support your business needs and don’t ever worry about figuring it out on your own.

“The monthly subscription, regular updates, and support are major advantages [of RICS].” -Tami Butts, Tri-N-Run

To learn more about our services and support, click here. Educating Customers to Create Loyalty and Advocates Located in Rochester, NY, The Foot Performance Center was started by David Cardillo, offering pedorthic and orthotic services. As the practice expanded, he realized that he needed to sell footwear that would complement the treatment and services they were providing. Their mission has been to carry shoes that have a purpose. Their retail store started off with just shoes that came in many widths and provided the support their clients needed. The Foot Performance Center has since expanded their selection to accommodate clients with special foot needs, as well as more fashionable options that still serve the purpose of added comfort for clients. In both their practice and retail side of business, they pride themselves on educating their clients and spending time with them to find the perfect solution. As a result, they have a very loyal customer base who refers new business to their store and practice. Their employees have a lot of expertise which they are able to share with their customers. Their staff consists of ABC Board-certified pedorthists and orthotists, athletic trainers, orthotic lab technicians, and sales associates. Because they strive to create an educational in-store experience for their clients, they face the challenge of finding new employees who understand their business and can continue to offer high quality customer service. David remarks, “Our ‘professionals’ can’t see everyone. We have to have staff that can accommodate that. We strive to show a professional image and it’s more than just selling a shoe. It is about educating a consumer on what shoe size they should have, and finding something that truly fits their needs.” The Foot Performance Center has proven that taking the time to fit and talk a customer through the process definitely pays off. The way that they have staffed their store shows they have the right people in place to educate and share knowledge with anyone that walks through the door. They don’t just pick out a pair of shoes and sell them. They have seen the results of forming customer relationships and building trust, so that shoppers feel comfortable making purchases and coming back. Their business has been built on referrals, and those can be directly attributed to the experience customers have at The Foot Performance and the expertise and education they receive from the staff. To learn more about how The Foot Performance has benefited from RICS as their business continues to grow, click here. As the world’s first franchisor of athletic footwear, The Athlete’s Foot set itself up for franchise success early on. Started in 1971, The Athlete’s Foot opened its first store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was also able to call itself the first athletic footwear specialty store in the United States. After a large growth spurt, rather than abandon the franchise model and go corporate, they felt compelled to stay the course. “We really believe in franchising, we think it’s a great model of success,” says Jerry Slover, Head of Commercial Operations at The Athlete’s Foot. And because of that, they’ve embraced the entrepreneurial side of franchising, giving their business owners a model for running a successful store. After years of stores using various POS and Inventory Management software, The Athlete’s Foot decided to shift to one required system. They wanted to choose a partner that gave them the functionality they needed from the store level all the way up to the executive team. Choosing RICS gave them the best of both worlds. RICS offers a platform where decision makers have close proximity to the consumer and have the tools and resources they need to control things around their business. As for the executive level, RICS gives them the ability to make decisions on influencing purchasing, store assortment, and product planning. RICS also helps track the successes of how products are performing at retail and offers all the reporting functionality they need. Having a software solution that was easy to use for all levels of staff was important to The Athlete’s Foot. They knew that switching systems would be an adjustment for some of their store owners. But switching to RICS as their required software gave them a system that works for all levels and lends itself to manageable training. “Whether it’s our part-time staff using it, to the owners who are making local decisions, RICS has the functionality that works for all levels,” says Slover. RICS partnered with The Athlete’s Foot to ensure the transition to a required system went smoothly for their business owners. The Athlete’s Foot continues to be a strategic partner, enabling the RICS team to hear customer feedback and suggestions on a regular basis. See how our other clients have improved their businesses with RICS!

The Vince Canning/Tooties’ Story

Located in Delray Beach, FL, Vince Canning Shoes opened in 1952 and has been passed down three generations. Mark Denkler and his wife, LaRonda, bought the store from his uncle and have now been working in the shoe business for over 20 years! Previously, Mark was a banker and his wife was a buyer at a department store, so they put their skills together to manage the family business. While it wasn’t obvious to them at first, they eventually learned the importance of having a POS and inventory management system. Vince Canning Shoes switched to RICS after their current system went out of business. They were looking for a solution that could save them time. “Time was the main focus- we needed an efficient solution to get business done,” says Mark. Mark and LaRonda bought Tootsies Shoes, across the street from Vince Canning Shoes, in February 2015. The store did not have any kind of retail management system in place and they functioned seven months before implementing RICS. It wasn’t until a vendor came to them, excited about how well their brand was doing, that Mark realized they didn’t have true insight into how products were performing. They had previously thought that that specific brand wasn’t selling well until the vendor told them otherwise.

How the RICS Solution Fit Their Needs

Before using RICS, Mark explained that, “you don’t know what’s selling; you have your daily recaps and look at the inventory wall.” That wasn’t enough to know how the business was really doing, but with an inventory management system in place, they had the opportunity to see turns, profits, ROI, etc. Additionally, when it came to buying, they weren’t able to fully analyze the state of the business as it was without technology to track and report on their inventory. With RICS, they now see trends right away. Mark recognizes RICS has greatly improved their business by stating how it, “allows us to do our buying better. We had no idea we were missing sales. Now, we know we have the information to make a sale.” As Tootsies is approaching their one-year anniversary with RICS, Mark is excited to have the data in the system to see YOY performance and grow their business having that additional insight. “Information is money. If you have information, then you can use it to improve your business and increase profit.” Day-to-day, Mark and LaRonda spend the mornings looking at reports while their staff prepares the store for customers. Because Mark does the financials, he spends time analyzing the monthly and yearly reports. LaRonda focuses on the day-to-day selling report. “RICS creates the excitement of knowing your business and you get the instant gratification that you’re selling by having access to real-time data to run reports.” Mark and LaRonda found a solution that has improved business in both stores. They saw first-hand that they were missing out on opportunities to sell. “RICS is informative and efficient. I wanted a system that gets the information out in the most efficient way.” With this data, they have full insight into how their inventory is performing, so they can better forecast demand and make educated buying decisions. See how our other clients have improved their businesses with RICS! You asked. We made it happen. We know your business relies on speed to run efficiently; that’s why we’ve made significant enhancements to RICS. We “popped the hood” and made some adjustments that will make the entire system work faster! So what does that mean? With our adjustments, you can expect: Thanks to your honest feedback, we were able to make RICS work faster for you and your business, because making sure your business is running at full speed is our number one priority.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will I experience these performance enhancements? Immediately! The speed enhancements have already been made and you’ve likely noticed them over the past few weeks. I need help running a report. Who can help me? When can I reach a RICS Support team member? 9 AM (ET) to 9 PM (ET), 7 days a week! Earlier this week, our marketing team spent the afternoon at Athletic Annex, a specialty running store located in Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis.  We met with a few members of the Athletic Annex team to see how we could work together to better promote both RICS and Athletic Annex to the public. Athletic Annex has two locations in Indianapolis, with the Broad Ripple location opening up within the last year. The Broad Ripple store is located right on the Monon Trail, making it very accessible to runners and walkers alike.They also always provide free water for everyone who passes by on the trail. Because of the convenient location, many people in the local community are able to enjoy the various events and activities that are sponsored by Athletic Annex such as: training programs, running groups, strength conditioning groups, 5ks and fun runs, concerts, and more! Click here to see all of the great events that Athletic Annex has to offer. If you haven’t been to the Broad Ripple location yet, I highly recommend it. The setup of the store is very cozy and definitely one of a kind. When you walk into the house (yes, a house), you’ll notice comfortable couches in front of a fireplace, where you’ll often see groups meeting before their runs. You’ll also find plenty of water bottles and different forms of fuel available for purchase if you need them for a long run or race. They have another room that is set up like a bedroom where you can find all of their best selling athletic apparel, shoes, socks, and headbands. Our team couldn’t resist making a few purchases when we were there! If you can’t make it to their Broad Ripple location, you can also find Athletic Annex at 86th and Ditch Road, or you can shop online here. We’re really looking forward to working with Athletic Annex and attending some of their events this summer!  

The importance of inventory management

A couple of weeks ago, we visited a couple of our clients in central Michigan to inquire about their experiences with RICS. While there, we met with Vickey Wegener, owner of two Educational Outfitter stores in central Michigan. One retail buzzword that I have heard over and over again is “Inventory Management.” I have learned its value and importance in the retail world and that RICS can and will accurately manage inventory. After meeting with Vickey, I learned firsthand how RICS plays a crucial role with her stores’ inventory management. One of the biggest takeaways from this client visit was how Vickey now has better control over her inventory. After switching to RICS, she found that doing a physical inventory is much simpler than it was before. She also explains how she knows and trusts that the inventory is accurate when she is finished: “If the computer shows that we have it, then I know we have it.” Because of the inventory management and reporting capabilities within RICS, Vickey now has better control over what is coming in and out of her inventory. In fact, she has actually decreased her spend on inventory by 40% because she is able to have a better handle on her business. Vickey shared with us that some retailers claim that they don’t have time to monitor their physical inventory, especially during their busiest seasons, but she tells them “you don’t have the time NOT to do that.” Although keeping track of inventory can be tedious and time consuming, the financial benefits make it worth it. You can find the full case study here.

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Learn more about why inventory management matters

  Brian Jones, co-owner of Playmakers in central Michigan, didn’t start out in retail. He started out as a runner, then as an accountant. When his MSU fraternity needed equipment for a philanthropy event, Brian went to the local running store in the mall to request a loaned clock and banner for the event. The turnout for the event was great, and Brian ended up with a part-time job at the running store. After graduation and two years in public accounting, Brian ended up back at that running store and has remained there ever since, helping to build Playmakers into one of the most respected athletic stores in the country.

1. Build a community and provide value.

Brian_Jones_Playmakers Playmakers doesn’t just sell athletic footwear and apparel — though they do, and they do it very well. The store also serves as a community hub. Playmakers hosts packet pickups for races, race director clinics to educate people how to put on a race, yoga classes, and clinics on running form. In addition, they host “Diva Nights” and events for groups ranging from high school teams to physicians. Brian explains that the outcome of involvement within the local culture is a thriving active community in the East Lansing area, which “get all these points of connectivity and plants those seeds. It attracts a lot of like-minded people.”

2. Give back to the community.

Playmakers’ business philosophy is community-oriented, and it’s evident. When the store’s founder, Curt Munson, found that most programs teaching and advocating for proper running form were too complicated, he created his own. Good Form Running involves four simple steps to improve running technique and avoid injury. When New Balance bought the trademark to the program, Playmakers used the money to fund the Playmakers Fitness Foundation. The foundation promotes charitable events in the community, including the donation of entry fees for St. Vincent’s patients who want to participate in local races.

3. Focus on customer education, not the sale.

When it comes to store operations, the focus, first and foremost, is on the customer. During our site visit, Kristin and I walked into the store and were greeted by associates who were friendly, informative, and (most impressively) not automatically trying to push us to make a purchase. When we asked Brian about how he measures employee success, his answer perfectly paralleled our experience: “We’re not salesy. We could be much more aggressive.” He went on to explain that the team’s primary goal is educating the customer. When a customer receives the right knowledge and answers to their questions, the sale will naturally follow. It’s evident that Playmakers prioritizes both the overall community and the individual customer, which in turn contribute to the business’s success. Check out the full case study here. Located in Seymour, IN, The Fitted Foot was opened in 2006 by Dr. Walter Warren in conjunction with his podiatry practice. His clients come into his practice for their appointments and leave through the retail store, driving business to the store and enabling his clients to purchase pedorthic solutions in the same convenient location. When I visited the store on Friday, Terry Nichalson, the manager, provided some more insight into how they operate. The business can be split up into three main categories: Terry uses RICS to manage sales, inventory, ordering, and employees. A typical day  in the store goes as follows:
  1. Close out from the day before
  2. Run POS Journal, POS Special Orders, Salesperson Analysis reports
  3. Ring sales
  4. Generate purchase orders using RICS
  5. Run inventory reports
The Fitted Foot experienced 20% growth last year, and will be opening a new store in Columbus, IN within the next year. Want to learn more? Take a look at their case study.