Healthy Living Center Natural Foods in South Burlington, VT is currently in its 18th year of business serving a range of health conscious consumers. After three years of planning and construction, the store has completed a significant expansion, including a large new meat and cheese case, an expanded bulk department, new wines, and much more. ECRS recently spoke with manager Mike Deutsch about the changes Healthy Living Center has undertaken in the last year with the addition of the CATAPULT system.
Deutsch: We have large Vitamin and Health & Beauty departments, and we sell regular groceries as well, including dairy, frozen goods, produce, and the like. We just went through a major renovation during which we expanded the store itself and put in our fifth CATAPULT terminal. We are in the same physical location we've been in for the past seven years.
Deutsch: We've had CATAPULT for a full year now, and the system has brought many positive changes to our operational procedures. Most importantly, our speed up front at the POS has improved astronomically. Our credit card transactions used to take up to 30 seconds, but with CATAPULT our authorization time is down to just a second or two. CATAPULT is just plain faster and more accurate than our old system.
Deutsch: I did a ton of research on different systems, and CATAPULT was recommended to us by another health food store. I attended CATAPULT University training school before we installed the system, which has helped us make a very smooth transition. Once I started using CATAPULT in our store, everything I'd learned in the training classes was suddenly very applicable to my real-world needs. CATAPULT is extremely versatile, which gives me as an end-user a lot of choices about how to most effectively use the system to streamline my store operations.
Deutsch: Yes. We use the prompts for finding products that have not made it into the system, or that have been incorrectly priced or labeled. If an item isn't in the system, but we know it's in the grocery department, one of our cashiers can type in $4 and hit the grocery key, causing a prompt to inquire about the item. At this point the cashier enters the item on the fly, which puts it directly into CATAPULT's inventory database so that it will scan properly from that point on. We use this process regularly to correct our pricing or listing problems. We also use the prompts function for security purposes to identify questionable customers, and also for suggestive selling reminders for certain products.
Deutsch: I would say my favorite report is the Item Net Sales report, which we use to track item movement and guide our purchasing. CATAPULT lets us double-check everything by printing out price sheets to give to our buyers so they can compare them against wholesaler cost lists. The Item Movement reports really give us a detailed view of the relative success of all our inventory items.
Deutsch : Each of our departments has 50-100 items on sale each month, which is a potentially overwhelming task. However, instead of throwing everything in a basket and bringing it to the computer to update our monthly promotions, we bring the HHT to the shelf and do it all right there. We also use the HHT in conjunction with CATAPULT's Power Fields to organize inventory for category management. The combination of CATAPULT and the HHT makes the complicated process of inventory management a more clear-cut assignment for all of us.
Deutsch: Definitely. In fact, I have. In addition to the health retail business, I see how CATAPULT could benefit a number of other vertical markets. I think it could automate just about any retail environment.
Deutsch: The technical support has been excellent. Every time I've had an issue, it's been solved in a timely manner.
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