FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Steele's Markets, Inc., here is streamlining price changes and direct-store-delivery operations with a recent series of computer upgrades.
The four-store independent has installed new corporate-level hardware processors, enhanced leased-line communication between stores and upgraded software for point-of-sale systems.
One early benefit of the move is the centralizing of price changes, which led to labor savings, said Russ Kates, president.
"When we can remove three price changer positions, which are pretty high-priced jobs, we're going to take that [payroll savings] to the bottom line," he said.
Instead of an employee at each store keying in price changes, now "each keystroke made at this [corporate-base] store goes to all the other stores," Kates said. "We're able to do all our price changes and all our updates and batches from the central location."
The upgrades have also improved the retailer's direct-store-delivery and category management programs, he said.
All of Steele's store receiving dock computers are now linked via leased line and modem to its central data base, which has improved DSD accuracy and speed.
"We check in vendors on the dock and scan merchandise, and the system automatically prints out an invoice and posts it to our accounting system," he said.
"The system knows what the deals are and if products come in at a price higher than the deal, it won't let vendors check in," Kates said. "If it's not an approved item, the system won't let it come in either."
Steele's new point-of-sale software will enable the retailer to eventually launch a frequent shopper program.