Tidewater Convenience Stores
A chain with 17 c-store locations operating independently, with little control over inventory and shrinkage, and no time to find a solution.
New software system that streamlines inventory reporting and ordering, reducing shrinkage and saving time and money.
At one time, the 17 locations operated by Tidewater Convenience Stores operated autonomously, as if they were not even related. Each tracked its own fuel and grocery sales, generating antiquated, time-consuming reports and making unilateral inventory decisions. Tidewater is not atypical for a small- to mid-size c-store chain. As owner Carol Weaver reflects, operators are so busy running their businesses that doing the legwork to improve processes and systems is always on the backburner.
“I knew we needed to upgrade our inventory system and I wanted state-of-the-art scanning software, but I just didn’t have the time to do the research and manage the implementation,” Weaver says. One software vendor she connected with in her preliminary research recommended she talk to ROG Consulting for assistance. Turns out, the family-owned chain is an ideal ROG client – they knew they needed help, were open to making changes, and were willing to commit to the process.
“The ROG team got us on the right track,” Weaver says. “They looked at our data needs at each site as well as the feasibility of the equipment in use, and recommended what we would need to implement a new system.” After an in-depth reconnaissance, ROG presented three software solutions for consideration. Tidewater made the final selection. The chain’s hardware was also outdated, and it was more expensive to upgrade than to replace.
Once new equipment and software was selected, Tidewater began a phase-in process to get all 17 stores up and running within a year. A company was brought on board to integrate the Price Book scanning software, the most labor intensive part of the entire implementation process, according to Weaver. Every item in each store had to be scanned for SKU and price, and then reports have to be analyzed to identify areas that need improvement. ROG was on hand every step of the way to guide Tidewater’s employees through the transition.
A highlight of the new system was receiving daily reports with the fuel and store sales for each store. Overall, the new system was effective at reducing shrinkage, helping the chain gain more control over inventory and out-of-stocks, and a streamlining the inventory process. Storing data in the cloud also brought Weaver peace of mind.
“I can access our data from any location, which freed me up to travel a lot more without concern,” she says. “And I didn’t have to worry about a system crash and loss of data.” Weaver says one of her goals was to reduce stress with this implementation. “That’s why I hired ROG and I’m really glad I did. I don't know if I would have gotten around to doing it if I didn't have Mark to assist me,” she says.