NetGCS Web Based Gift / Reward Card System
I am writing to thank you for resolving one of our most difficult and longest running
challenges, our trade program. But first let me give you a little history of our business.
We opened in 1992 as a small mom and pop used book store. Our main source of income, as
you would expect are used books but also videos, dvds, etc. We typically price our
merchandise at one half of the original manufactures list price. Our inventory is obtained
by buying directly from our customers, closeout stores, wholesalers, etc., but the biggest
bulk of inventory is obtained directly from our customers in the form of trade. They bring
in a certain number of books, etc and we issue them a trade credit based on the resale value
of that merchandise. This credit can then be applied to items they are purchasing in the
store. Now, some customers use all of their credit at once but the majority does not.
This is where the difficulty comes in.
In 1992, we used a rolodex and 3 x 5 cards, which was the norm at that time, to track
customers’ names and trade amounts. As our business grew, we quickly realized that this
was not going to be as efficient as we had hoped. We searched for a computer program and
discovered a DOS based system that worked well for several years but with the introduction
of windows and the quick advancement of computer hardware and software, the dos program
couldn’t keep up. Modern computers had difficultly in recognizing the old dos program and
it had several hick-up’s over the years. By the late 1990s we had over 10,000 trade
accounts, so if you can imagine a business where a large portion of your revenue is
generated by those trade customers using an old dos program on modern day computers to
store the data in a system that is prone to difficulty, you might just get a glimmer of
the stress this would cause me.
In 2005, we opened our second location; this presented a whole new set of problems because
the trade could not be accessed by either store. If a customer had an account at store #1
but was shopping in store #2, the clerks would have to call back and forth to edit trade
amounts and accounts. This obviously causes the loss of time, man power and very important,
money, not to mention, irritated customers waiting needlessly. For lack of a better system,
we continued to operate in this manner for 2 more years.
Move forward to 2008 and store number three. We all realized that we would have to do
something quick. We contacted several programmers and scoured the countryside for
existing software packages but were faced with costs that were beyond our desire and our
reach. We contacted our credit card company to inquiry about using gift cards to track the
trade but they wanted a fee for each swipe. Well, when dealing with trade, there is no actual
income, so incurring a cost on this was not something we could accept.. They also told us
that if we ever canceled their service and switched to a new company for any reason that
we would lose access to that data. This is when I discovered your system.
And, Oh what a relief it is. Your system incurs a very small cost and is easy and efficient
to use. We ordered 10,000 trade/gift cards with barcodes and have issued over a thousand to
new and existing customers. The employees have no trouble using the program and because I
can set the default to keep them from editing settings and accounts without my or a managers
approval, they can’t mess things up. Our customers love the new cards and the system, now
that they don’t have to wait for one store to call the other. The cards we ordered are a
bright red, the customer actually get three cards, one in a credit card size and two for
their key chain. This, helps because they can give the extras to other family members if
they want them to have access to their trade. But, one of the biggest unexpected pluses to
these cards is MARKETING. They give the business a very professional image and every
customer has one of these in their wallet or on their key chain, so every time they look
at their keys or open their wallet, their I am, always reminding them, that I am still
here and they have trade at one of my stores. Imagine, being right next to the Blockbuster
card. Another, added bonus is that with the report segment of your program, I can track
the amount of trade each individual store does on a daily or monthly basis. Although, I
don’t have a problem with this currently, it helps me prevent and monitor employee theft.
Trade is an easy way for an employee to steal. i.e. instead of a cash sale, all he or she
has to do is enter in a trade sale, the customer wouldn’t know and neither would I. But
with the cards, I check each day to make sure the amount of trade issued and redeemed
matches with the cash register end of day report. (we enter the whole sale into the register
and then back out the trade with the refund key) so the refunds have to equal the amount of
trade redeemed on the NetGcs program.
And last but not least, I love the backup utility program you provided. With this program,
I can download all of my data to my desktop and maintain a local storage copy, although you
seem to have the backup situation well in hand, it gives me a certain level of comfort
knowing I also have a copy of it.
Thank you and if any of your customers would like to call me personally, I would be glad to
give you a raving review. My personal cell phone number is 316-390-6207.
David Lovett, President
924 So Oliver
Wichita, KS 67218