Superior Fireworks is an importer, wholesale distributor, and retailer of consumer fireworks.
Headquartered just outside Jacksonville, Florida, Superior ships all over the United States, supplying end consumers and professionals alike.
Since its establishment in 2001, Superior has been growing rapidly. At some point, the company realized that the IT systems they used to manage their business lacked flexibility and could no longer support their ambitious plans. Specifically:
- The system could not support a significantly larger stand-alone retail store.
- Container imports were increasing, requiring more robust supply chain functionality.
- QuickBooks could no longer handle financial requirements, and was not integrated with the order management system.
- The warehouse management system couldn’t accommodate multiple locations; inventory had to be manually added to QuickBooks.
The company needed a unified software solution that would replace their disparate systems including their POS.
The new solution would need to:
- Cover the various business divisions within the company as well as the retail, wholesale, and eCommerce components.
- Handle different types of customers, pricing, and business rules.
- Simplify and streamline specific workflows and processes.
- Provide visibility across the entire company, enabling the team to respond quickly to inventory needs, watch trends, and measure KPIs.
- Support growth.
The team evaluated several solutions for end-to-end finance/accounting (ERP), POS, customer experience, and supply chain and inventory management. Candidates included NetSuite and others were discarded because they lacked integration, or would require Superior to replace existing eCommerce platforms.
After first deciding on Microsoft as the technology platform, Superior engaged ArcherPoint, a Microsoft Gold partner, because of their deep retail, manufacturing, distribution, and financial experience. ArcherPoint immediately recommended software by LS Retail, a leader in omnichannel retail and unified commerce.
LS Retail’s unified commerce software includes POS, a complex pricing structure, membership management, discount offers and standards (like military discounts), and mix-and-match promotions, all of which Superior uses heavily. Leveraging LS Retail’s unified commerce capabilities would ensure an exceptional customer experience.
For example, to handle the extremely heavy volume of transactions during peak times, each POS station has its own database, which is run in offline mode with scheduled replication to the store’s main database. This eliminates the risk of the system locking up due to heavy volume, but sales are still recorded in real time.
Another improvement is around memberships. Because customers must show ID to purchase fireworks, Superior can now scan driver licenses to look up memberships or quickly add new members.
LS Retail software also streamlines back-office sales orders. Through a single pricing and offer mechanism, all discounts available at the POS are also available for wholesale orders.
The team at Superior credits their technology partner’s expertise for the implementation of the solution. “It was clear by the way they thought through the solution that the ArcherPoint team really understood our needs and know what they’re doing,” says Josh Pappas, Communications and Technology Director.
With the opening of the new retail store and additional expansion, Superior grew 100 percent over a two-year period. The company believes this would never have been possible without the new LS Retail system.
With its deep functionality, robustness and efficiency, LS Retail software also enables Superior to manage the hyper-seasonality of the business. The July 4th season is the busiest time of the year, when the company is running more than a thousand transactions a day on six POS stations in the retail store alone, and see tremendous increases in online sales and supplying product to retailers.
By streamlining processes within the new system, Superior could increase business efficiency at all levels - supply chain, inventory, warehouse, and across all channels - point of sale, in person or online. The company could handle growth efficiently, without substantially adding to full-time, back-office staff that deals with order processing or to distribution staff. This way they could keep costs down for customers.
With an end-to-end omnichannel retail system, Superior Fireworks is positioned to continue growing, expanding, and delighting customers. “We just had our smoothest retail season ever,” says Josh, following the company’s first July 4th season using LS Retail’s software solution. “This was the first time we’ve run all six registers offline with replication, and it completely eliminated the errors we’d experienced so consistently in the past, with some of the heaviest traffic we’ve ever had in our store.”
We wanted to find a system robust enough to really manage growth, something we could feel confident was going to grow with us for a long time.Josh Pappas, Communications and Technology Director
The reason we went with LS Retail software solution and ArcherPoint in the first place is because of growth. We’ve grown 24% each year since, which also would not have been possible without it.Josh Pappas, Communications and Technology Director