Knowing the numbers is crucial at Petitti Garden Centers, especially when navigating the changing demands of the past 18 months. With nine locations in Northeast Ohio, the IGC relies on its Epicor point-of-sale system to track sales, inventory and more.
AJ Petitti, president, has been using Epicor for 10 years and over the decade, the grower-retailer has grown significantly, thanks in large part to accurate reports.
The Epicor point-of-sale system allows Petitti to track all aspects of the business daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually with reports that help him make better business decisions. Petitti even has the app on his phone with up-to-the-minute sales, and he interacts with it several times each day.
“We’ve got full confidence and control with our inventory numbers,” Petitti says.. In addition, Petitti says the system gives him all of the numbers he needs to run his business, from landed costs to sell-through percentages to margins and more.
The system’s dashboards are extremely valuable to Petitti, but that’s “just a portion of it,” he says. “The team really loves it. There’s tons of reports and tools in place for the buyers. If you really take the time to set it up well, it’s got all the horsepower you need to really run the business from purchasing to receiving — all the way through.”
Reliability is a key feature for Petitti as well. The IGC knows it can depend on the accuracy of reports, as well as the general stability of the system. If a POS system goes down, the disruption can be “all-consuming,” Petitti says.
With timely numbers, Petitti is able to pivot quickly to meet new or unexpected demands. For example, this year, the patio category took off and by checking inventory numbers and looking at the rest of the inventory on the way, the IGC was able to react quickly and place orders.
“It helps us make better, smarter decisions,” Petitti says. “With good information, you can figure out where you want to place your bets. If you think a category is going to expand or if you were up 30% in a category, it helps you prepare for that. If you’re selling through things very quickly, you want to reorder. Between this year and last year, having that information and being able to access it, react to it and make good business decisions off of that, we were up 40% last year. And a big part of it was just being able to get the information, react to it and make decisions based off of it.”
The need for up-to-date numbers means system glitches or downtime can be huge problems for IGCs. The Epicor team not only keeps Petitti’s POS up and running, but it also helps the garden center optimize its performance for the regional chain’s needs. A specialist comes out twice a year to re-optimize the system and make sure everything is working as it should.
“It’s been great,” Petitti says. “It’s an investment that pays off because you know that you’re always doing the best practices and getting that expertise.”