GALYAN’S TURNS WORKERS INTO TEAM PLAYERS

Byline: Brad Barth

NEW YORK — By replacing old and heavily modified systems with new point-of-sale and back-office solutions, Galyan’s Trading Company is simplifying store-level tasks and reducing lost profits due to slow checkout lines and replenishment errors.
For example, Galyan’s put a priority on automating certain employees’ functions, a move that boosted checkout line speed 25 to 30 percent and completed sales that might otherwise have been lost. In addition, the Plainfield, Ind., company expects to save as much as $2 million this year through improved inventory control, said Paul Wagner, chief information officer.
The system also provided Galyan’s with the foundation to initiate data warehousing. This was particularly significant because the retailer’s new data warehousing solution cleared the way for a loss-prevention solution that detects suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity at the point of sale.
Galyan’s rolled out the point-of-sale and back-office solutions to its 21 stores, followed by the data warehouse implementation at its headquarters here in the fall. All three applications are from Applied Digital Solutions, Palm Beach, Fla.
Wagner said the solutions cut training time on the POS from four hours to less than 40 minutes. “To bring people up in just a matter of minutes, so that they understand the functions of the system, is a major benefit,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest bonus, said Wagner, is that the store’s credit and check-authorization process is now integrated with the POS solution through a wide-area network, which further streamlined checkout.
The solutions also improved inventory management by automating the paperwork that comes with receipt and distribution of goods. “If we’re doing a lot of drop-shipping, transfers, defects or vendor returns, it all can be handled in the same system through an interface that’s very easy to operate,” said Wagner.
Throughout the distribution process, Galyan’s used to handle “massive amounts of paper” containing inventory data that was manually keyed into the system.
Better control of its 450,000-stockkeeping-unit inventory ultimately resulted in improved replenishment. Because of past errors in tracking inventory, some UPCs weren’t being recognized by Galyan’s old system. When these items sold, Galyan’s could account for the money coming in but not for the inventory going out. This inhibited the retailer’s ability to properly replenish that merchandise.
“What was being sold in the stores had a fair number of rejected UPCs coming back into the system,” said Wagner. “It was coming back at less than half of 1 percent a day, but that’s a fair amount of money. Now that’s been cut by 90 percent.”
Those rejected UPCs represented “roughly $2 million worth of transactional activity that we couldn’t account for on a day-to-day basis. That has a pretty dramatic effect on replenishment.”

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