When I first arrived at Poka Dott I thought I had accidentally stepped into a sorority house… full of girls. I was scared. The overwhelming feeling I had of too many employees in such a small space reminded me a lot of my New York City apartment; small, packed full of stuff, and no storage or organization.
The technology at Poka Dott was out of whack; their systems were not backed up, they were spending a fortune outsourcing their marketing materials, and they had thousands of items but no inventory accountability. Rush week at this sorority house was going to be more challenging than memorizing the Greek alphabet. We needed to hold a candle light vigil immediately.
It wasn’t hard explaining to them why they needed a back- up system. If their system crashed they could lose everything. This makes it extremely difficult for any business to recover, even one that was lacking the proper inventory, customer data, etc. Additionally, I explained to them for a store 250k+ in debt, they were spending far too much on outsourcing their marketing materials. At this point, every penny saved would count.
Cluttered, disjointed, outdated…clearly, Poka Dott needed a tech makeover, stat. We installed a Dell Point of Sale System with an upgraded version of QuickBooks. You also didn’t see that we were also able to hook Stephanie up with a Latitude XT Tablet that gave her portability to take to on-site events allowing her to create custom pieces on the fly. This was paired with a mobile printer and digital camera. I gave her a lesson on how to use this power combo and at the reveal party, she even created custom takeaways for kids with the Poka Dott logo. Creating unique, personalized, takeaways at her events will benefit her on-site resume.
Last but not least, we also hooked her up with two Dell Latitude Laptops: one for an in-store customization design station (for creating marketing materials), and one for remote access. What you didn’t get to see is how likeable Stephanie is. She had a smile on her face every day and even brought us breakfast. Geez, it’s hard to bust anyone’s chops after they bring you donuts. Also, something that didn’t make the cut (although I re-live the glorious moment over and over again) was that during the reveal, she burst into tears of joy over a server we installed the back room. One word: awesome.
A small party shop was testament to the fact that even this type of business can benefit from the right technology. Maybe this sorority wasn’t so bad at hazing…after all, I think it was just Peter that made everyone cry! I made it through rush and even got a big sister –Stephanie.
Until next time, stay tuned.