Modernizing point-of-sale technology for an Ontario retail fixture
Founded in 1927, Brewers Retail Inc., doing business as The Beer Store, is a privately-owned retail chain that sells beer and other malt beverages in the province of Ontario. With a 7,000-strong workforce, The Beer Store’s presence in the province spans 433 retail stores, supplying Ontarians with 1,034 beer brands from 200 brewers around the world. TBS also services thousands of licensed locations, 671 LCBOs, 327 retailers, and 446 grocery stores that sell beer, wine, and cider.
The Beer Store was struggling with unreliable, outdated technology at their points of sale, holding them back from achieving the level of flexibility they needed to adapt to the COVID-19 business and social environments.
“Our existing hardware fleet was approaching an upgrade cycle. It was time for our organization to upgrade and modernize the hardware across all 400+ retail stores,” Steve Fraser, IT Vendor Manager for The Beer Store, commented.
Due to the outmoded technology available at their stores, TBS found themselves in dire need of new technology and a partner to help them modernize to achieve higher-quality service, improved account management, and more granular reporting of their operations. In their search for a new technology partner, The Beer Store’s priorities were scale and agility due to their large retail footprint as well as the prevailing safety measures mandated by the provincial government at the height of the pandemic.
Compugen was enlisted to architect and deploy a modernization initiative across all TBS locations. The project encompassed the replacement of over 1,600 point-of-sale hardware, terminals, workstations, and servers. The project team was restricted within a certain working window on nights to avoid disruption of daily business operations.
Compugen staff delivered and installed new equipment in a total of 433 locations across the province. Due to the scale of the project, a team of 60 workers was tasked to deploy hardware at a cadence of four stores per night, seven days a week, over a span of four months. In addition to installing and deploying new hardware, Compugen is also responsible for servicing those endpoints and devices on top of the current POS technology for the next five years.
“The Compugen team worked hard to meet project timelines. Transitions to new support partners are never easy, TBS and Compugen maintained great collaboration throughout the engagement. The Compugen project team maintained open lines of communication, provided detailed status updates, and progressively improved throughout the project through knowledge share and lessons learned. The team was able to pivot when required and was very flexible when required,” Steve added
This project required Compugen’s skill, scale, and agility to reach completion within a certain timeframe, satisfying specific business and operational technology requirements across 1 million square kilometres of geography and under unprecedented conditions. Our solutions team also relied heavily on the company’s strong partnerships with Dell and Zebra to deliver the required hardware within the project timeline. All aspects of the project were completed and fully delivered by in-house team members without needing to subcontract despite its massive scale.
With a fresh, modernized POS environment, TBS has successfully updated their hardware, providing confidence in the management of inventory, customer, and financial data. The retailer has reduced hardware-related downtimes and delays and is positive that any issues will be speedily resolved with Compugen as their technology service partner throughout the coming years. Staff at the store level are immensely satisfied with their POS devices which allow them to perform their tasks seamlessly and without interruptions.
“TBS has started to see stabilization across our environment. We continue to upgrade and modernize through an effective and efficient support model, with strategic planning for years to come.
“With a forward-thinking approach, TBS is now able to be strategic, forecast and most importantly, provide great support to our teams in the Stores to ensure we put our best foot forward to our customers,” Steve concluded.