Meet the Panel
On Tuesday afternoon, Tech Hill Commons hosted around twenty five retail IT professionals from the Retail IT Peer Group of Nashville. Sponsored by HP and LS Retail, the meeting took the form of a panel Q&A about the challenges and successes of implementing point of sale systems. The event was moderated by Genesco Retail Merchandising Systems Manager Chris Wrye, and the panel consisted of four retail IT leaders: Tractor Supply Company VP of Technology and Strategy Tom Hutchins, Lifeway CIO Tim Hill, Kirklands Senior Manager of Store Solutions Damon Pankey, and Cracker Barrel Director of Store Technology Glenn Schroeder. Together they represented companies from a diverse range of sizes and business initiatives.
Point of Sale Implementation Lessons
The panel covered everything from resource planning to staffing, vendors, frequency of upgrading hardware and software systems, and anything in between. Perhaps most valuable, however, were panelists’ reflections upon the aspects of implementation that have been most troublesome as well as those that have been most successful. Panelists emphasized that executing point of sale implementation is a learning curve for everyone involved, and one for which the size is often underestimated. One panelist stressed the vitality of performance testing before and during implementation, and particularly testing not only those aspects of the point of sale system which you are able to predict but also those which you are not. Another illustrated that when challenges strike, it is easy – human nature, in fact – to point fingers, to blame the vendor or a business team or another internal party. Nonetheless pointing fingers is unproductive; much more effective is creating teams with representatives from every party of the project who will work together towards a solution. Overall the event was highly informative, the panelists well-versed, and the group as whole eager and enthusiastic to learn and connect with others.