MainSpring point-of-sale services link
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Saturday, July 07, 2012
7/07/12 at 4:58 AM
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Cash registers have long since given way to what are called point-of-sale systems, which refers to the devices at restaurants and retailers that ring up purchases. Increasingly, they're connected with other customer and business databases such as inventory, gift certificates and Internet sales.
Tulsa-based MainSpring provides local point-of-sale services as a partner with NCR, a nationwide POS manufacturer.
MainSpring co-owner Paul Moore answered a few questions about the company from the Tulsa World.
What type of point-of-sale systems do you use, and what local companies use them?
We focus on specialty retail, rather than restaurants. Some of the local companies include Drysdales, Southwood Landscape and Nursery, the Philbrook and Gilcrease museums, Camera Gallery and Complete Nutrition.
When you first started working with point-of-sale in 1985, what were the systems like?
Back then it was all green and yellow screens. The scanning devices were pretty limited, but you had to use them because there were no mice and no touchscreens.
Trying to link them up with inventory systems was very difficult, because you were trying to make two completely different systems talk to each other. In fact, only large retailers had any kind of nationwide integration back then.
What are some of the latest developments when it comes to the technology?
Many of our customers are integrating Web interfaces. They want to have their systems connected to an online store, or accounting systems, or a time-tracking system. For instance, if you have 50 stores and you're not sure the mall store is getting open on time, you can get the system to send you an alert if it isn't open when it should be.
We're also starting to add the ability to check people out with iPhones. If you want to do a sidewalk sale, you can just check them out with your phone, rather than dragging larger equipment out there.
How has MainSpring kept ahead in this business, especially when there are 110 retail partners for NCR alone?
When we first started doing this in the '80s, we originally decided to keep our focus on a single product rather than try to support multiple systems. That way there's no right hand-left hand situation with our customers.
We've also paid close attention to running our company and kept a close eye on our finances.
With my background, I also like to blend IT and accounting. So many small businesses aren't good at the day-to-day details of running things, so we can give them a hand.
What was the thinking behind your recent acquisition of Renversement LLC, a company based in Atlanta with four employees?
They focus on creating custom applications for the NCR CounterPoint line. They obviously have developed a specialty around the products we sell and service, and they provide technical skills that enhance CounterPoint.
They're also a great fit in terms of logistics, since they're located in Atlanta, along with NCR's headquarters.
Small, but significant
Despite having a number of large employers, Tulsa actually is a small-business town. About 94 percent of all employment in the metro area is at businesses that have 100 or fewer employees, according to the Tulsa Metro Chamber. And, many of those firms are very small. Approximately 80 percent of total employment is at businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
Owners: Paul Moore, Carolyn
Date established: 2007. Moore
had worked with point-of-sale
systems for CPA firm Pettis &
Moore since 1985.
Address: 7645 E. 63rd St.
Workforce: 14. Growth to 20 by
year’s end is planned.
Description: Provides point-ofsale,
or POS, sales, installation
and services in Oklahoma,
Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
as a partner with national
manufacturer NCR, and can
develop custom uses of the
software and hardware as
clients require. POS includes
everything from restaurant
and retailer checkout terminals
to integration with local
or national inventories, gift
cards, membership systems
Original Print Headline: Retail made easier
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
MainSpring's co-owners - CEO Paul Moore and Carolyn Christman, chief financial officer - have their company serving four states. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World