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Power Sales redefines infrastructure and strategy with market-leading technology

by Charlote Hlangwane
25 Jan 2024 at 03:14hrs | Views
Power Sales, a leading wholesale clothing retail chain in Zimbabwe, had to completely revamp its systems, strategies and infrastructure in 2019. A new management team wanted to use the opportunity to reshape the company's focus and optimise its system to ignite growth and build customer loyalty.

Business case

One of the key requirements of the new approach to technology and infrastructure was the implementation of a payment system capable of meeting new business requirements and evolving customer expectations across 25 branches in Zimbabwe, including the head office and satellite offices in more rural areas.

The solution

Finding a customisable system that could handle the complexities of the business, deliver an exceptional and trusted performance, and meet the expectations proved to be challenging.

"Most of the retail systems I found through research and references were too lightweight," says Elana Chicksen, Director at Power Sales. "We assessed a number of different systems before opting to work with our LS Retail partner, Braintree. After spending some time in discussions with them, we discovered that we were a lot further behind than we realised; our system was running on 2GB of memory and a very basic interface."

It was at this point that the Power Sales team realised that they needed a comprehensive overhaul of their existing software, hardware, and capabilities, and Braintree was the perfect partner to help manage and streamline the process.

Power Sales opted for LS Central, a centralised point of sale (PoS) and retail management software that combines the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with retail-specific functionalities, providing a comprehensive and scalable solution for retailers.

"Braintree brought us the visibility and support we needed to approach the redesign and development of our payment system," says Chicksen. "They gave us a clear view of what was needed and a strategic implementation plan that would address our concerns across scalability, accessibility, connectivity, and modernisation."

The solution had to provide rich functionality that could scale with the company as it grew, and it to overcome some serious connectivity challenges across South Africa and Zimbabwe. To resolve this, the team worked with a company called MaterCom that allows the stores to connect using SIM cards.

The process started in December 2020 and had to be completed by March 2022, which meant the teams needed to run multiple tasks simultaneously to ensure all the systems could come together as the perfect end solution.

"We brought the hardware on board, then we ran a parallel networking system to ensure that everything was working properly, then we added in the servers and the basic systems - this whole process took us until April 2021," says Chicksen, "During this period, we had to upgrade the software and essentially build everything from scratch because the old system was so archaic."

Braintree undertook the majority of the work, ensuring that multiple teams had access to the right support and technology and that the millions of SKU codes were correctly loaded into the SKU bank on time for the first launch in August 2021. To do this, each SKU code had to be copied, verified, and implemented across systems, which was a time-consuming task, but with extensive collaboration across both parties, it was completed on time.

"The first store transition to LS Central was a success that made us realize we wanted to complete the transition of the new system across all of our stores by October 2021 because we didn't want to trade on two different systems in December," says Chicksen. "It was a mammoth task, one that required a comprehensive overhaul of our existing systems across multiple stores by 2022, and yet we completed it ahead of the deadline in December 2021."


Since implementing LS Central, the company has seen multiple positive changes. The new system gives them visibility into stock levels, sales, and performance while also allowing for the creation of special offers, discounts, and vouchers. It also met one of the key criteria put forward by the team when the project started; it allows for the company to customise multiple facets of the business and improved visibility into theft and fraud.

Using technology that's at the forefront of innovation within the retail sector, Power Sales has radically transformed its retail system, allowing them to now reduce fraud and theft, increase visibility, access real-time price and stock updates, improved connectivity between stores, and analyze data to improve customer engagement and service.

"Thanks to Braintree and LS Retail's innovative technology, we have been able to change pricing across all our stores within hours and recreate a business that is now thriving." Elana Chicksen, Director at Power Sales

Source - Charlote Hlangwane