Posted by Punk POS ● Mar 29, 2019 4:15:22 PM
PunkPOS Helps WordPress Users (and Others) Achieve Greater Success
Valet.io is a professional WordPress service for those who want to focus on their business, not their website. At PunkPOS, we are big fans of Valet.io Recently I did an interview with Valet and here it is!
PunkPOS is to business process automation what Valet is to website health. It’s the first choice of people who want to spend less time doing back-of-shop drudgery and more time making their own customers happy.
PunkPOS specializes in business process automation—BPA for short. BPA is worth considering if the running of your website involves lots of highly repetitive and monotonous tasks.
“BPA can increase the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of your tasks,” says Alexis Bell, PunkPOS director of business development. “As a result, you and your employees can spend less time on low-value tasks and more on important tasks that might be going neglected. Strategic decision-making, for example.”
BPA also frees up your time by reducing or eliminating human error. Computerization forms the heart of BPA, so processes such as data entry no longer need be conducted by hand. Alexis reports that BPA lowers to near-zero the chances for manually imputing wrong information. Consequently, no one has to go back and spend minutes, hours, or even days sifting through reams of data to find the flaw.
“Enterprises focused on innovation need to focus their energy on making important business decisions, thinking of ways to delight customers, and ways to outsmart the competition,” says Alexis. “BPA makes your business scalable and reduces the time needed to gather information in order to make decisions.
PunkPOS is a Good Option
According to Alexis, PunkPOS launched in 2016 after three friends with backgrounds in point-of-sale, e-commerce, security, and accounting systems detected an unmet marketplace need.
Specifically, many operators of e-commerce shops yearned for a way to connect all the systems they rely on daily to keep their businesses humming.
Unfortunately, not many good options existed for online shopkeepers who wanted to integrate their systems.
And the main reason they wanted systems integration? To eliminate the toil of performing repetitive and overlapping administrative tasks, Alexis indicates.
Against this backdrop, the PunkPOS founders worked to develop what eventually became a superb package of BPA solutions.
“We typically get called in to handle projects when a point-of-sale system is not communicating the way it could be with a business’s other systems,” says Alexis. “People are constantly innovating and coming up with better and faster platforms. Because of the vast number of platforms out there, it’s not possible for any platform to integrate with everything else off the shelf, and that’s where we come in.
“It’s extremely gratifying to make things happen. We love the challenges of connecting different platforms and building relationships with the customers, and then with the people who work at the different companies we’re connecting.”
Alexis adds that PunkPOS—headquartered in Sheridan, Wyoming—takes pride in exceeding customer expectations. The company also makes it a point to keep interactions with customers lighthearted.
“We have fun,” Alexis says. “As a company, we think it’s very important to not take yourself too seriously. That’s why we go by the name Punk. It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.”
Still, serious describes BPA to a tee. A typical BPA project for PunkPOS involves a four-step process. The steps are initiation, planning, execution, and monitoring.
By following these steps, PunkPOS helps ensure that work is completed in a way leaves the customer fully delighted.
“The first question we get during the initiation step is ‘Can you connect X and Y?’ That’s our cue to ask questions of our own. For example, why do you want to connect X and Y? But we also try to get a bigger picture with our questions. So we’ll also ask, ‘If you could have the BPA system of your dreams, what would you want it to do?’”
Next comes planning. “We speak with the platform vendors, formalize goals, review specs,” says Alexis. “Once we decide that this particular integration is possible, we then map out how to achieve it.”
From there, it’s a simple matter of execution to deliver the finished product. “We try to work in two week sprints, so as soon as the agreement is in place, we get the project scheduled,” Alexis reveals. “During the programming time, our engineers are busy building and then breaking the connection. Yes, we try to break our integrations to make sure that once we put it in place, they continue working.”
The final step—monitoring—actually never ends. “We continually monitor our products to make sure everything works correctly,” Alexis says. “We know in real-time if an integration issue pops up. Our support personnel then immediately receive an alert so they can go right into action.”
Integrations with WordPress Sites
Many PunkPOS customers own or operate WordPress sites, Alexis indicates.
“Often, when businesses ask us to integrate their POS with WordPress, it involves connecting their accounting systems, and automating their shipping,” she says. “Businesses love having just a single place where they can add products and manage inventory, and then have those changes reflected across their entire business.”
One of the WordPress systems most frequently encountered by PunkPOS is WooCommerce. “WooCommerce is our favorite integration,” she says. “We love connecting brick-and-mortar products to WooCommerce and creating a unified hub for all sales across an enterprise.”
Turns out they also love integrations that pose big challenges.
“The biggest challenges we run into are usually with payment processors. Sometimes customers want their in-store merchant servicer to process their e-commerce credit card sales. This entails many phone calls and emails with the business, merchant servicer, and our development team. If the merchant servicer allows it, we then have to navigate a complex web of regulations, cryptography, and API specs.”
Alexis shares that PunkPOS works with website frameworks other than WordPress. These include Joomla, Magento, Shopify, and Lightspeed.
“With website frameworks, there is no one size fits all,” she says. “So thinking about each one in regards to ease, speed, malleability and integration helps conceptualize the differences. But comparing WordPress to the other platforms is tough. We love its open architecture and rich development community. Those two things alone allow end-users to affordably customize everything about their site.
“In fact, WordPress presents no barrier to entry for people who want to start an online business, a blog, a portfolio, or anything they want. So, thanks to the free and open source content management of WordPress, the reach and possibilities for end-users are limitless.”
Requests Aplenty for Omni-Channel BPA
The most-frequent BPA request fielded by PunkPOS involves omni-channel integration.
That makes sense in light of the popularity of omni-channel content strategies for retailers.
“Omni-channel is a streamlined method of merging both your online and brick-and-mortar businesses,” says Alexis. “In the past, retailers seemed to run two separate businesses. One was their online store with its own products and pricing. The other was their brick-and-mortar store with different products and pricing. These systems then reported separately or were combined manually on the backend. They evaluated inventory, warehousing, reordering, sales, and marketing performance.
“But savvy retailers learned they could improve the customer’s interaction, increase sales, and cut costs with a more streamlined backend process. All it required was creating one integrated sales channel for both. An omni-channel—it’s the intersection of all the channels of your business and if used correctly, your customers will be connected, loyal and satisfied.”
For example, with an omni-channel in place, customers who buy items in the physical store can receive notifications announcing the availability of complimentary items in the online store. Or, customers can purchase items online and pick them up at the brick-and-mortar store.
“All this works to improve connection with your customers, loyalty, and ultimately profits,” says Alexis. “Today, with our mobile phone culture, we often check out a company online before we make a visit to a store in person. So, naturally, business owners want to make sure their customers have the best experiences possible. They want to make sure their branding comes across both virtually and in person.
“However, making sure both your online and brick-and-mortar presence is consistent, professional, exciting, and genuine requires a lot of work.”
PunkPOS Does it All
It’s work from which PunkPOS doesn’t shirk.
“Not just omni-channel, but we do them all,” Alexis assures. “Whether it’s connecting retail, e-commerce, accounting systems, ERPS, or multiple locations running specialized software, our aim is to give decision-makers the clearest possible insights and—at the same time—allow them and their employees to spend less time on low-value tasks, more time on higher-level decisions.”
Perhaps one of the best things about PunkPOS is the passion the team there brings to the job.
“My parents owned a restaurant while I was growing up, so I am very familiar with the unique challenges that small businesses face,” says Alexis. “I personally am passionate about helping smaller businesses thrive, because they give our neighborhoods uniqueness and charm.”
PunkPOS works with large chains as well as mom-and-pop shops.
“We want to make processes seamless for everyone regardless of size or scope,” she enthuses. “We want this because innovation and the delivery of memorable experiences for all of us is so very important.”
Interested in boosting the health of your WordPress website and making it perform better all around? Give Valet a shout.