If you own multiple stores or plan to expand your current operation, you can be assured that The Uniform Solution can accommodate your needs. The Uniform Solution was designed from the start to handle the complex needs of multi-location operations. Whether you have 2 stores or 50, The Uniform Solution can accommodate your inventory control needs in a simple, comprehensive, and versatile manner.
Real-Time Access with Windows Terminal Server
Real-time access to the sales, inventory, and customer information at all of your locations can be achieved by setting up a Citrix or Windows Terminal Server. Setting up a Terminal Server can be costly in terms of equipment and licensing, but it provides great advantages.
With a Terminal Server, information from every store will always be up to date and accurate, and you only have one computer to keep updated with the current release of The Uniform Solution. Having a Terminal Server makes it possible to access The Uniform Solution from anywhere, and the proliferation of "hosted" servers makes it possible to pay for a Terminal Server from Amazon, Rackspace, and others on a monthly basis.
The disadvantage to using a Terminal Server is the cost and the dependence on a single server to keep all of your locations running. If the Terminal Server has a problem or access to the Terminal Server is unavailable, all of your locations will not be able to operate The Uniform Solution.
Since the cost of maintaining a Citrix or Windows Terminal Server can be cost prohibitive for some companies, The Uniform Solution can consolidate and distribute data between locations once a day in a nightly polling operation that uses an inexpensive FTP site. The polling operation runs each evening and only sends data that is new or has been changed by a location. At the start of the day, each location will have information that was accurate at the close of the previous day for the other locations.
The Polling Location
The polling location is the physical location that is usually the centerpiece of a multiple location operation. The polling location is usually either the largest store in the retail operation, a warehouse for ordering and distributing merchandise, or the corporate headquarters. It is the location determined to be the most central or the most strategic to the entire retail operation, and it is the location where operations only allowed by one location are best performed. The polling location is the location responsible for contacting each remote location in the nightly polling operation.
Remote locations are locations physically located away from the polling location. They are contacted nightly by the polling location and send newly added or changed information.
The Batch Process
The Batch Process refers to the nightly polling operation conducted to consolidate and distribute data between the polling location and the remote locations. The polling operation is conducted by using a phone line and modem to connect the polling location with a remote location. Since the data being sent between locations contains only new or changed information, the polling operation is very fast.
Duties of the Polling Location
Some information in The Uniform Solution can only be maintained at the polling location. New inventory items, the user list, customer standards, and inventory standards are a few examples of information maintained at the polling location. Requiring this information to be maintained at the polling location simplifies the polling process as well as the entire inventory control operation.
The polling operation in The Uniform Solution allows each remote location to share as much or as little data with the polling location as you like. It also allows you to choose what data from what locations you would like to see.