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MUSEUMS INDUSTRY
 

Store name: National Canal Museum
Number of stores: 1
Specialty: gifts and mail-order
Location: City of Easton, PA
Established in 1962
Using CounterPoint since 1996

It was a desire to preserve America's canal heritage that led the City of Easton, Pennsylvania, to open the National Canal Museum in 1962. But it was an effort to modernize the museum's retail and mail-order operations that led J. Steven Humphrey to purchase CounterPoint in 1996.

“We looked at five or six different software systems,” says Humphrey, who is executive director of the National Canal Museum. “CounterPoint gave us the capability to provide for any growth.”

And grow it did. Since turning in its cash register for an automated system, the museum's Canal Boat Store has more than tripled its gross sales. Explains Humphrey, “Over that time, we had a little more attendance, but a lot of the increase was due to the fact that we were able to study what was selling and what wasn't selling, and change our merchandise mix.”

In its Canal Boat Store, the museum sells books, souvenirs, and snack items. It also operates a mail-order business out of the main office and uses CounterPoint's Multi-Site feature nightly to upload information from the Canal Boat Store, update inventories, and download new information.

“It gives us the information we need at our main office,” says Humphrey. “At the same time, since we do the ordering centrally, it lets us keep up on what we've ordered. Probably the biggest advantage of the system is perpetual inventory, which saves a lot of man-hours by not having to go out and count to see whether you need to reorder.

“The point of sale interface is easy and straightforward,” Humphrey continues, “but I also like the ability to have multiple barcodes and set up stock numbers almost any
way you want. It'd be hard to find something you couldn't do with CounterPoint.”

And now, thanks largely to CounterPoint, the National Canal Museum's retail and mail-order operations are tallying record profits and ensuring their own place in history.

 

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