SSCS Customer Profile: Webb’s Auto & Truck Services (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of a customer profile featuring Matthew Webb of Webb’s Auto & Truck Services, Inc. You can read Part 1 here.
In today’s interview Matt describes how the technology made available to him as a Circle K franchisee helped him turn his business around.
Partnered for Success (Part 2)
Getting timely access to operational detail through a computerized back office system helped Matthew Webb turn his family’s business around.
For Matthew Webb of Webb’s Auto & Truck Services, Inc., a core advantage of being a Circle K franchise is the ability to utilize and leverage SSCS software, most specifically the Computerized Daily Book (CDB) back office system. The CDB was the final piece of the puzzle that allowed Webb’s to thrive because it gave him access to operational detail on a timely basis.
“Before you can make Circle K’s management principles work for you, you need access to the specifics of the operation when they’re still meaningful,” states Matt. “Access to item margins and hands-on inventory counts top the list, and before we used the CDB they were difficult for us to identify in a timely manner. With the back office I can check margins on what I’ve sold at least three times a week. I can see that what I’m making is real and sustainable. It’s easier to ensure even cash flow. I feel comfortable spending additional resources on store staffing and staff salaries, where once I might have held back.”
Staffing appropriately is important to Matt, because he wants the customer to perceive his store’s commitment to service the moment the individual walks through the door. Cleanliness and full shelves stocked with fresh, attractive food get that impression across. “People have a low regard for gas stations based upon years of bad practices,” he notes. “We do everything we can to overcome that stigma, which means having as much labor in the store as possible to make sure the store is thoroughly covered.”
Competitive C-stores are embracing Food Service as a profit center with a high ceiling. Webb’s is no exception, as the store recently began to offer pizza. “A key to success with pizza is knowing how much waste you can generate and still make it worthwhile to offer,” Matt explains. “The CDB is a big help because it’s precise about tracking our waste so I know I’m not throwing money in the trash. I’m currently maintaining a 50 percent margin on pizza and we’re trending upward. I’m not sure I would have tried to offer Food Service without a back office system.”
Webb’s Auto & Truck Services officially franchised with Circle K in late 2013. In the time that has passed since then, virtually all of the store’s measurable metrics have improved. The business went from selling about 3,500 gallons a day, to upwards of 8,500. Their C-store, which once struggled to realize $30,000 in monthly sales, recently topped $100,000.
Matthew doesn’t expect improvement to stop anytime soon. A second store is being built across the street, scheduled for completion in September of this year. His journey with technology likewise continues, as recently he began to use Transaction Analysis, a recently-introduced, web-based, platform-independent application from SSCS that reports on transaction level detail generated by the point-of-sale.
“Transaction Analysis opened a window on our operation that we never had before,” he states. “It’s become easier to fine-tune our store’s performance, as a result. I can precisely determine my staffing requirements because the program gives me a record of register transactions by hour. I never knew our busiest hour of the week was Saturday at 1:00 p.m., until I used Transaction Analysis. Once I knew, I added staff to address the proven demand and maintain the quality customer service for which we are known.”
Transaction Analysis also helped Matthew identify suspicious activity at the register. “The application provides very specific information in regards to a voided transaction’s content,” he says. “I’ve started to monitor my voids count twice a week to identify any mysterious activity that may occur. Each voided transaction is time-stamped, so if I see something that looks out of the ordinary I can pull the corresponding video security footage and see what’s happening. I’ve caught employees running up voids and giving stuff away without spending hours looking at useless footage.”
The progressive outlook of Matthew Webb and his team combined with the franchise know-how of Circle K and powerful technology from SSCS form a three-pronged partnership that is positioned to continue serving Webb’s Auto & Truck Services, Inc. into the future. Maintaining the store’s daily inventory levels continue to be a challenge, but Matthew is in the process of getting the CDB’s Computer Assisted Ordering (CAO) module fully operational which he believes will prevent the shelves from being under- or over-stocked.
“I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing I took a failing business and turned it around,” Matthew says. “The management expertise of Circle K and the control provided by SSCS technology played a big role in making it happen. They opened up a new world of possibilities for us, from which the 35 employees of Webb’s Auto & Truck Services ultimately get to benefit.