Together with Microsoft Dynamics’ Retail Management System (RMS), Diamond's ComicSuite software gives comic book specialty storeowners a point-of-sale (POS) system specifically geared towards their unique, comic book business model. You'll find a host of exclusive features that makes it easier than ever to track store inventory, place orders and maintain “pull-and-hold” subscriptions for your customers, all the while giving you direct communication with Diamond and its product and ordering databases.
While ComicSuite has numerous benefits, it's what the current users say about how ComicSuite has impacted their business and their experience using the software that really tells the story.
We interviewed three retailers – Rob Josephson from Mayhem Collectibles in Ames/Des Moines, IA; Craig Lopacinski of Neptune Comics in Waukesha, WI; and Richard Morgan from Richard's Comics & Collectables in Greenville, SC on their ComicSuite experiences.
“First and foremost, you’ve got to get a POS system to get your store out of the ‘dark ages,’” said Josephson. “[Using ComicSuite] is like turning the light switch on; the world changes.”
Clearly, ComicSuite has made an impression on these retailers. But, has it made a difference in how they run their stores? More importantly, has it made things easier?
"The system saves me about an hour from pulling books for subscribers. It saves me a lot of time with reorders since it tracks my sales automatically," Richard Morgan said. "It's tons easier to complete my initial orders, and as long as the subscriber info is entered accurately it is almost impossible not to order everything needed for your subscribers and any special orders. The guesswork is out of the order process for me!"
Neptune Comics’ Lopacinski concurred, pointing out that ComicSuite was more “intuitive” than his previous POS system. And thanks to direct communication channels with Diamond databases his reorders and monthly orders are compiled much faster. In fact, the biggest selling point for Lopacinski was the “ease of reordering.”
More convenient, quicker-to-process reorders; faster turnaround; and fewer errors make storeowners shine to their customers over big box retailers. That helps encourage more special orders for those stores armed with ComicSuite, boosting sales and profits. Coupled with Microsoft RMS, users get a suite of features including a time clock, cashier security controls, credit and debit card processing, as well as integration with major accounting software. There are even a few pleasant surprises retailers find from time to time; things they didn't know the system could do.
"It tracks all of the sold items very well and gives reports for the sold items which helps us with monthly tax reports," Morgan explained. " We are able to go back and see the history of sold items for customers, which helps prevent them from purchasing a duplicate that they did not need."
Combined with increased access to Diamond data, instant report generation and complete inventory control, including subscription maintenance and shipment receiving, all this makes ComicSuite an invaluable asset to specialty market stores.
But is it all that easy? Integrating a new POS system into your existing operation, especially for a small business still using cash registers, cycle sheets and paper PREVIEWS Retailer Order Forms, can be a daunting task. For these three retailers, the biggest hurdle was bar coding existing inventory that did not already have a code – back issues, certain collectibles, original art, etc. The initial process was time-consuming and sometimes mundane, but necessary to take full advantage of ComicSuite’s inventory control features.
As for the rest of it – installation, set-up, training and going “live” with ComicSuite – each man felt that the need was so urgent to get up and running, that they buckled down and completed the task within 30 days. All three stated that the install took between 10 days and a month, with intensive training (again, at a self-directed pace) with Diamond’s POS Specialists over the phone took another two to three weeks. Lopacinski, who had been using a different POS system, felt comfortable within a few weeks, and Josephson called it “easy to learn,” getting the basics down after “one day of playing with it.” Morgan said although he took about a month to get the system installed, set up and in play, he could have accomplished it in just a couple of weeks because it "really was fairly simple for at least the regular aspects of the system, such as scanning and building your subscriber files."
Many retailers look at the price tag associated with setting up RMS and ComicSuite and question whether they’ll get their money’s worth. And of course, with Diamond’s Extended Payment Plan – the most popular option with ComicSuite purchasers thus far – it helps buffer the expense, often spreading payments out over 18 months. In addition, qualifying retailers who purchase Diamond’s Point-of-Sale system can earn up to $6500 in free backlist merchandise through a program offered by Diamond and eight of the comic book specialty market’s leading suppliers.
Richard Morgan found the backlist merchandise an extreme benefit: "Currently you get $6000+ of free material to offset the cost and you can make payments on the system," he said. "All of that free product comes in the beginning so you have time to sell it even before the system is paid off! So cost should really not be a factor now."
Whether you’ve been a specialty market retailer for two decades, two years, two months or two weeks, ComicSuite is clearly the best solution for tracking inventory, performing subscription maintenance, ringing-up sales, placing orders with Diamond and mapping your store’s performance. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to the guys who are already utilizing ComicSuite to improve their own operations.
“There’s no limit to what we can do with it," Rob Josephson exclaims.
Richard Morgan agrees. "This was one of the best purchases I made for my business. I had sat on the fence for a long time due to the cost and the concern of the length of time it would take for training. But, all of those concerns were for nothing."
He continues, "In my opinion - with the financial part being handled with payments (and no interest) and the fact that you get a ton of cool product to sell to help make up the cost of the entire system, it was a very easy decision for me to make and I have not regretted it at all."
Now are you going to argue with that?
Call Diamond's ComicSuite team today 443-318-8547 or email POSsupport@diamondcomics.com to start the process of accelerating your comic book specialty store into the future.