Powered by Revel: Goodwill

Adam Thayer is the Director of IT for Goodwill Industries of North Florida. With 23 stores and 18 donation centers, Goodwill has been providing its philanthropic job-training and placement services to the North Florida community since 1940. In July 2012 they selected Revel iPad POS as their point of sale for all of their North Florida locations, and Adam took a few moments to tell us about their experience.

Goodwill was founded in the early 1900s by Methodist minister Edgar J Helms. From the outset, their mission was to help people find jobs. Goodwill began as a church bazaar in which those in need of work could collect and repair gently used clothing items for sale in the community. As Adam noted, Goodwill “Has changed a lot over the years from a little bazaar to an international organization that helps people with barriers find jobs.” As a part of that international organization, Goodwill Industries of North Florida needed a high-functioning POS solution with enterprise capabilities.

Adam “always had a love for tech,” and sought a POS system that appealed to his desire for innovative technology while also providing a robust, enterprise-level solution. Adam chose Revel because it was the “only [iPad POS] with enterprise functionality.” Revel also had “the ability to handle multiple locations” while giving Goodwill the ability to check on those locations from one easily-accessible portal. He also needed a system that maintained functionality when the internet was down. North Florida sees more than its fair share of foul weather, and Revel’s Always On Mode keeps Goodwill running - and processing payments - even when connectivity is down. Another aspect Adam loves is Revel’s ability to quickly and easily connect to peripherals - printers, card swipes, cash drawers - via bluetooth. This has saved Goodwill “hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.” In North Florida, it’s common for entire stores to get washed out by storms. With Revel as Goodwill’s POS, however, Adam can drive up with a truckload of peripherals and run everything off battery operations. “It’s the perfect disaster recovery program,” Adam said. “The flexibility with Revel is fantastic – we never lose business.”

Prior to Revel, Goodwill Industries of North Florida was using “clunky” and outmoded legacy POS systems. As the “lightning capital of the world,” it’s common for electrical devices in North Florida stores to burn out during storms. Their former POS was on a master/slave system, meaning that if one register went down, all of them would. And, when the internet went out, employees were forced to use cumbersome and archaic “knucklebusters,” which required them to take a rubbing of the credit card and then call a 1-800 number to verify. Consequently, customers would grow impatient and leave lines, ultimately costing Goodwill the sale. With Revel, Always On Mode and the iPad’s 3G connection allows Goodwill to continue processing transactions regardless of connectivity. In terms of maintenance, the “turn around time is a lot shorter, and it’s a lot easier to bring our system back up” Adam said. If an iPad breaks, they simply swap it out, enter the provisioning pin, and they’re “good to go.”

Goodwill has also seen a reduction in training time - and costs - as a result of using Revel. “This is the easiest system to use we’ve ever had in place,” Adam said. "In the history of having a POS system - it’s the least complex one. It’s easy for folks to jump on the system and use it with minimal training” Purchasing the system itself also saved Goodwill money. Factoring in the average cost of most legacy POS systems, Adam estimates Revel saved Goodwill “$700 a register. We have close to 55 registers in our entire organization - that’s $38,500 we’ve saved by choosing Revel.”

Goodwill Industries of North Florida is now using Revel’s customer-facing displays in their stores, as well as the recently-added donation softwares. “We’re really excited to make Goodwill a leader in the use of this type of technology,” Adam noted in a 2013 interview. “By helping us hold down costs and improving the check-out transaction for our customers, it allows us to be more efficient at turning donations into dollars.” Here at Revel, we’re thrilled to help Goodwill achieve these goals.