Customer Spotlight: Alison Industries
In this edition of our customer spotlight series we will shine the light on our friends Alison Industries, based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Alison Industries has been family owned and operated since 1981. The company’s roots stem from vending and that is still a major focus for the company now, but micro markets have also become a huge piece of their business. Alison Industries was also one of the very first companies in the Triad area of NC to open a micro market back in 2011. Since then, they have grown to become a major player in the unattended retail space in North Carolina. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a day with Emilie Ryce from Alison Industries, traveling to a few different markets, installing new cameras for Panoptyc Theft Detection, but most importantly, building a relationship with a new customer.
Alison Industries and I originally connected back in December of last year. They described theft as a constant issue in their micro markets, but with so many responsibilities competing for their attention, identifying and eliminating theft was slipping through the cracks. It’s pretty obvious in this industry that when theft goes unmanaged the losses can pile up over time. Not only can theft be a pain to manage, but if it goes unresolved, it can create a hesitancy in operators to expand their micro market business, which is exactly what has happened with Alison Industries.
As we drove out to different market locations Emilie explained that micro markets have been a real bear for her and the rest of the company. Micro markets are supposed to have higher margins and higher revenue opportunities compared to traditional vending even with theft. At least that’s what she was told. Without a consistent approach to managing theft, it has run rampant through their markets.. Emilie was hopeful Panoptyc could not only provide her with verified thefts, but also reduce the stress of trying to grow the business by giving her one less thing to worry about.
While we installed cameras and got her market set up for theft detection, we spoke about the importance of setting expectations with her clients about managing theft. Specifically, setting an up front contract regarding a path towards resolution for each theft that is identified. Having a SOP to manage theft won’t only help the operator reduce shrink, but will make sure the markets are always stocked correctly for paying customers. She explained how Alison Industries had really just turned their back on the issue and hoped theft would resolve itself, but as we talked about setting expectations with her clients Emilie stated “hope is not a plan,” and moving forward they would be much more intentional with their plan of action.
Over the course of the day it was really wonderful to get to know Emilie, the Alison Industries company and how they operate. Seeing a ground floor level of how she operates her company was a great experience. Watching her work from her phone as I drove to each location, take calls from customers and employees, and problem solve the issues that arose during the day was eye opening. Operators like her are incredibly busy, and it’s no wonder that there was no time to manage theft previously.
We at Panoptyc are incredibly excited about working with Emilie and Alison Industries. We exist solely to help companies like Alison Industries to maintain their profitability and avoid theft issues. We hope to further the self service industry and allow companies to be more productive while we solve one of the industry’s largest issues one theft at a time.