CANADA COMPANY OF THE YEAR (POINT OF SALE SOLUTIONS), GLOBE POS SYSTEMS INC. GAMECHANGER OF THE YEAR, PAUL LEDUC, GLOBE POS SYSTEMS INC.
Q. Please tell us more about your firm and the solutions it provides.
Q. With Retail and Hospitality acting as the firm’s core market share, do you have any intentions on expanding this market?
A. Globe POS Systems is a solution provider and VAR in the retail and hospitality industry. Even though our main product is computerized point of sale systems, we offer many other aspects for a store or a quick service restaurant to operate, like meat scales, security cameras, intelligent marketing WIFI, menu boards and digital advertising, networking, AES gates and more. We offer all sorts of solutions, whether it’s for a startup or an established enterprise to monitor and operate their restaurant, grocery store or retail store.
A. Today we are stronger in the retail market and we have just started to expand in the hospitality industry. Considering our experience, it was the natural expansion market for us. This does not mean that we will not look at more options in the future, however this was for us the path of less resistance as we already had most of the solutions and knowledge to make the transition. So over the next few years we will keep the growth in that market. Right now the ratio of sales in hospitality is below 10%. We hope to have it at about 50% by the end of 2021 and then we might look at other expansions.
Globe POS concentrates mostly on small to mid-sized businesses, small chains and franchise operations. Most of our bigger customers are franchises and operate up to 170 locations across Canada. Q. How did you find yourself in System Solutions? A. Well this is always a long story but to keep it short, I managed a grocery store in the 90’s and selected a product to operate our grocery store at the time called Logivision. Well I liked the product so much, that a few years later I joined the software company and the rest is history. I started in technical support, then made my way to sales over the years. In sales, traveling was very demanding and really the only way to sell was to support and assist the resellers across North America. After 8 years of traveling across North America, I decided I loved the business but needed to stop traveling, so I purchased a dealership in the Toronto area. The dealership was a small reseller of Logivision’s products but was mostly concentrated on electronic cash registers. Because of the customer base and the market, I converted most of those customers to computerized point of sales over the last 8 years. Today we do not sell any electronic cash registers and concentrate on solutions and technology. Since the purchase, we have grown at a rate of over 20% each year. By the end of next year we will have tripled the sales since the purchase in 2009. Q. What does Globe POS bring to the table? What sets you apart from your competitors? A. I think it is knowledge and experience. Most of our employees have more than 5 years of experience and some of us have more than 15 years’ experience in the business. Our approach is very traditional, and we try to meet in person each and every customer. Our philosophy is that a customer is not a lead or a prospect but a partner and we work together to make the environment better so they can grow while controlling their operations. We visit customers regularly and try to make it a beneficial visit for them. When we understand the issues, we can sometimes provide insight and solutions. Q. What trends do you see developing within the market? A. Software and hardware as a service and the tablet technologies are the most obvious trends right now. The adoption rate of these technologies in Canada is quite lower than the United States. The monthly services are not much adopted by merchants as Canadian businesses are not so receptive to a monthly residual for life. Also, the tablet solutions are still weak and are lacking some of the sophistication merchants expect compared to established solutions. There is a lot of development to be done and considering these are 5 years old or less, this makes it harder to compete. There is a definite market for these solutions for new businesses but they offer a short term solution. The operative word is “short term”, many solutions are not considered a long term solution for many.
Q. Globe POS is approaching its 50th year anniversary, what advise would you give for those businesses keen on reaching this milestone themselves? A. Well to be honest every company has it’s story, so I’m not sure I’m competent in answering this question. I’ve been the owner of the company for the last 8 years only so I am not sure about the prior 42, but I think that at the end of the day the values will always be the same, care about your customers, your image and keep working like it was your first year. If you can focus on those core values I think you can survive and thrive. Q. With concern surrounding security and data protection for both merchants and customers, what are your tips as a business to ensure every environment remains secure? A. Globe POS has invested a lot of time, resources and money to train the employees to be QIR certified. The PCI council certifies companies based on a certification per individual as a QIR (Qualified installer and reseller). When there are more than 2 certified employees, then your corporation is considered QIR. We also continue training on a regular basis using the RSPA (Retail Solution Providers Association) with certifications and lunch & learns so we keep current. Now being certified is the first step but securing the environment and using technologies that are secure and keep current is instrumental in protecting the environment and the data. If your employees are careful, follow the rules of installation and management and use solutions that are certified and keep current I think you mitigate the risk considerably. Globe POS was the first Canadian reseller to be QIR certified and we can report we’ve never had a breach with any of our customers. Q. There is a lot of buzz surrounding merchants switching up their Point of Sale to devices like the iPad and utilizing Cloud Based systems. What is your opinion on these? How do they compare to traditional systems? A. As I mentioned earlier, the Cloud and IPAD solutions are good for some markets but at this point they are no match to most established traditional solutions. Now I do see this changing over time when some of the solutions are more developed and their products have evolved. I see them being bigger game changers mostly in the hospitality market. But I believe that we are many years away from this. One of the issues today for them is the monthly charges, not sure why, but Canadian businesses are not as receptive as many other parts of the world. I do see this changing when the younger generation starts taking over their parent’s businesses. The newer generation is used to buying online solutions on their IPAD and they make it work with limited knowledge, test and explore options.