See how ShopNASA’s retail skyrocketed with Vend

Watch SHOPNASA'S story
Giftware Icon Home & Gifts

Multi Store Icon Multi-store

Location US United States

ShopNASA is a giftware and souvenir retailer based at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (NASA’s base for human spaceflight training, research and flight control) in Houston, Texas.

Multiple outlets providing souvenirs and gifts for visitors and 10,000 employees. The team also runs pop-up stores for events like the Super Bowl.

At a Glance

Over 500 hours a year saved, thanks to Vend.

Using Vend, ShopNASA has been able to:

  • Easily provide discounts for NASA employees.
  • Grow their pop-up channel offering.
  • Work with expert partners BizTwister and Worldpay.
  • Drastically simplify how they manage their inventory.
  • Focus on growing their ecommerce channels.

The Challenge

ShopNASA’s point of sale management system was unfortunately not as modern and organised as the NASA name might suggest. So when Bob Milligan joined the team, he knew it was time for a change.

Even the most well respected and innovative organisations in the world can have pockets of inefficiency, and when Bob Milligan joined ShopNASA in 2014, he found an antiquated point of sale that was slow and resource intensive. Information and access wasn’t easily shared across teams and management weren’t able to make timely decisions. “Their POS system was awful. I couldn’t even tell you the name of it. It was awful.”

On top of the older system, the retail operations processes hadn’t been updated in years and involved lots of manual pen and paper tasks. Inventory was also time consuming and expensive, with the team hiring outside consultants to manage the process.

“Things were so outdated, teams weren’t able to communicate well, operate effectively or easily make data backed decisions, I knew we needed to move into this century.”
Bob Milligan, Retail Operations

The Solution

ShopNASA worked with expert partner BizTwister to revolutionise their retail with Vend.

Through their search of cloud point of sale platforms, the simplicity and ease of use of Vend, as well as its high ratings, stood out to the team. Keeping the system affordable was also a concern, as the store profits are reinvested back into programs for the JSC base employees. "That’s a neat thing about what we do” says Bob. “There’s no profit sharing. It’s all going back to benefit the employees. It will allow us to do more things for them, whether it be a new exercise centre, a new fitness program, a new cafeteria. All of that goes back into their welfare.”

During the onboarding process Vend was also able to connect ShopNASA with partners to help build out their full retail systems. The team worked with Worldpay for integrated payments and BizTwister, a local Vend expert who could provide in person setup, support and training. The local support has become an integral part of ShopNASA’s success, with BizTwister advising on day-to-day training, as well as long term reporting goals and strategic planning.

“Vend is the heart of our retail operations, but the solutions impact is magnified by the partners they’ve connected us to.”
Bob Milligan, Retail Operations

ShopNASA brings their solution together with the best in retail

The Results

Easy inventory management, reports, and data full of actionable insights and new opportunities for growth with ecommerce and pop-up stores.

With Vend, the inventory process at ShopNASA has been drastically simplified, saving them over 500 hours a year. They can now easily update full or partial counts to Vend, without hiring a third party to manage counts. For the first time, they can also easily monitor variances and historical inventory movement.

Using Vend, the ShopNASA team can share actionable data on inventory, sales or revenue across the wider JSC organisation, so that business decisions are made based on timely, actionable data. “Vend has some really cool reports, flash reports as I call them” says Bob. “I want things that I can yank out of Vend, I want a red flag to pop up to say, hey, you need to look at this.”

With stores now running smoothly, the team can focus on future growth. They have been growing their pop up channel and working with Vend Partner BizTwister to build out their ecommerce channels. These have become their fastest growing new channels, and with their brick and mortar stores running smoothly, they will continue to be a focus.

“Vend has allowed us to simplify our retail operations and focus on new channels for growth.”
Bob Milligan, Retail Operations

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