Making online software for real world retailers


The first blog post is always the hardest.  I thought I might start by telling you a little about what we are doing at VendHQ.

What are we doing?  Shhhh don’t tell anyone but we are building a better retail management system.

What’s that?

Retail Management System = The tools you use to run your retail store, successfully.

We are building a new breed of Retail Management System that has one fundamental difference…

It is REAL TIME and ONLINE (well that is kind of two differences but never mind).

We want to give you a tool that not only lets you see what happened in your retail enterprise last month, year, or decade but lets you see what it happening right now. Plus letting you affect that by being able to plan ahead and make clever decisions.

How do we do that? Firstly, and this is important, we connect every aspect of your retail enterprise together, instantly. If you have multiple stores, VendHQ lets you manage them all in one place. If you have one store, you can manage it from anywhere.

To do this VendHQ runs in the cloud.

Which cloud?

THE cloud, you know the Internet cloud. Up there. In “the cloud” we have a whole army of computers that run the VendHQ server software so You don’t need to have a computer “out the back” somewhere that saves your daily sales data, you run reports from, need to backup, upgrade and have to deal with someone accidentally kicking the power cord out of when stocking the store room. I’m not saying you have your servers in your store room, but you have to put it somewhere and keep it running.  Imagine no backups, no upgrades, no getting engineers in to fix a crashed hard drive. It just works.  We look after running the servers and looking after your data for you so you can get on with running a successful retail business.

A simple architecture

So if the servers are “up there” in the cloud, how do you plug your front counters, POS and the like into it?

Well, the VendHQ software runs in on any computer in the web browser.  You don’t need to install it, upgrade it, or configure it.  You load the VendHQ software just like you would or  The software runs like your existing POS/register and you can scan products, take payments and print receipts just like you would normally, and all your data is automatically saved up in “the cloud” in your secure VendHQ account.

Because all your data is going to the same place and is stored in “the cloud”, it means you can access it from anywhere, and see what has happened, is happening, and then let you plan what you want to happen, anytime.

Another cool thing we are doing with VendHQ is including some really smart reporting and analysis tools so you can detect trends and optimise your sales. And because all this is real time, you can make changes in real time. Predict shortages of stock, plan sales campaigns, and plan staff levels.  You can do this across your whole retail enterprise, from one place.

Lastly there are some other really cool things that VendHQ will do that will let you tap into some of the new cool stuff all the cool kids are getting into around social media, like Twitter and FourSquare plus there are a lot of cool things happening around mobile payments, like letting your customer pay by using their phone, or the hot new and exciting Square launching soon. Intrigued? I will keep you posted.  But for now we are busy planning for our launch soon.  In the meantime we will be sharing with you our thoughts and dreams for VendHQ and giving you a peek at some of our great features.

Vaughan Rowsell – Founder

About Vaughan Rowsell

Vaughan is the Founder and CEO of Vend. A moustachioed entrepreneur and technologist, Vaughan's goal is to make retailers' lives easier. When he's not leading the team, Vaughan is running marathons and raising his kids (along with his lovely wife, Mel). Connect with Vaughan on Google+.