Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 81
Customers have increasingly turned
to Benzer because they want the feel
of a mom-and-pop store with the support of a larger organization. Benzer
is working to introduce its philosophy
to a larger customer base and has set
a goal for 200 company-owned stores
and 100 franchisees by the end of
2019, up from 65 company-owned locations and 12 franchisees today.
To reach that goal and support that
aggressive growth, the company must
become more unified in its technology and structure. Earlier this year, the
private equity group that owns Benzer, High Park Capital Partners, asked
President Alpesh Patel to bring on a
strong CFO who could better organize the company's finances and lure
in new investors.
Shatanoff, an accomplished CFO
with experience in turning around
companies' operations, joined Benzer
in May and quickly realized it suffered
from a lack of standards. "Everybody
was putting out fires here," he says.
"There were no policies, no procedures. Everything was antiquated, so
we put a line in the sand and said,
'Here's what we're doing.'"
Within a few months, Shatanoff
spearheaded programs to change the
company's account practices, banking
structure and to get all locations on
the same POS system. Rx30, a retail
management system tailored to pharmacies, has already been put in place at
30 locations, allowing stores across the
country to access and refill a patient's
prescription instead of having to enter
the information manually.
Working with Benzer's IT department, Shatanoff developed systems for
accounts receivable, tracking claims
and reducing backlog. He also formed
a three-person team to handle collections, which has reduced the company's past-due accounts payable by
$2 million in only four months, and