The Challenge

A publicly traded, New York-based retailer of fine accessories and gifts with more than 300 stores in the United States and Canada was on the verge of replacing its existing POS system. The POS project team was anticipating the receipt of new code from their POS vendor on a regular basis, both leading up to and following pilot and rollout. Each code release would address defects discovered in prior releases and/or new functional enhancements required by the Store Operations team. While their POS vendor conducted testing of their own code, the POS team was not confident in the vendor’s ability to conduct comprehensive end-user testing.

To achieve a level of confidence with the approaching pilot, the team sought to conduct end-user POS testing of each code release in its own, on-site POS lab. However, with no dedicated testing resources on staff, the team turned to Sophelle to ensure the quality of the new software releases.

Sophelle’s Assessment

Sophelle delivered an experienced quality assurance analyst / tester to work with the retailer’s POS team. Their team was seeking reinforcements in a number of areas:

Unit Testing
Regular code releases would require unit test planning, scripting, and execution.

Regression Testing
Regular code releases would require execution of the regression test set.

Regression Test Set
Existing regression test set was gradually becoming outdated as custom functional enhancements were delivered in each code release.

Bug Duplication
In addition to defects found in code releases via testing, the POS team needed support addressing and duplicating issues reported from outside the lab, in the field.

Rollout Support
Periodically during rollout, manual intervention was required to either install a new code release at a particular store, or address other miscellaneous issues.

Solution

With each new code release, Sophelle executed the established regression test. When validating functional enhancements, Sophelle developed and executed thorough unit test plans based on the defined functional requirements, resulting in step-by-step manual test scripts with clear expected results.

Sophelle worked with POS team members to overhaul the POS regression testing set, accounting for features and functions not yet introduced when the set was first created.

Often working directly with store personnel, Sophelle was able to duplicate and document critical defects initially discovered in the field, providing the POS vendor with a roadmap for resolution.

Periodically, miscellaneous rollout issues would arise, and Sophelle worked with the POS team to address these issues, often dialing into stores’ POS systems to modify an incorrect system setting or manually distributing the proper version of POS code.

Result

Sophelle immediately became a vital contributor: identifying and escalating numerous critical issues before they reached the field, serving as a key liaison to the retailer’s POS vendor, providing management with high-level test result summaries to aid in ‘Go/No-Go’ decisions, and quickly becoming the organization’s POS lab guru.

Sophelle’s flexible, diligent work in the POS lab took an immense amount of time and resource pressure off the retailer’s POS team. The POS team considered the engagement a complete success, and extended Sophelle’s involvement well beyond the original project.

Sophelle has a long history of proven expertise in point of sale systems and technology. Other documented point of sale success stories include: a POS audit for a successful specialty retailer, a multi-national POS rollout for a leading luxury brand, and a POS platform update for a 1,000-chain specialty retailer.

Please contact Sophelle today for more information.