Adams Fairacre Farms, a family-founded grocer founded in 1919, has a legacy of offering farm-to-table products and outstanding service to its customers in Hudson Valley, New York. Since becoming a member of the CATAPULT® community in 2018, Adams has elevated the shopping experience for its loyal customers and streamlined operations for its locations—which are destinations for shoppers in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh and Wappinger.
On June 16, 2023, Adams opened its fifth location in the Town of Wallkill/Middletown. The new store features 28 point-of-sale terminals, including traditional checkout lanes, self-checkout kiosks and made-to-order areas. The grand opening was a tremendous success, with shoppers coming to participate in giveaways and exclusive in-store deals. In this Q&A session, Mike DeCiutiis, IT Director for Adams Fairacre Farms, elaborates on the steps they took to increase efficiency and enhance the customer experience using a single POS platform to power their operations, allowing them to seamlessly open their fifth location to their enterprise.
Q&A with Mike DeCiutiis, IT Director for Adams Fairacre Farms
Q: Prior to using ECRS’ CATAPULT, what kind of system or system did Adams Fairacre use to run their operations?
A: With the four stores we had, we had four independent, separate point of sale systems in each store. That was a number of standalone databases that amounted to up to two or three different systems per store. So, we were trying to manage data between about 12 different databases and trying to piece together managing essentially separate chains altogether from one location, which was quite challenging.
Q: What led to the decision to move to a single POS system and when did that happen?
A: We first started looking CATAPULT I believe in 2018. Our first store went live with it in 2019 — that was in our Poughkeepsie location. We were really looking to partner with a provider that put money into development and ECRS really had value in the annual support spend. We could see new features that we could implement in the enterprise. We were also looking for something that was good for a mid-size market like us where we could manage those stores from headquarters. WebCartÔ was probably one of the biggest features when we were in the shopping phase of CATAPULT. We’re going on almost three years now of having our official launch of Farm to Car, which was in October 2020. I would say those things really drove us to start looking for a new system and making sure we had the right technology in the stores to operate properly.
Q: Adams has clearly demonstrated that it is successful and is continually growing. What are you most excited about with the new store opening?
A: This location is an hour away from our headquarters and is a new market for us. We are thrilled to be in this area and welcome the community into the store. We’re also excited to take all the best things we learned from our other locations and bring them to Wallkill/Middletown for our customers here to enjoy.
Q: What kind of technology have you introduced at this location that will enhance customer service?
A: We’ve introduced several customer-facing touchpoints at our Wallkill/Middletown store. We have two self-checkout options: Express and Verso, which can switch between self-checkout and attendant mode.
At our salad bar and hot bar, self-service AutoScales allow our customers to weigh their own products. Those stations get really busy, so we put AutoScales there so customers can mark those items with barcodes at the time that they weigh them. We see customers using it when they’re not even planning on using self-checkout and it makes the regular lines even easier because the cashier can just scan it and keep going — they’re not trying to find the container and make sure they have the right tare. Another nice benefit that we thought of early on is some customers like to get their food and eat while they’re shopping. They want to be honest at checkout: they want to weigh that and capture that item’s price, so AutoScale gives them the opportunity to weigh out some chicken tenders at the hot bar, get a label for it, know what the price was and then their kid can eat some of it on the way up to the checkout and they’re still getting charged the right price; we have that happen a lot actually.
We also have price checking stations in our grocery and garden centers that are connected to inventory in real time through CATAPULT.
Q: It is so exciting to have all this technology in Adams’ fifth store. Self-checkout is a new adventure for Adams at this location. What were the driving factors behind the decision to put self-checkout in this store?
A: The self-checkout is something I personally am most excited to see come to life in this store. With CATAPULT, this has been so easy to implement. The driving force for us was a desire to give customers the option of how they want to check out. Some people might say “You’re removing the cashier. You’re getting rid of employees.” But that’s not what we’re going for. We want our customers to be able to decide how they would like to pay. If they’re in a hurry and like the self-checkout, it’s there for them. If they want to take their time and go through an attended station with the cashier, they have that option. It’s all about choice.
Q: How does CATAPULT allow you to scale your business as it grows? You’ve just added an ambitious store here–the fifth one that is using CATAPULT. What about CATAPULT made it easy to open this new venture?
A: I can definitely speak to that because I’ve been here since we opened our fourth location, before we had CATAPULT. Now, we’ve had the experience of using the CATAPULT platform and have seen how much easier it’s been from a database standpoint and a technology standpoint. Some customer touchpoints—like price checker or self-checkout—were added late in the process as we were building the store. But because all of these touchpoints are housed under one roof with CATAPULT’s Unified Transaction Logic, it was very easy to implement them. ECRS made this a seamless process for us.
Q: We love to hear that you’re putting Unified Transaction Logic™ into practice. Speaking of Unified Transaction Logic: what is it that you like best about CATAPULT?
A: CATAPULT’s database that offers inventory management for all our items has been very helpful. Adams has a lot of perishable departments—such as prepared foods, bakery, cheese—each of which uses PLUs that can be tricky to manage in inventory. Having one database has made it easy to create a system in existing stores, then turn it on here in our new location, with very little manipulation or interaction.
Q: What are you looking forward to most in the next five years for Adams Fairacre Farms?
A: I’m hoping we can take some of the customer touchpoints we are using here at our Wallkill/Middletown location and apply them in our other stores. I’d like that to happen more immediately in the next 1-3 years. We plan to continue taking advantage of the suite of options available to us as part of the CATAPULT community. We’ll be turning on CATAPULT WebCart™ at this location soon. We also want to grow into the remaining capabilities with CATAPULT. We’ve got a lot of them here, and we want to bring them to the remaining stores.
ECRS is proud to partner with Adams Fairacre Farms’ stores, equipping them with scalable solutions that scale with their business.
About Adams Fairacre Farms
Adams Fairacre Farms, a family-founded and community-centered shopping destination, has a storied history dating back to 1919. Renowned for its unique and personalized experiences, Adams features friendly, knowledgeable staff and an unwavering commitment to quality. With locations in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh and Wappinger and now in Town of Wallkill/Middletown, Adams Fairacre Farms continues to build on its legacy of offering farm-to-table products, outstanding customer service and an inviting shopping experience in the Hudson Valley.