Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Ranch Advances Online Presence

Philmont Scout Ranch Hikers on trail

Retail Dimensions’ Retail Pro Prism integration to BigCommerce provides BSA’s Philmont Ranch with advanced capabilities and improved efficiency, including streamlined returns and omnichannel giftcard integration.

RDi’s Retail Pro Prism integration to BigCommerce automates, simplifies & drives sales

Retail Dimensions (RDi) recently provided another successful project for Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Ranch customizing, building and creating an omnichannel integration between Retail Pro Prism® 2 POS system and the BigCommerce ecommerce platform.

Boy Scouts of America’s Retail Pro reseller Retail Information Systems (RIS) upgraded them to Retail Pro Prism® 2. RDi and RIS collaborated to make the upgrade of Retail Pro Prism and its integration smooth and easy.

In an interview with Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Ranch manager Luke Teske and Ecommerce Manager Ashley Olson (complete interview below), the positive impact of the integration was discussed, highlighting how it saved time, reduced errors, and improved the universal overview of their operations. 

A Brief History of Philmont Scout Ranch

In 1922, Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips purchased what is now Philmont Scout Ranch. His summer home, the Villa Philmonte, was completed in 1927. He donated Philmont to the Boy Scouts of America in 1938, and designated the grounds to be used as a training center.

Today, Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Ranch challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.

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A Drive for Online Presence

The Boy Scouts of Philmont Ranch began selling camping gear and branded Boy Scouts items online using RDi’s integration with Retail Pro Prism in 2020. The move to Retail Pro Prism was motivated by the need for a system that could accommodate the needs of 25,000 campers that come through the base camp each summer. RDi’s integration with Retail Pro Prism has given Boy Scouts of America’s Philmont Ranch a competitive advantage and boost sales by 20% in the past 2.5 years. Features like multi-store fulfillment and BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up In Store) have contributed significantly to their growth, along with the implementation of gift card integration, further enhancing their market reach. 

The integration process was smooth and user-friendly, allowing BSA’s Philmont Ranch to quickly adapt and implement the new system during one of their peak sales times. The company particularly appreciated RDi’s transparency and ability to customize solutions for their needs. As Philmont Ranch continues to grow its online presence, they are confident in their partnership with RDi and look forward to exploring further expansions in the future.

“Because of RDi’s integration with Retail Pro Prism, we’ve streamlined inventory which means we can use everything we’re selling now online.”

Ashley Olson, Director of Ecommerce at Philmont Ranch
Boy Scouts of America Philmont Scout Ranch Store Screen Shot
Philmont Scout Ranch BigCommerce store screenshot

Project details:

  • POS System – recently migrated to Retail Pro Prism® 2
  • POS Reseller & Consultant Retail Information Systems
  • Current Ecommerce PlatformBigCommerce
  • POS and Ecommerce Integration – Retail Dimensions provided the following features between Retail Pro Prism POS system and Big Commerce
    • BOPIS, Curbside and or Delivery 
    • Single order fulfillment 
    • Multiple tender types 
    • Integrated Returns 
    • Integrated Cancellations 
    • Gift Card Integration 
    • Loyalty System Integration 
Retail Pro Prism 2 Pos Inventory Screen
Retail Pro Prism® 2 Inventory Details screen which RDi syncs directly to the BigCommerce site

Interview with Luke Teske and Ashley Olson of BSA’s Philmont Ranch

What problems were you having that caused you to seek out RDi’s help?

We’ve been a partner with RDi since 2020, when we switched over our website to BigCommerce. We wanted a website that could communicate with the point of sale system – I think it was Retail Pro 9 at that time – to make sure sales were uploading automatically. Retail Information Systems recommended RDi as a software link between the two systems.

Why did you switch to Retail Pro?

We switched to Retail Pro because our previous Point of Sale was not working properly and we had very low sales on our website as well. We were having problems with inventory quantities and just not getting the data to exchange up and down. We were needing employees to go back and forth and update inventory manually which was time consuming and oftentimes inaccurate. 

Has RDi been able to address the problems you were looking to solve and/or fill the gaps you were experiencing in integration? 

Using RDi’s application, our inventory goes between the website and our point of sale system very well. If we change a price in Retail Pro Prism, the integration automatically updates  it on the website. Once this happens, we are able to do returns on the website and then those get sent to Retail Pro Prism as well. They work very well together! 

Tell us more about the Gift Card Integration?

The gift cards integration is a nice feature that we’ve added this year. One of the big benefits of going to Retail Pro Prism is that it has more capabilities and more advanced software with gift cards. In the past, gift cards could be purchased and used in store, or purchased over the phone and used in store. You could also call and place an order over the phone and then we would use the gift card at our point of sale system – but none of it would go through the website!

Now we can sell gift cards on the website and use those codes on our website as well as in Retail Pro Prism at the store. 

We can market and utilize that as another way to boost some sales, especially at this time of the year. 

Has BOPIS features changed since using our integration?

We had that built in around 2021 coming off of the pandemic year of 2020. We were open but we knew there would be limited access to our store, only a certain amount of people could come in. Its continued to do great ever since because I think people have gotten really accustomed to that type of shopping since the pandemic. Plus they can shop any of our categories from whatever town they live in.

What about integrated returns?

If someone places an order on our website and then want to return the item on the website, then the transaction comes down into Prism as a return. So it’s a lot less paperwork overall. It keeps our inventory more live, and it takes away the manual labor put into adjusting quantities on inventory for return. The way it was, if someone returned something to us, we’d have to manually go into the backend of BigCommerce, select the issue, and refund through BigCommerce, but then nothing would be told to Retail Pro. So we would have to go into Retail Pro and do the manual step of creating the return and Retail Pro. 

If someone wants to buy online and return in store, that is done at the register as a return and they can put it back on their card, but we could technically go the back end and, and refund them.

But then that can take 24 to 48 hours. So its just one extra thing that they can do if they wanted to.

What benefits have you gained from working with RDI’s products and services?

The biggest thing is that our website and our point of sale system communicate all sales and returns up and down.

We have the ability now with the integration to Retail Pro Prism to make use of gift card centrals, which is the Retail Pro feature that allows us to sell gift cards.

The RDi integrated has created communication between the gift certificate features in Retail Pro and BigCommerce so that those two communicate. We can sell a gift certificate online or a gift card in store and they will communicate the balances between the two systems so that they can be used in either channel.

How did you find working with RDI’s implementation team?

They’ve been very responsive and prompt to reply and get something scheduled with us. I spent a lot of time on the phone with them because there were unique situations with our integration. For instance, we have some custom items that aren’t actually in our inventory. So we sell those into a negative, and the implementation team created a  list of such items that weren’t properly linking after the upgrade. A lot of that was stuff that was put online during the process of the upgrade, because that’s when we’re getting all these new items. So we couldn’t wait.

RDi was able to find those broken links and get a really nice spreadsheet over and talked to me for quite a while about what each column meant. It made a big difference. It would have taken me days and days to find all of those things going through.

It’s just hard with stuff like this because Luke and I are by no means, “Techie IT” people; we use what we use and we know it pretty well. But coming up with each and every detail that we needed done with this transition was a little tricky. Of course, there’s things you don’t think about or you miss. So we were able to pinpoint those as the site launched and they were very helpful with getting everything fixed from there.

We had a very unique situation in that we were transitioning from Retail Pro 9 to Retail Pro Prism, and our website was already existing. So we were disabling a link between Retail Pro 9 and then activating a new link with Prism. We had no idea how that would work with an already-live website. There was a little bit of uncertainty, but RDi did a great job at making it as seamless as possible.

I don’t think our website went down even for a minute.  We were very pleased.

What do you think is the main aspect of the integration that saves you time or increases productivity for RD Ice in general.

What do you think is the main aspect of the integration that saves you time or increases productivity for RD Ice in general.

RD-Ice is simpler and more straightforward than the back end of BigCommerce where there are so many details that you could easily miss something.

Some features of RDi I like are that it quickly shows us per vendor if there are images or items that are listed and not listed.

This allows me to pinpoint what new items were missed that we didn’t get onto our website yet which enables us to keep most of our items available to our ecommerce customers as well.

The word mapping is helpful too and makes us pay attention to words that we’re using in Retail Pro Prism – like if we call something blue and there are several different variations, it will show up in the word mapping. So it helps us be more conscious and streamline the data and descriptions we’re putting in Retail Pro Prism.

Do you feel the integration gives you a competitive advantage?

RD-Ice really gives us a competitive advantage in that we can make the most of our inventory and we don’t have to go count stuff to have an accurate count of what we can sell online – it will sell exactly what we have as long as it is in stock.

Our sales have been going up and in the right direction on our website, and certainly part of that is due to the integration with RD-Ice.

Being able to use RD-Ice to feed our inventory, keep things accurate, put up new items really quickly — this is massive for our scouts.

We have a super incredibly dedicated group of people that have an immense love for scouting and any numbers we run for marketing are just beyond above average for open rate on emails and click rates to the website. We have a cornered niche.

I really like the category features in RD-Ice. We are putting out a fall catalog again this year. It goes to over 100,000 people between print and email and we can create a category on there that’s called Fall Catalog Items. I can QR code items in a specific category, or I can shut off those categories and hide them until the next year and add different items into them. So I feel like the ability to do that and build those things up is incredibly easy and user friendly.

Any measurable results that you can share?

Our sales have gone up 20% online in the last 2.5 years, and certainly some of that is due to the Retail Dimensions integration between Bigcommerce and Retail Pro Prism.

Exactly what percent, its hard to put a scale on that, but it definitely helps and makes it as fluid and seamless as possible.

Once the integration is set up, it’s pretty maintenance-free. You just have to pull the products and ship the items that you sell online and take care of returns — the software takes care of a lot of the rest.

As long as things are accurate inventory-wise —  and not having to reach out and say “sorry, we’re out of this, sorry, we’re out of that” — keeps our customers happy and coming back.

Any Last Words?

This was a challenging project because by the time we were able to acquire financing to do the upgrades, it came up right against our busy season. But we are glad we did it under the pressure, because our point of sale system in the front of the store was by far so much quicker than it ever was in the past.

We had lines all day long, nonstop, with four registers running. So the upgrade was a major success and I think we can attribute the increase of sales to RDi’s integration between Retail Pro Prism and Bigcommerce.

Philmont Scout Hikers Ranch Postcards
New Philmont Scout Ranch arrivals wave at the scouts outside the bus (National Geographic Magazine, September 1956)

More about Boy Scouts of Philmont Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch store specializes in Boy Scouts souvenirs and camping and safety gear as well as gift items and branded merchandise.

Philmont Scout Ranch  is active on social media, drop by here:

About Retail Pro International

Retail Pro International, a Nayax company, is a global leader in retail management software that is recognized world-wide for rich functionality, multi-national capabilities, and unparalleled flexibility, and has been named top POS for mid-market retail by IHL Group. For over 30  years, RPI has innovated retail software solutions to help retailers optimize business operations and have more time to focus on what really matters – cultivating customer engagement and capitalizing on retail’s trends. Today, Retail Pro software powers unified commerce strategy for retailers in 130 countries with full POS, replenishment, inventory, promotions, and customer management functionalities available on any mobile or desktop Android, IOS, and Windows devices. Learn more at www.retailpro.com.

About Retail Information Systems

Retail Information Systems, Inc. is a leader in end – to – end Retail Management Solutions.  RIS offers comprehensive retail solutions that transform the customer experience.  Our omni-channel approach coupled with our integrated marketing and loyalty solutions enable retailers to leverage information systems to tailor unique, seamless experiences for their clients.  With 20+ years of hands-on experience serving thousands of retail operations, RIS provides unparalleled software solutions, support, training, development, and implementation services.  RIS is headquartered in Houston, TX with resources in over 10 states in all U.S. time zones including an international office in Dubai to support retailers with global footprints.  The best way to engage with RIS is to schedule a free interactive assessment with one of our experienced consultants.  Call 800-347-3020 to book your solution assessment.


About Retail Dimensions, Inc.

Retail Dimensions (RDi) delivers powerful integration solutions that automate data exchange between point-of-sale (POS) and top ecommerce platforms. RDi’s highly customizable integration technology eliminates the need for manual data entry and unifies online and offline operations. RDi is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, with business partners across the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America.

The best way to uncover the power of our integrations is with a demonstration. Call 503-644-5301 X 152 or use our demo request form.

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