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Janet Hawkins

Opterus is a leading global provider of a store information and execution management solution.

Our mission is to provide an efficient, cost-effective tool that increases productivity and improves retail enterprise communication. All of this is achieved through an easy-to-access, easy-to-implement solution for any retail environment.

It’s very important to us to listen to our clients and work with them to build the best tool in the industry. I’m most proud of our high percentage of client retention. Our very first client is still with us. We put our clients’ needs first, and they are loyal partners to us and have become part of the Opterus family.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve worked in the retail industry for most of my career. I started at NCR, then moved to Triversity, a point-of-sale software provider, then was with SAP before starting Opterus. My role there was managing partners and working with resellers in the industry. Myself, along with my co-founders, saw a real need in the market to help retail operations with their internal communications and to give them a tool to use that would give them a snapshot of what was happening in their stores at any time. There were a few tools doing bits of this, but we wanted to design something for retail operations that was a one-stop shop to help them manage stores and engage with associates.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

That’s a tricky question because a year or two ago, we were in the middle of a global pandemic that really affected the retail industry. At Opterus, we always worked remotely so we could continue to serve our clients exactly the same way we always had. The best piece of advice that I have gotten since starting the company was to have fun and to really enjoy what you do. Growing this company has been an incredible experience, and I’m still having fun.

What problem does your business solve?

When we started this company, we were replacing mailbags and fax machines as a way retailers communicated with their stores. They had no visibility on the execution of tasks or how stores were set up without having to do a store visit. Retail Operation teams were left to fend for themselves as things like Point of Sale and Supply Chain Management were being upgraded. Our tool is a multi-modular solution that helps operations make sure their stores and associates are seeing, reading, and following through on directives coming from HQ. And it gives the retailer a 360-degree view of their entire enterprise on compliance through our reporting.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When we started Opterus, there wasn’t really anyone doing what we do how we do it. There were a couple of task management solutions in the industry that were quite complicated solutions that weren’t designed from a retail operational perspective.. We felt there needed to be an effective, simple way for retailers to solve communication and operational pains, and we aimed to solve that problem. We delivered our solution as Software as a Service. This was new to the industry at the time. Many of our first conversations with retailers included them asking if they could host it themselves. Now, it’s commonplace, even preferred, to have solutions delivered as SaaS.

What is your magic sauce?

There are a few things that differentiate us from the competition. We are a company that listens to our customers. Not only do we listen, we build their ideas and requirements into the solution. We value their input to make the solution better for all retailers. We also work hard to develop very strong relationships with our clients. I believe they feel heard and know that we appreciate their input. We have a very well-built solution that has proven to be scaleable with unmatched feature functionality. We continue to add value for our clients with every new release.

What is the plan for the next five years? What do you want to achieve?

Nowadays, we no longer have to sell the idea of having a solution like ours. Retailers get that they need this in place to be successful. Over the next five years, we are confident that we will remain the industry-leading solution in the space, and we will continue to innovate and grow the solution’s functionality. We are also partnering and integrating with other solution providers such as WFM, POS, and LMS to bring a seamless solutions to all our present and future clients.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenges are things beyond your control. When we first started, we were faced with a two year recession that slowed growth but allowed us to develop a lot of functionality. Then, obviously, it was impossible to predict the pandemic and the effects that it has had. We feel confident that we are prepared to meet any new challenges that may come up and to continue to provide a great solution to the retail industry.

How can people get involved?

Retailers can request a demo directly from our website. I think once they see what we have to offer, they will be excited to learn what benefits a partnership with Opterus could bring them.