Where: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
How did you get started?
I’ve always been fascinated by technology. More importantly, I’ve always been fascinated with how technology can be used to solve problems. This drove through me through the early parts of my career in IT and is still what motivates me daily. One thing I began to notice over the years was how fast technology was (and is) forcing rapid change in the retail space and the real lack of support retailers have. Seeing this, I made a conscious effort to position Packetwire as a technology resource for retailers of all types, helping them navigate and understand their options.
Why the cloud, and why Vend?
Cloud technologies provide an amazing opportunity to level the playing field between all types of businesses. Traditionally, great technology was reserved for those who could invest the big dollars, which most small businesses don’t have (as a business owner myself, I can certainly attest to this). Now, with the ability of a small business owner to combine their passion with great cloud technology the sky is the limit. Vend in particular provides a powerful, yet extremely simple, platform. The most valuable asset to all owners is time and the most important part of their business is their customers, and Vend allows owners of all sizes to scale business or introduce new channels while maximizing the time spent with customers (and minimizing the time spent in the back office).
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
From a personal perspective, I know how access to technology has made a drastic difference in my life. As an organization, we try to make sure that as many people as possible have access to the right technology so that they can learn and grow. Through our “Connect4aCause” program, we work with a variety of non-profit community organizations to help put great technology in the hands of people who couldn’t normally access it. To hear feedback on how it’s being used after the fact is such an amazing and rewarding feeling. I was just told that someone was teaching themselves how to play the piano on a tablet we had provided – how awesome is that!
Any awkward moments your job has gotten you into?
Working with all types of retailers, you always have to be on your toes. One of our clients provides aesthetic services (such as waxing and hair removal) and I almost inadvertently walked in on her performing a “more delicate” procedure with a client. Perhaps not a crazy story by definition, but still was enough of a awkward moment to make my face more than a little red.
Do you have any advice for other Vend partners?
Stay true to why you started. For me, it has always been about helping people solve problems – by always focusing on that (and not dollars, cents, profit margins or markups) it’s very easy to build respect, trust and a sustainable business.
– Richard Finnie, CEO, Packetwire
Are you a Vend partner with a unique story to share? Get in touch with Grace now and you could be our next Partner of the Month.
About Grace O'Hara
Grace is a Marketing Assistant at Vend and helps make cool things happen behind the scenes. She enjoys talking to incredible Vend retailers from around the world and making the world a better place with her side projects. You can get in touch with Grace by email or connect with her on Google+.