The FAS Difference

As is the case in virtually any industry, just about any floral technology vendor you talk to will claim to have the “latest and greatest” technology, the “leading edge” system, etc. However, if you’ll just take an objective look at the features offered by the various systems, it is simply a fact that FAS is among the most advanced systems available to florists. For example, although you can use third-party accounting software with FAS (such as Quick Books or Peachtree), it is not necessary to do so. FAS is one of the very few systems in the industry that offers a complete, comprehensive, fully-integrated accounting system as part of its shop management system. Most other systems do not have that capability and require you to purchase third-party software to be able to perform critical accounting and management functions.

You may have seen on this web site that FAS is one of the few systems in the entire floral industry whose systems have met the mandatory security requirements of the credit card industry. Not only is using a system which has been validated by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council required by the credit card companies, but it also protects the sensitive data of you and your customers from fraud and abuse. Computer data breaches have grown exponentially over recent years. It is critical to the survival of your company to have a system that has been audited by a third-party PCI- authorized auditor and that has been found to be officially PCI-compliant. FAS was one of the first floral systems to be certified as being PCI compliant back in 2009, and we were recertified for PCI compliance in 2015. Hardly any other systems in the floral industry have ever met this standard. In fact, most of the systems offered by smaller vendors have never been certified for PCI compliance, and they almost certainly never will meet the extremely demanding standards for achieving PCI compliance. As you browse around the web sites of other floral systems you’ll often see comments such as, “Because our system processes credit cards through processor XYZ Processing which is PCI compliant, you can rest assured that your transactions are PCI compliant.” That is a misleading statement. Using a PCI-compliant processor to process credit cards is an entirely different issue than the POS system itself having been certified for PCI compliance. Retailers who “store, process, or transmit” credit card data through their POS system should make certain that the POS system itself has been certified for PCI compliance.

Although FAS’s systems were already meeting the highest credit card security standards in the industry, we took our system even beyond those requirements. FAS is now one of the very few vendors in the floral industry that offers integrated EMV “chip card” credit card processing, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, and contactless payments, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay through your smart phone. These new technologies greatly reduce the risk of your experiencing a data breach, and they greatly reduce your burden of maintaining your own PCI compliance. And because the level of security provided by this technology is so much more advanced than traditional credit card technology, FAS’s system no longer falls under the scope of PCI compliance regulations.

FAS is the only non-wire service floral management system that provides you with a national and international network for getting your customers’ out-of-town orders delivered. FASnet has been successfully relaying florists’ orders for over 30 years. FASnet allows you to electronically send 100% of your orders to any florist you choose, provided that you and the filling florist are both members of the same wire organization. And with FASnet you can send your outgoing orders “Florist Direct”, eliminating the need for a traditional wire service. You can also send FTD and Teleflora orders through FASnet. FASnet is the only floral network that provides coverage through multiple wire services. FAS also includes fully-automated interfaces to both Teleflora’s Dove network and FTD’s Mercury network, and these interfaces are fully supported and authorized by the respective wire services.

FAS is also the only system in the industry that allows you to use a true point-and-click Windows interface and a traditional menu-driven interface typical of what most retailers use, all within the same system. In fact, your employees with Windows-based PC workstations can run these different interfaces simultaneously. Switching between these two environments is as simple as a mouse-click. No other system in the floral industry provides this level of flexibility and power.

FAS provides the FAS Mobile Delivery Management System that allows shops to manage their deliveries from the road using an iPhone or Android smart phone–another feature not found in most other floral systems.

It’s difficult for someone to substantiate claims that systems which don’t provide essential accounting functions, that have never been certified as being PCI-compliant, that don’t allow you to process “chip credit cards” or contactless payments, that don’t include their own universal floral networks, that don’t interface to the industry’s largest wire service networks, that don’t allow you to send orders “Florist Direct”, that don’t provide both a Windows interface and a text interface in a single system, etc., etc., are “more advanced” than a system that does do all of these things–FAS.

Finally, it’s important to realize that the company behind your floral shop technology is perhaps more important than the technology itself. FAS has a 34-year track record of success. Unlike newer or smaller companies, FAS has achieved a critical mass of customers that will sustain the company for many years to come, protecting your technology investment. And unlike the larger companies who are FAS’s primary competitors (and your competitors, coincidentally), the programmers who wrote the original FAS system 34 years ago are still the programmers who write FAS programs today. In fact, they are the owners of FAS, and they work very closely with FAS’s customers and with FAS’s employees to provide a high-quality product and a high level of customer service.

Just about any floral system will allow you to enter a floral order, print your enclosure card, generate a delivery report, etc. There are necessarily numerous similarities between the various floral systems on the market. However, rather than evaluating the systems based upon their similarities, I think it’s more useful to evaluate the systems based upon their differences. I think you’ll quickly see why The FAS Difference makes FAS one of the most advanced systems available to florists today.