Customer story

Yesway says “yes” to Avalara MatrixMaster

Results

Increased compliance
Improved processes
Tax expertise

Summary

Results

  • Increased compliance
  • Improved processes
  • Tax expertise

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • Compliance risk
  • Tax complexity


Product used

Avalara MatrixMaster
With a powerful database of over 15 million codes, Avalara MatrixMaster is the world’s largest database of Universal Product Codes (UPC) with specialized sales taxability data.


Benefits

  • Region-specific tax compliance risk mitigated
  • SKU eligibility for SNAP simplified
  • Taxability confidence

Company overview


Customer
Yesway

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
Custom PDI Enterprise solution

Yesway was founded on a simple idea: Convenience stores should be, well, convenient. While product selection, pricing, service, and store layout are important, perhaps the most critical factor in the convenience equation is location. 

Yesway is expanding its geographic footprint quickly through acquisition and integration. Today the company has 150 stores across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. 

Tax challenges


Yesway’s strategy is centered on fast growth by acquiring existing stores in new territories. However, the risks associated with sales tax compliance grow with each expansion. A single acquisition can add anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 new SKUs, and local regulations governing sales taxes multiply the complexity due to varying rules in each state.

“There are so many strange tax laws,” says Lisa Dodson, who manages the price book for Yesway. “For example, in Iowa a candy bar that contains flour is non-taxable, but one without flour is taxable. We can’t have those kinds of complexities slowing our growth or creating unnecessary compliance risks such as penalties, fines, or customer dissatisfaction.”

Why Avalara?


Rather than trying to solve this rapidly accelerating challenge on her own, Lisa decided to find an automated solution to assist in mitigating risk and getting the job done faster. “I wanted a knowledgeable, resourceful partner that would help us with unfamiliar situations,” she recalls. 

Lisa contacted PDI, the makers of Yesway’s back-office system, to ask for recommendations for solutions that would integrate easily. Only one recommendation came back: Avalara MatrixMaster.

Customer
Yesway

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
Custom PDI Enterprise solution

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • Compliance risk
  • Tax complexity

Product used

Avalara MatrixMaster
With a powerful database of over 15 million codes, Avalara MatrixMaster is the world’s largest database of Universal Product Codes (UPC) with specialized sales taxability data.


Benefits

  • Region-specific tax compliance risk mitigated
  • SKU eligibility for SNAP simplified
  • Taxability confidence

“I wanted a knowledgeable, resourceful partner that would help us with unfamiliar situations.”

Lisa Dodson
Price Book Manager

“I wanted a knowledgeable, resourceful partner that would help us with unfamiliar situations.”

Lisa Dodson
Price Book Manager

Results


Each week, Yesway provides a complete list of product SKUs. Avalara then determines the taxability of each item in every state with a Yesway location. The updated matrix comes back within a few days, and Lisa’s team validates it. 

“We send them the report on Monday, and they upload the updated matrix by Friday,” she explains. “Once we make the change, all the stores have to do is update their registers, which takes less than five minutes.” Lisa adds that the initial setup was smooth and easy, with the initial matrix of more than 50,000 SKUs returned from MatrixMaster within a month. 

Initial setup was smooth and easy, with the initial matrix of more than 50,000 SKUs returned from MatrixMaster within a month.

Yesway also uses MatrixMaster to determine the eligibility of individual SKUs for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). This can be a bit tricky, as Yesway offers both grocery items, which are eligible, and foods for immediate consumption, which are not.

With MatrixMaster, Lisa feels confident about Yesway’s sales tax compliance even as the complexity accelerates with growth. “The peace of mind is very beneficial,” she says. “We haven’t had any issues, but I like knowing that Avalara will stand behind their work if it ever becomes necessary.”

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