- Location: Muskeegan, Michigan
- Industry: Farm/Home
- Number of Stores: 28
- Website: www.familyfarmandhome.com
"We chose Epicor Eagle because we wanted a system that would handle every aspect of our business and facilitate our aggressive growth goals."
Bob Tarrant, CFO | Family Farm & Home
Family Farm & Home performs big with Epicor Eagle
Started in 2002 with aggressive growth goals, Family Farm & Home has relied on Epicor Eagle to manage all aspects of its business. Inventory is carefully managed to conserve cash. Inventory shrinkage is low. Accounts Payable is performed with a small staff. Business Advisor reports with real-time data on location performance. Perhaps most important is the ease with which new stores can be added to the Epicor Eagle system.
Retail Farm Store Chain Required System to Accommodate Future Growth
Family Farm & Home is a retail farm store chain specializing in selling farm and home products to full and part-time farmers and rural homeowners. Since its inception, four locations have been added with strategic plans to continue that rate of growth.
"In 2002 when we began the business, we looked for a system that would handle every aspect of the business-accounts payable, general ledger, purchasing, point of sale, and inventory management," said Bob Tarrant, chief financial officer of Family Farm & Home. "It needed to be a one-stop shop and we found Epicor to be the best solution for everything."
Strong Inventory Management Conserves Cash and Fuels Growth
"As a young company we needed leverage to start the company," said Tarrant. "We had to responsibly manage our cash-flow by maintaining appropriate stock levels. We can't order truckloads for each store." Epicor Eagle achieves this goal by facilitating the smooth transfer of inventory between stores, by making cycle counting easy and accurate, and by providing real-time reports that monitor inventory levels at all locations.
By cycle counting 10% of its SKUs, Family Farm & Home can predict its shrink rate for the entire company. "Our shrink is currently 1.14% which is okay for a young company," said Tarrant. "We'd love to see it below 1% and we'll get there as we add policies and procedures, and improve some of our processes."
Epicor Eagle inventory reports help quickly identify potential problems, leading to faster resolution. These critical reports provide summary and detail level information down to the SKU and location level.
If inventory of a particular SKU is over plan, Tarrant works with the buyer for that product to determine the source of the problem. The product may have been received incorrectly or there may be an overstock issue.
Small Accounts Payable Staff Performs Big with Epicor Eagle
Family Farm & Home has a total of 300 direct vendors, with as many as 150 being paid each week. One full-time employee and one parttime assistant are able to keep up with that volume. "With the Eagle Accounts Payable module, we get a lot of work accomplished with very few resources," said Tarrant.
Epicor Eagle automates the paperwork flow from receiving to accounts payable. On screen, invoices are matched against products received and authorized for payment.
Business Advisor Provides Visibility Into Operations at All Locations
With 28 stores spread across two states, the management team can't possibly be at each location every day. With Business Advisor, they don't need to be. "Business Advisor has really helped manage the business," said Tarrant. "It provides all the critical data in a summary format, from there we can drill into transaction detail for each location and identify potential problems. I can sort SKUs by gross profit and literally an hour after an item was sold, understand its gross profit at every location."
In August 2011, Family Farm & Home's operations manager was looking at a sales audit report for the morning and noticed suspicious returns. By double-clicking on those line items, he noticed that the suspect returns were all made by the same clerk. That very day, the store manager pulled hard copy return slips and confirmed that the clerk was falsifying returns. "That single report saved us money," said Tarrant. "Who knows how long that would have gone on before we caught it?"
Rapidly Growing Business Easily Adds New Locations
"We opened with three locations and have since added many more locations," said Tarrant. "We plan to continue our rapid growth." Part of the reason Family Farm & Home is able to do that is because it's so easy to add new locations with Epicor Eagle.
When the company opens a new store, they copy formats and files from another location into the new store's database and train employees for a couple of days. "With the in-person training, additional phone training, and the very good support center we get from Epicor, we've had no system problems when rolling out new stores."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit