- Location: Owen Sound, Ontario
- Industry: Lumber and Building Materials, Hardware and Retail
- Number of Stores: 2
"The Eagle system makes it easy to view our stock levels, helps us identify optimum levels, and manages the process of maintaining these levels."
Jim Fulford, Owner | Fulford
Fulfords was established by Edgar Fulford in the middle of the Great Depression. Edgar was able to build a thriving business in tough times through hard work and a dedication to superior customer service. Eighty years later, his grandson, Jim Fulford Jr., is navigating the company through a tough economy by leveraging the Epicor® Eagle® point of sale and retail business management solution to run an efficient company, while maintaining the same commitment to excellent customer service.
Fulfords is somewhat unique in that its business is divided up into two very different stores. The company operates a gourmet kitchenware, luxury bathware and fullservice hardware store, and a separate independent RONA lumber and building materials center.
"We have two separate locations, selling four very different product lines," said Jim Fulford Jr., owner of Fulfords. "The Epicor solution gives us the flexibility to manage each business the way it needs to be managed, and the power to take on more business."
The Epicor Eagle software solution is built on decades of experience in the lumber and building materials industry and the hardware market. This industry expertise allows Fulfords to integrate and automate all of its management functions.
"The key to Eagle is that it is this powerful, feature-rich software package wrapped in an easy-to-use interface," added Fulford. "Most of our employees are not technology-savvy, and need to be able to use the system without having to pull out the manual. The Epicor solution gives users access to the power of the software without having to be very technical."
Improved Accuracy = Satisfied Customers
Fulfords processes a large number of special orders. Before installing the Eagle system, the company used a paper-based system for placing and tracking special orders. At times, if there were many orders in the system, some of them would fall through the cracks and would not get sourced. Customers would later call to get the status of their orders, and the salespeople would discover the errors. Mistakes did not happen very often, but, with Eagle, they do not happen at all.
"Before we got the Eagle system, we always thought we had a great system for processing special orders," said Fulford. "However, Eagle closed gaps that we didn't even realize we had. It has been a phenomenal tool for reducing errors in the process." Under the Eagle system, employees can view the status of any order at any time. The system alerts the appropriate salesperson when their special orders are delivered, and prompts them to immediately notify the customer of the availability of their order.
"Under the old system, I had to place almost all of the special orders and keep tabs on them so they would not fall through the cracks," said Fulford. "Now, other employees do the buying, and yet I still have full access to all of this information. In fact, the new system provides me more information than I had when I was doing it all myself! It is quick and easy to get a status update on each order and identify if there are any delays in the process."
Running a Smarter, More Efficient Business
Despite the fact that the two stores are so different, Fulfords uses central distribution to reduce costs and improve overall inventory control. All of the hardlines products for the LBM location are purchased centrally at the hardware location. With the Eagle system, Fulfords is able to centrally order all of these products, automatically separate the items meant for the LBM location and transfer them to that store.
The Eagle system also allows Fulfords to balance its stock much more effectively. For example, when one store runs out of a particular product, the system checks to see if it would be more practical to transfer inventory from the other store before initiating a new order. "Stock balancing reduces inventory levels considerably, and has given us a visibility to inventory data that we never had before," said Fulford. "The Eagle system makes it easy to view our stock levels, helps us identify optimum levels, and manages the process of maintaining these levels."
The Eagle system has also helped Fulfords improve back office productivity. Eagle automated and simplified the processes of creating, delivering, and tracking invoices. Fulfords now automatically emails and faxes customer statements and invoices, and has recently begun using document scanning and management. Before, it took three back office employees to invoice customers. With Eagle, it only takes one person to perform the entire process.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries. With 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 www.epicor.com.