- Location: Nashville, Tennessee
- Industry: HWHC
- Number of Stores: 2
- Web site: www.hartacehardware.com
"We now better manage our greatest asset-our inventory-without spending too much time."
Frank Shope, Owner | Hart Ace Hardware
Hart Ace Hardware, a family-owned business, was founded in 1972. For more than 40 years, Hart Hardware has been providing quality hardware items to residents of Nashville, Tennessee. With two locations, they are known for exceptional customer service and hard-to-find items. The company is a long-time Epicor user, having installed its first Epicor system in 1984. Both locations now use the Epicor Eagle solution to manage operations.
Owner Frank Shope, having grown up in the business, has been dedicated to retail hardware for over 33 years. He was an integral part of the decision to select Epicor. "I thought they had a consistent product. It turns out I chose wisely, because over time, Epicor has been the standard bearer in a changing and innovating industry," said Frank Shope, owner of Hart Ace Hardware. "It's a great system and Epicor has great people behind it."
Purchasing goes from 24 hours to three hours
The Hart Hardware team has been able to significantly reduce the time it takes to order through the use of the Eagle system. "We were spending too much time putting orders together," said Shope. "Reviewing weekly orders used to take 24 hours between my staff, managers, and myself. We have reduced the time it takes to order down to three hours."
With the intention to reach his goal of having ordering time down to 30 minutes, Hart Hardware is now using Epicor Eagle Inventory Planner. "I can set benchmarks and get standardized reporting tools," said Shope. "Our managers can look at inventory data in a much more concise manner. I believe Inventory Planner will continue to make it possible to review and send orders in 30 minutes."
It had been difficult to manage Hart Hardware's inventory of approximately 15,000 SKUs. That has all changed with Inventory Planner. "We now better manage our greatest asset-our inventory-without spending too much time," said Shope. "I don't have to think about 15,000 items anymore-Inventory Planner manages it for me. Instead, I can focus on helping customers."
Taking control of pricing
Shope and his team had been struggling to manage pricing, elasticity, and margins. Recently Hart Hardware added Eagle Pricing Planner to gain control of pricing. "I was a Margin Master user, but I was never really comfortable with it," said Shope. "We had to export and import data to get it to work. With Pricing Planner, I have a lot more flexibility and the opportunity to execute pricing strategies all at once or individually. Ace has different levels of pricing, and now I can easily take some of Ace's tier suggestions without having to implement all of them. Pricing Planner makes it possible for me to be in control of every price in my system. I will continue to refine my pricing and improve profitability without negatively effecting customers."
Pricing Planner also empowers Shope to delegate some of his pricing responsibilities. "I can set guidelines, benchmarks, and parameters on how products are going to be priced. Once I set it, I don't have to adjust it again. And someone else can execute price changes. With Pricing Planner, I can focus on other areas, without worrying about whether the company will remain profitable."
Being able to adjust pricing more easily is a great feature of Pricing Planner. "With Margin Master, I had a lot of locked-in retail prices, and I didn't revisit those prices for a long, long time," said Shope. "When I switched over to Pricing Planner, I eliminated three to four hundred locked-in retail prices. I have more flexibility to adjust prices easily and manage categories and classes."
Setting and managing goals with performance manager
It has been challenging for Shope to find the time to actively develop strategies and accomplish goals based on business performance data. "I've never done a good job of setting and managing goals. We have grown every year, but it was never with a developed plan. I'm excited about Performance Manager because I will have access to five to six diagnostic screens from which to make decisions. I won't have to go searching for reports. The information will be pushed to me instead."
In fact, the entire Eagle® Software Planner series is pushing more information to Shope and helping him manage his business better. "I don't have to try to figure out what information to pull from the system anymore," said Shope. "Instead, the system will send me alerts, reminders, and emails. I save time, and that's very liberating."
Keeping up with the fast pace of business
With the incredible pace of the retail business, Hart Hardware relies on the Eagle system to remain competitive. "I've seen a huge evolution in retail," said Shope. "Business is very fast these days, and there's a high level of expectation. Customers are in a different world than when I was a kid, when we used to write our prices on our products with a magic marker. With Eagle, we're setting order points and ensuring we won't be out of stock for our customers. I could never make that kind of promise before. I couldn't run my business without my Epicor system. We can do so much more with it in a shorter amount of time with fewer people. My goal is to get back out on the floor and spend more time talking with my customers and training my employees. I think I can get closer to that goal with Eagle Software and the Planner series."
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 www.epicor.com.