- Location: Seattle, Washington
- Industry: HWHC
- Number of Stores: 7
“Since we began automatic replenishment, we reduced our inventory by nearly 25% and decreased our out-of-stock rate from ten percent to less than one percent.”
Nathaniel Polky, Information Technology Manager | McLendon Hardware Inc.
McLendon Hardware Reduces Inventory by 25% and Stock-out Rate from 10% to 1%
McLendon Hardware has been serving the Seattle metro area with hardware, garden supplies, and lumber since 1926. Today this large and successful operation has seven retail locations, two distributions centers, and 500 employees. In preparation for the seventh location, which opened in March 2013, McLendon owners and managers began focusing on refining inventory management processes, in effect creating a template for additional expansion. To do so, they rely on Epicor® Eagle® and Epicor® Inventory Planner to run an efficient multi-location operation.
Harnessing the True Potential of the Eagle System
In the past, McLendon used its Eagle system almost entirely for point-of-sale. As the company began to expand, further harnessing the use of the system became very important. "Starting in 2006, we went through a concerted effort to use more of our Eagle system capabilities," explains Nathaniel Polky, Information Technology Manager at McLendon. "We focused heavily on inventory management and getting an accurate quantity-on-hand so that we could use the automated replenishment feature."
Improved Inventory Purchasing
Purchasing had been a time-consuming, manual process. "We had buyers out in the warehouse with an inventory card counting product before placing an order. We were making decisions on intuition, not data. It wasn't a meaningful way to run the business. For much of the year, we were drastically overstocked. We wasted a lot of time and effort, and carried more inventory than necessary by not leveraging our Eagle system," asserts Nathaniel. "When we began using the automated replenishment functions, the results were astounding! Our buyers are now focused on value-add buying activities like merchandising, promotions, and new programs, while our purchasing agents are able to focus on keeping our stores in-stock."
Improved Forecasting Models
With the help of Epicor® Inventory Planner, McLendon better forecasts demand and further refines inventory levels. "We were trying to reduce inventory levels without producing stock outs," describes Nathaniel. "Using Inventory Planner, we maintain a high in-stock level while cutting down on excess, which substantially saves inventory dollars. Since we began automatic replenishment, we reduced our inventory by nearly 25% and decreased our out-ofstock rate from ten percent to less than one percent."
The McLendon team now evaluates future inventory purchases too. "We perform what-if scenarios, enabling us to be more adventurous. We see what might happen before it goes live," continues Nathaniel.
Networking Opportunities Inspire McLendon
Expanding from simply using a point-of-sale system to using technology solutions to drive business throughout each location makes a noticeable difference to the hardware store chain. "We meet industry contacts and other retailers using the system," explains Nathaniel. "Seeing how others are successful with various Epicor solutions gives us confidence to take on larger projects, like automated replenishment, advanced receiving, and general ledger. We have the support of Epicor and our peers, and can select the best path forward."
System Delivers Competitive Advantage
McLendon has seen dramatic improvements in its business since integrating its Eagle system more fully into day-to-day operations. "The Eagle system has really inspired us to evaluate how we run our business. Eagle is crucial to our business and is a very solid, comprehensive solution that allows us to compete effectively. It provides information to our team members to be able to make meaningful, actionable decisions that benefit our customers every day," concludes Nathaniel.
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.