- Location: Upper Arlington, Ohio
- Industry: Hardware and Home Center
- Number of Stores: 1
- Web site: www.nutterhardware.com
"With Performance Manager, I now calculate in one hour what had taken me days to calculate… After using Inventory Planner for six months, I estimate that we'll take $100,000 worth of inventory out of the store while increasing sales."
Joe Turner, General Manager | Nutter Hardware
Hardware store combines high-tech with a neighborhood store feel
After years of having to drive too far to get the parts he needed for his business, the founder of Nutter Hardware decided it was time to have a hardware store closer to home. Consequently, Nutter Hardware relocated to a suburb of Columbus Ohio, opening up shop in 2011. With a potbelly stove inside and a 1948 F1 Pickup Truck outside, customers experienced a store with a delightful neighborhood feel complete with product expertise and exceptional customer service. Today, behind the scenes, Nutter Hardware relies on the Epicor® Eagle® system to deliver the business management solutions required to provide its unique shopping environment.
Making better, proactive decisions with easy-to-access store data
Joe Turner, general manager of Nutter Hardware, was looking for a faster and easier way to take advantage of the data captured in the Eagle system. Today he uses Epicor Performance Manager dashboards to make informed decisions throughout the company from setting more profitable store hours to pinpointing better merchandising opportunities.
Nutter Hardware management wanted to understand the profitability of its store hours, while simultaneously analyzing the data. This was complicated and time-consuming with the previous system, requiring queries and spreadsheets. "It was painstaking," said Turner. "However, with Performance Manager I now calculate in one hour what had taken me days to calculate. With one quick report, I have the data to prove that keeping the store open after 6 p.m. on Sunday nights was not profitable and we changed our hours accordingly."
Turner easily sees the products that are selling well together and uses that information to create more profitable end caps, displays, and suggestive selling tactics. For example, the store sells a large number of keys compared to similar stores in their area. "I was really surprised to find out that what we cross-sell with keys is not a key accessory, it's furnace filters," said Turner. "Who would have guessed?" To further increase sales of furnace filters, Turner has employees talk about furnace filters while making keys. "Now employees ask customers if they have tried the 3M Ultra Allergen filter and we keep them near the key machine. This change increased our filter sales."
Remote override and data on-the-go
While the manager is doing robust analyses, the assistant manager can take advantage of Epicor Mobile Manager to get a quick, daily pulse on the business. A mobile device can be is used to check sales by department and see how busy the store is without having to be in the office. "It's very convenient," said Turner. "The ability to view metrics on a mobile device allows our management team to be anywhere. Sometimes we'll walk around the store with the owner, and we can look up sales right there. We can also perform remote overrides without having to come to the register. We simply pick up a phone and press a button. And the customer who needed the override doesn't have to wait through the embarrassment of the manager having to be paged."
Reduced overstock and stock outs in the near future
Like many retail business managers, Turner has struggled with accurately estimating purchasing quantities. Soon he'll have an opportunity to better anticipate demand with Epicor Inventory Planner. "Once I fully set up the plans and history, Inventory Planner will help me more accurately purchase the right quantity and mix of products," said Turner. "One particular challenge we have is preventing stock outs of light bulbs. To reduce stock outs of this high-selling product, I've had to double the suggested orders, and then double it again. With Inventory Planner, I'll be able to more accurately predict how many to purchase, and I'll stop worrying about stock outs. After using Inventory Planner for six months, I estimate that we'll take $100,000 worth of inventory out of the store while increasing sales."
Streamlining training to reduce knowledge gaps and improve customer service
Before Nutter Hardware established a self-paced online training program with Epicor Training on Demand, its ad-hoc training methods were yielding mixed results. "We tried to conduct a manual training program without having any way to track progress. Some of our employees took the web classes we assigned and others didn't. We had no way of checking," said Turner. "And we didn't have time to guide them in the areas in which we wanted them to excel."
The company also faced the challenge of employee turnover. "Keeping enough people working in the store has been one of our biggest struggles. We had college students in key positions leave for internships," said Turner. "Training their replacements was time-consuming and created a knowledge gap."
After seeing a demonstration of Training on Demand, Nutter Hardware's managers realized that the solution would save them time and more efficiently train and track employee progress. "It was a no-brainer," said Turner. "We couldn't believe we had survived without it."
Nutter Hardware's managers now create individual training assignments for employees to complete. "We ask each employee to complete two modules a week. I can track individual progress and see whether employees have completed their required training modules." On the training portal home page, general announcements and work schedules are posted, effectively creating an employee portal. "We ask our staff to log in to the Training on Demand home page at least once each day at home or at work. It's a new, more effective way to communicate with staff," said Turner.
Nutter Hardware has gained significant benefits since implementing its new training program. "We're seeing more confidence in new cashiers. They aren't afraid to explore the point-of-sale software. The training modules give them confidence, a better vocabulary, and faster transaction speed. We also have staff becoming extremely knowledgeable about our product lines. It's much faster and easier to get employees up to speed now," said Turner. "All of which translates to increased customer service. Training on Demand is a great tool!"