- Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
- Industry: Farm, Home and Pet
- Number of Stores: 5
- Number of Employees: 70
- Web site: www.olsensgrain.com
“Epicor has provided the bridge to help us implement growth, as well as give us the necessary technology to monitor all our locations simultaneously.”
Michelle Gronek, General Manager and CFO | Olsen’s Grain, Inc.
With deep roots in northern Arizona, Olsen’s Grain, Inc. has been a major retail supplier of pet, livestock and wild bird feeds, farm and ranch products, and lawn and garden supplies since 1979. The family owned business has grown to five stores and serves the communities of Chino Valley, Prescott, Dewey/Humboldt, Flagstaff, Verde Valley and the surrounding areas. Success of the five stores is the result of the combination of owner and employee expertise, innovative technology and a strong commitment to serve its customers—making it the premier feed and pet supplier in the areas they serve.
Best solution for the business
Since 1997, Olsen’s Grain has utilized Epicor Eagle software to drive the business forward and foster growth. “Prior to implementing Epicor Eagle software we operated manually,” said Michelle Gronek, general manager and chief financial officer of Olsen’s Grain. “We handwrote receipts and used a manual register. The main reasons we selected Epicor was for the information that it could provide and it was the best solution for our business. That time was a period of growth in our company—we only had three locations and we were getting ready to open our fourth. Epicor has provided the bridge to help us implement growth, as well as give us the necessary technology to monitor all our locations simultaneously.”
A competitive advantage for differentiation
Most recently, Olsen’s Grain implemented the Epicor Eagle N Series retail business management solution to improve efficiency, make better business decisions and increase revenues. “We implemented Epicor Eagle N Series software because we wanted to make sure that we are utilizing the most up-to-date technology to help us stay competitive. The advanced functionality available now, and the developments to come, are going help our business succeed now and in the future,” said Gronek.
Olsen’s Grain cashiers utilize item lookup most at point of sale. “If we don’t have a product on hand, we can look it up in the system and see what other locations have it in stock. We are able to smoothly make transfers from location to location and help satisfy customers quickly. Our employees are able to rapidly process information with the tools that are provided at point of sale. As we dive more and more into special orders the functionality of Epicor Eagle N Series software will really help the business.”
“Providing the best customer service and making sure we have the products the customers want is foundational to our business. Having the data necessary to understand what business decisions to make—lowering our prices, making lower margin, finding other products, making higher margin—is crucial. And so, having a system that’s able to give us the data we need in order to make educated decisions is huge because as a small business we need to be able to adapt and make changes quickly and that differentiates us from the large companies.”
Cutting credit card processing fees
Epicor Payment Exchange service handles all the key steps in accepting card payments: authorization, settlement, and reporting. It leverages technology and relationships that serve thousands of merchants, volume discounts get passed to the retailers, leaving more of every sale where it should be: in the bottom line. “We switched from an outside processor to Epicor Payment Exchange service due to a cost savings in credit card and support fees,” said Gronek. “We are now processing approximately $771,000 per month through Epicor Payment Exchange service.”
Loyalty improves customer relationships
With the Epicor Eagle Loyalty Manager application, customers get a designated loyalty number and the Epicor Eagle system tracks every purchase. “Before we had Epicor Eagle Loyalty Manager solution, we didn’t do any loyalty tracking. Now, through utilizing the Epicor solution, we have approximately 20,000 customers participating in our loyalty program,” said Gronek. “One of the great things for customer service is that with the Epicor Eagle Loyalty Manager solution, if a customer comes in and doesn’t remember exactly which product they purchased during their last visit, we are able to look up what they purchased and say, ‘Here’s what you got.’ They can make sure they get the right product, which really helps boost our customer service ranking.”
Epicor Eagle applications save time and money
Olsen’s Grain has greatly improved inventory management. “At the end of each year, we would go through our inventory and write down the prices and quantity of every item. From there we would figure out, based off of what our gross margins are supposed to be, how much inventory we had,” said Gronek. “Now, analyzing inventory with the Epicor Eagle solution, our numbers are more accurate and we are better able to monitor inventory levels. We monitor turns on a regular basis and have reduced our inventory by 15 percent. It has provided us the ability to monitor and resolve issues quickly.”
Olsen’s Grain is also greatly benefitting from other Epicor Eagle applications, especially the Epicor Compass, Epicor Advanced Receiving, and Epicor General Ledger solutions. “The Epicor Advanced Receiving solution is helping us with inventory numbers specifically so we can better ensure our general ledger matches what’s actually in the system,” said Gronek. “When we first implemented Advanced Receiving, we were shocked at how many things were slipping through the cracks. We’ve been able to discover many errors with the solution; for example, we weren’t getting certain credits from vendors. Epicor Advanced Receiving has really helped us clean up our back office and has definitely saved us money. Epicor Advanced Receiving has been a great checks and balance system for us.”
“The Epicor Compass application has been particularly useful because we are able to determine the information we want to have automatically emailed to us on a regular basis,” said Gronek. “We’ve created a report that tells us the gross profits we made each day and it also breaks out our expenses. This tool gives us a nice, quick view of whether or not we made enough money each day to cover our expenses.”
“The Epicor Eagle General Ledger solution has been the biggest time saver. The import tool is one thing that I frequently utilize,” said Gronek. “The initial reason we implemented the Epicor Eagle General Ledger solution import tool was to more easily manage our commercial credit card—it’s given us the ability to import information into the general ledger, instead of having an accounts payable team member input the 550 entries manually into the general ledger. Our accounting department saves at least three days a month worth of work by utilizing the Epicor Eagle General Ledger Import tool.”
With Epicor technology you never fall behind
“Epicor is continually refining their products and improving the technology so you never fall behind in the market. That’s a huge selling point because more often than not, companies become stagnant and their point of sale system isn’t giving them the information they need. With Epicor continually moving forward and improving products, you know that you’re always going to have the latest and greatest,” said Gronek.
“Our market has become highly competitive over the last three years. Utilizing Epicor Eagle N Series software and its applications makes us think about how we do business and how exactly we can compete effectively in the marketplace,” said Gronek. “Additionally, as we see fluctuations in the market, we are able to make changes quickly companywide.”