Insights 2013 Epicor Customer Conference held May 13-16 in Nashville, Tennessee, was this year's essential event for businesses that depend on Epicor Retail Solutions, as well as other Epicor business management solutions. To add a little fun at the start of the conference, Epicor invited retail customers to join golf rivals Duncan Taylor, Epicor senior director international business development, retail, and Joe Sarabok, Epicor senior sales director, retail, in an "Epic" battle to see whose swings reign supreme.
This year Team Taylor (blue polo’s) and Team Sarabok (red polo’s) hosted the classic round at Nashville's beautiful Hermitage Golf Club
. The first golf showdown was held at Caesars Cascata
in Vegas during Insights 2012—Team Duncan was the victor. Watch the video to see the winning outcome this year.
Participants - back row, left to right: Edward Iskander (Danier Leather Inc.), Andrew Mitchell (VF Corporation, guest), Richard Hicks (The Paper Store), Mike King (BT Expedite), Duncan Taylor (Epicor), Rick Coenen (Sussan Corporation), Tim Delasantos (The Paper Store), Chris Wrye (Genesco), Maureen DeMott (Charming Charlie), Joe Mach (VeriFone). Front row, left to right: Matthew Couture (Epicor), Rob Stoy (American Eagle Outfitters), Brian Quill (Under Armour), Joe Sarabok (Epicor), Shawn Charrette (VF Corporation), Adam Thompson (Factory Connection, LLC).
A HUGE thank you to Joe Mach and the VeriFone team for sponsoring the great event! Another HUGE thank you to Brian Quill and Under Armour! Under Armour, one of Epicor’s most innovative customers helped the Epicor team develop a vision for the golf event attendees and helped drive the “I WILL” passion on the course by wearing some very fine Under Armour golf shirts.
Posted by Duncan Taylor, Senior Director International Business Development
Epicor Retail Solutions
The retail industry is changing more than ever before (Source: Business Insider, 2013).
I read these types of predictions with both interest and amusement. Yes, things are rapidly evolving and we need to adapt to changing technologies and consumer preferences, but the doomsday tenor should be taken with a grain of reason. With that said - this deck makes some good points and it is interesting to hear how the business world is changing and what is most important to remain engaged with your customers.
For more information, visit: https://intelligence.businessinsider.com/welcome
Posted by Matt Mullen, head of product management, Epicor Retail Distribution Group
For over 40 years, Race Brothers Farm and Home Supply of Springfield, Missouri has been owned and operated by the DeForest family. The company has more than 100 employees in its three locations. Race Brothers promises to provide outstanding service and products primarily for retail farm supply businesses.
Race Brothers is committed to improving their employees’ experience, which in return has overwhelming influence on the quality of customer service their stores can provide. In an interview featured in this month’s issue of Integrated Solutions for Retailers, Race Brothers discusses how overcoming one business challenge has greatly improved their company overall.
Preceding the implementation of the Training on Demand program, Race Brothers was experiencing difficulties sharing information across the management team down to each employee. Race Brothers was using traditional ways of training their employees; cashier to cashier, stock person to stock person. “Looking at the marketplace and comparing how we were fairing in relation to other training programs within industry businesses, we knew there was a large gap in communication between our staff at all levels,” said Roy Mason, VP and manager at Race Brothers. “We began implementing TOD with the main goal of creating one comprehensive training program for use in all three stores.”
Currently, with the use of Training on Demand, the Race Brothers’ training program allows for comparable training in all three stores. “The Epicor Training on Demand program is so powerful,” said Mason. “We were not utilizing training appropriately, especially at the management level. Now, we are effectively implementing many more training programs, and significantly improving the productivity of our employees.”
Read more about Race Brothers featured in the February 2013 issue of Integrated Solutions for Retailers.
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team
I’ve attended the SuperSaturday event for the last two years. It’s packed with the top retail analysts and C-level executives who are in town for the NRF Annual Convention & Expo. The event is fast-paced covering the latest data and trends in the retail industry. However, what I look forward to most about the event is Greg Buzek/IHL Services talking about the Retail Orphan Initiative (www.retailroi.org) and how our (Epicor) sponsorship donations aided children around the world – providing new schools, playgrounds, safe water wells, building homes for orphans and caregivers, rescuing hundreds of girls from human trafficking, and distributing high nutrient meals to starving people.
Being able to give through sponsorships is wonderful but seeing who you’re giving to is truly magical. I know this because I just came back from visiting three schools and two orphanages in Liberia that have benefited from RetailROI funding.
What did I see? Hundreds of smiling, happy children hungry to learn, dream, and aspire to become doctors, teachers, beauticians, carpenters and journalists in a country they love so dearly. They may not have electricity or running water but they have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, a school to attend – with teachers, a principal and a pastor mentor – thanks to RetailROI and Lifesong for Orphans. Eight months ago RetailROI sent Jones Christian Academy twenty netbooks so they could start a computer class. This week we installed Khan Academy software which will provide both teachers and students additional lessons across several subjects and improve their computer skills. Also with their new printer, they may even start printing out tests!
Being there in person also helped us to better assess other needs of the schools and orphanages that we can provide assistance to in the future, like building an additional classroom for the deaf students at the Rehab School (their classroom has been located outside), ensuring every child has a desk to sit at, fixing security/property walls that haven’t been able to withstand excess water during the rainy season, determining what can be put in place to better prepare the kids for high school, college, and employment and so much more.
However, the highlight of my trip was spending time with the kids. I am very grateful to Build-A-Bear-Workshop® who filled one of my suitcases with 100 smallfrys® bears, bunnies, and monkeys to give to the kids. From the youngest to the oldest – the kids loved them!
To no surprise, there was not a learning curve on how to use gamessurprise, there was not a learning curve on how to use games on my iPad even though most had never seen one – their favorites were Angry Birds, Tomcat, and Paper Toss – not to mention seeing themselves in the camera.
Key “learnings” for me are these kids need a secure place to live with opportunities to dream and be able to see those dreams come true. Our funding needs to focus on sustainable long term items such as education and technology that will allow for them to succeed in the future. To assist with this funding, Epicor will be taking donations of $10 for RetailROI at the upcoming NRF in January 2013. As a thank you for your donation you will receive a Build-A-Bear Workshop smallfry® bear, bunnie or monkey. Please visit Epicor at the NRF Expo (booth #1805) and Help a friend – build a future!
Three key goals of RetailROI:
- Bring Awareness to the enormous needs of orphans worldwide
- Encourage companies (Retailers, Vendors, Manufacturers) to create programs internally for their companies to help with the need
- Raise Funds through the following ways to help "feet on the street" charities who are making a real difference
For more information about the Retail Orphan Initiative, please visit www.retailroi.org.
Posted by Diane Cerulli, Director Retail Product Marketing, Epicor
Epicor Retail customer Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, recently opened its first highly anticipated newly designed store at West County Center in St. Louis. The store is one of six that the company will open through November in select markets across the United States. The updated store allows Guests of all ages to personalize the bear-making process and offers them a different experience each time they visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop store.
The new interactive stations throughout the store leverage Epicor Retail Multi-Channel Transaction Adapter (MCTA)--recently honored with a Gold Stevie® and People’s Choice Stevie® from the 2012 American Business Awards. The MCTA is used to build the transaction with pertinent data all along the way as the Guest scans their “bear” of choice and adds personalities, adds sound at the Hear Me station, names it and gives it an address at the Name Me station which all leads up to the final Take Me Home check out at Epicor Retail Store point of sale (POS) system. Build-A-Bear’s vision, innovation and inspired use of technology bring the ultimate interactive experience to its customers, young and old and Epicor is proud to be part of it.
Visit a newly imagined “Build-A-Bear Workshop” store near you:
- West County Center in St. Louis, Mo.
- Stoneridge Shopping Center® in Pleasanton, Calif.
- Annapolis Shopping Mall in Annapolis, Md.
- The Somerset Collection in Troy, Mich. (opening Friday, Oct. 26)
- Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va. (opening Friday, Nov. 9)
- Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Ind. (opening Friday, Nov. 16)
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team
Over the last year customer centricity has been one of the top concerns in the minds of retailers. In a recent thought leadership report by Apparel Magazine
, the ever-growing and fluctuating topic of customer engagement is brought to a new level – Customer Centricity 2.0. According to Apparel
, “Today’s leading apparel retailers are changing their focus from improving what customers will encounter within the store to how consumers can engage the brand and the enterprise as a whole in all channels, in turn enhancing the entire shopping experience and fostering long-term retailer-customer relationships.”
If you ask Apparel, the “essential elements” of managing a legitimate customer-centric organization requires the following:
Mobile POS and Mobile CRM
Channel Unification and Channel-Agnostic Retailing
Integrated Planning, Merchandising and Alloction
Advanced Business Intelligence
When asked about what successful retailers are doing to achieve heightened customer engagement, Ian Rawlins, vice president of marketing for Epicor
, said “Advanced transaction and CRM systems are key, but customer centricity must be enabled and supported in all areas of the enterprise. Retailers are also looking for fully integrated solutions that provide a seamless, multi-channel view of information – solutions that let retailers know, in real time, what inventory is available where, and allow inventory in one location or channel to be used to fill orders in a different one.”
What are the challenges of conducting business in today's marketplace? What is your organization doing to become a more customer centric organization?
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team.
As the provider of a fully integrated technology solution to 14 distribution centers in the U.S.A. and 4,600 stores located in all 50 states and 60 countries, Ace Hardware Corporation is one of the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Stores for the Sixth Consecutive Year,” it’s no wonder that the company has reigned as the helpful hardware store in thousands of communities across America since 1924. With the recent announcement that the company will continue to choose the functionality, flexibility, and integration capabilities of Epicor point of sale (POS) software as its only recommended POS solution, it is clear that Ace Hardware is committed to remaining a leader in the field.
However, the company is not only marked as one of the top competitors in the industry; it is also known as a visionary among them. When Ace entered the retail scene 85 years ago, their approach to business was inspired, allowing individual stores to purchase merchandise in bulk to save money and buy at the lowest possible price. Ace has continued on this trend and continues to be notable for providing a variety of hardware products, as well as niche items and services relevant to each individual community.
Ace makes it possible to remain relevant by allowing each store to be independently-owned and operated by local entrepreneurs who live in the neighborhoods in which the store resides. Not only are these business owners passionate and hard-working, but they are also active community members who are invested in assessing and serving the needs of their clients and neighbors. By extending their relationship with Epicor for the next three years, the hardware retailer will continue to protect their status as a reliable, efficient, and profitable business operation that is dedicated to customer satisfaction.
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team
Last week we announced the results of our first ever global carbon accounting survey. The goal of the survey was to gain insight into the ability and willingness of companies to identify their greenhouse gas emissions; to find out how they technically capture emissions; and to clarify the extent to which companies have to meet legal requirements for sustainability, as well as partner and customer demands in this arena.
The results – compiled from nearly 1000 companies surveyed across the globe – were pretty astounding. Fifty-eight percent of companies surveyed had not even heard of the term “carbon accounting”; less than a third could accurately describe what the term means, and a full 80% of companies surveyed don’t monitor their company’s carbon footprint.
So why are companies lagging in their comprehension of carbon accounting as a whole, and in the execution of said carbon accounting initiatives?
One reason is many companies see carbon accounting or energy management efforts as a distraction rather than something they can quickly and easily quantify. I also think there is some cynicism out there colored by individuals’ own personal opinions. Many people feel the whole carbon issue equates to acceptance of science behind global warming. Irrespective of your views on the science, if you choose not to believe it and bury your head in the sand, you do so at the risk of putting your organisation at a competitive disadvantage. Legislation is here and if you are not mandated by it now, it will be coming your way.
Done right, carbon accounting can be a part of your normal course of business – not an extra task – and like other GRC initiatives; it has the potential to create process efficiencies for operational cost savings.
Another hurdle for carbon accounting is many companies don’t realize the significance of monetizing these efforts. What’s more, the trading of carbon credits is often way outside of their core business role. It’s a new skill set/competency that most people flat out don’t have – but expect to see the job market heat up over the next few years in The New Carbon Economy. Major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Berkeley's and Citi Bank, already have carbon trading desks in London, the commodity market for carbon offsets, is the fastest growing commodity market in the world with companies buying and selling carbon credits like pork bellies or silver.
At the point when the economies of the world were in a more robust state, green initiatives and carbon were a lot higher up on both media and corporate agendas. But as the downturn took hold, organizations started looking inwards at themselves and less at their green credentials. However operational cost savings and a green corporate agenda are not mutually exclusive. By managing your operations in an energy efficient manner, there’s tremendous financial upside in the form of operational cost savings, and also possible increased revenues – not to mention compliance, as there’s going to be a “train” of increasing compliance requirements in this arena. We say – get ahead of the curve – start following it now. Compliance is actually a byproduct – you’ll actually save your company money and open up a whole new revenue stream.
Posted by Chris Purcell, Product Marketing Manager, Epicor
This week Epicor put its best and most fashionable foot forward at NRF – the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & EXPO in New York City, where more than 24,000 in the retail industry convened to peruse the industry’s most innovative technologies to serve, engage, and inspire consumers. Conference attendees were greeted with mild weather -- no snow! – and a chance to see former president Bill Clinton deliver the opening day keynote address. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend because I was having too much fun showing off my iPad, which had several Epicor Retail solutions on it to showcase our expertise in mobility across our product set.
One of my favorites was our Clienteling solution which puts customer data, direct from the Epicor Retail CRM database, into the hands of the sales associate allowing them to better engage with and upsell customers and more importantly build that more personalized relationship – inspiring them to buy more. I love being able to easily view items in the customer’s closet and everything they have purchased from a retailer regardless of what channel they purchased it in. Sales associates now have the tools to better suggest complimentary items to what they already own or new arrivals of their favorite brands making the customers shopping experience a pleasant one. And how about being able to check me out anywhere– like while I’m putting my shoes back on in the fitting room? Using my same iPad, I can switch right over to Epicor Retail Mobile Store solution and complete a full checkout which means the customer can avoid going to the cash wrap station.
Taking mobility to the business user (the field and/or corp. exec) – I was proudly showing off the Epicor Retail Business Intelligence - Information Center solution also on my iPad. Business users can create their own personal dashboard and data views relative to what they want to know and more importantly need to take some action on or make a decision. You can also get notifications – so just like when you get a meeting reminder 15 minutes before a meeting, you can get a similar notification on something like a store or product that is over or under performing and in real time since its pulling data from Epicor Retail Business Intelligence.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what my colleague and “twin”, Diane Neaven, was also showing in her Mobility talk which was the Epicor Retail WebIM Merchandising module. This allows stores to use their mobile device - in Diane’s case her iPad - to enter inventory transactions accessing Epicor Retail Merchandising in real time. These real-time updates help retailers to better monitor trends and relationships among product sales and store locations, resulting in optimized, timely inventory management.
Those of you who know me, even a little, know I can’t do a blog without talking somewhat about Cross, Multi, Omni-Channel Selling/Retailing. Of course this was something else retailers, industry analysts, publications, and partners heard me speaking about at this year’s NRF show. Why? because Epicor has the Holy Grail - Epicor Retail Enterprise Selling solution which is best in class when it comes to centralizing real-time inventory across a retailers enterprise and finding the best fulfillment location. And the icing on the cake is our seamless integration with the Epicor Retail Suite – Store, Merchandising, WMS, Sales Audit. If you’re a retailer and you’re not able to sell me something no matter where it is in your chain, you are giving millions and millions of dollars away to your competitors and I know this for a fact. Your call to action is contact me or anyone else in Epicor and we will help you see the light.
Last, but certainly not least, is how retailers are providing a seamless shopping experience across their channels without adding a lot of overhead to do it. The Epicor answer is our Multi-Channel Transaction Adapter (MCTA) which simplifies the task of sharing key functions and logic across channels and devices. What we mean by key functions and logic is one promo tool and logic for promos, one CRM used by all, centralized inventory for all, one place for tax, one way to calculate the basket, etc. So, for instance, instead of E-commerce, F-Commerce, M-Commerce all having their own promotion engine and CRM database why not have one across all channels with one place to get the data from? The MCTA simplifies things for the retailer, and also provides the shopper with a more consistent shopping experience regardless of where or how they shop – remember consumers don’t shop by channel, they shop by brand!!
All in all, lots of energy on the show floor and retailers seemed very up tempo – down economy or not. It’s almost as if retailers know: Now is not the time to just connect and engage customers, it’s the time to inspire them and shine. Epicor is here to help you get there!!
Posted by Diane Cerulli, Director, Product Marketing
The past few weeks have brought lots of exciting news for current and prospective Epicor Retail customers – from the announcement of the new mobile retail point-of-sale offering , which is fully mobile-enabled for easy deployment on Apple iPads and Windows mobile devices, to the partnering with Global Bay to provide retailers running heritage Epicor solutions with an innovative suite of mobile retail applications. On Monday, Epicor announced that they are ahead of the game when it comes to leadership and reach in terms of the retail marketplace, as the company has been named the leading vendor of Point-of-Sale (POS) software among the top 250 specialty soft goods and hard goods retailers by global research and advisory firm, IHL Group.
Epicor was the first vendor to rank first place in both reports from IHL Group: POS Software for Softgoods Retailers and POS Software for Hardgoods Retailers, which we think is a pretty impressive feat. This is also the sixth consecutive year Epicor has taken first place in the Softgoods Retailers report.
“Epicor continues to build momentum in the retail marketplace based in part on the breadth of the company’s POS solutions and top-tier customer deployments,” said Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Group. “With the merger of Activant and Epicor earlier this year, the company has expanded its presence in the retail space – particular with hard goods retailers – allowing the company to deliver additional products and services to its global customer base.”
Epicor’s retail software solutions and services are used by hundreds of the world’s leading retailers – from Aéropostale and Automotive Supply, Inc., to Walker Drug and Zales. Designed to meet the evolving needs of today’s shoppers and demanding retail environments, Epicor offers a rapid ROI, low cost of ownership and a single point of accountability to help our customers, better serve their customers. Check out our site for more information and take a look at the reports to see what the hype is all about!
Posted by Morgan Liti, Social Media Team, Epicor