Hardware Hank

Hardware Hank wins with Epicor Eagle and the Core Upgrade Program

In 1990, Craig and Kay Buckalew packed up their three young sons and moved from Montana to Minnesota to open the East Grand Forks Hardware Hank store. Twentyfour years later, their eldest son Brandon Buckalew has joined the business and now helps support a second location. Surrounded in all directions by the competition, Hardware Hank stands out by giving the same high level of service whether their customer needs a two-dollar item or a two hundred dollar machine. In 2008, the business replaced their Pacsoft system with Epicor Eagle software. Today, with a desire for additional functionality, they opted to enhance their system by adding a number of modules through the Eagle Core Upgrade program.

"The functionality of Epicor Eagle exceeds anything we could possibly think of...Eagle was the right solution for growth."

Brandon Buckalew
Operations Manager | Hardware Hank

Powerful business reporting

Accustomed to using Epicor Business Advisor and Microsoft® Office® Excel® spreadsheets to look at the store sales performance and inventory levels, Brandon Buckalew admits to initially spending hours accessing the additional data available in Epicor Eagle Performance Manager. "I now have a list of several areas of the business that I want to track," said Brandon Buckalew, operations manager at Hardware Hank. "This new tool is so powerful that I end up exploring all the new data views and possibilities. Finally, I can say with certainty, I'm ready to take advantage of the customizable reports that we need to run the business."

Stay competitive with store data on a smartphone

For efficiency and effectiveness, Hardware Hank traditionally submits their POs prior to attending the twice-yearly buying shows, allowing more time at market to see and learn about new products or promotions. Using Epicor Eagle Mobile Manager, there's no need to carry along a pile of orders when Brandon Buckalew can simply use a smartphone to check orders. "I'll pull out my smartphone to look up my orders or check stock on hand. The other United Hardware store owners jaws drop to the floor because they aren't aware that something so powerful like Mobile Manager exists," said Buckalew. "We find ourselves at an advantage by using new technology like Mobile Manager. Many stores that United Hardware services are in smaller communities with less local big box competition. They must feel pretty comfortable in their own markets when they are succeeding without the use of new technology. I always wonder if they are just really good at what they do, or if they would be doing even better by optimizing their point of sale (POS) systems?"

Integrating multiple programs into one loyalty program

Although Hardware Hank hasn't yet fully transitioned from their old loyalty program to the Eagle Loyalty solution, they're looking forward to bringing the program in-house. The Eagle Loyalty program eliminates the need for Hardware Hank to use an expensive third party company to manage their program and they intend to eliminate extra paperwork by integrating their supplier's product reimbursement programs into a single program. "We've turned on Eagle Loyalty so that customer sales are being captured nightly," said Buckalew. "Now, we're working on saving time and money by tracking our vendor promotion programs, like buy two and get the third free, to avoid doubling up on award points. It will be nice to have all of the data and rewards process managed by us using just Eagle Loyalty."

Creating a consistent training program

"Before we added Epicor Training on Demand (TOD), we had a shortcut on the desktop to a single POS video, so the first thing all of our new employees did was watch the orientation, which worked well," said Buckalew. "The new employee then worked with another cashier for about ten transactions and they'd be fine on their own for the rest of the day. But, we need our employees to be knowledgeable about so much more and we have a large number of part-time college employees and turnover. TOD gives us the ability for employees to watch online, self-paced training videos about all the features of our Eagle software. The goal is to customize a list of suggested videos for new employees and then track their progress of completing their personalized training. With so many titles to choose from, I can't say that goal has been accomplished yet, but undoubtedly this will help create a consistent training program for use in both locations."

Eagle functionality supports our growth

Hardware Hank uses Epicor Eagle Mobile Inventory for price checking and changes, inventory counts, and receiving rather than running between desktops, store aisles, checkout counters, the back room, or the dock. "We use our RF guns to do cycle counting, bin tagging, printing labels, and moving stock to new floor locations," said Buckalew. "We walk the aisles filling in our orders. The functionality of Epicor Eagle exceeds anything we could possibly think of. We knew when we expanded a multi-store business our old software wouldn't be able to do what we needed. Eagle was the right solution for growth."

About Epicor

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.

Epicor Solutions Help East Grand Forks Hardware Hank Operate Unique Business

East Grand Forks Hardware Hank is able to successfully operate the unique business processes with Epicor solutions.

Company Facts

  • Location: East Grand Forks, Minnesota
  • Industry: Hardware and Home Center
  • Number of employees: 20
  • Number of stores: 2
  • Web site: www.egfhardware.com
  • Co-op: United Hardware


  • Remain competitive with multistore operations
  • Reduce manual business reporting
  • Train multiple part-time college students.


  • Epicor Eagle
  • Epicor Eagle Core Upgrade
  • Epicor Eagle Performance Manager
  • Epicor Eagle Mobile Manager
  • Epicor Eagle Loyalty
  • Epicor Training on Demand
  • Epicor Eagle Mobile Inventory


  • Effective buying decisions at markets
  • Save time and money on third party loyalty programs
  • Increase operating efficiencies
  • Support current and future growth plans

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