"We have more control over our merchandise. I know exactly what my inventory is. No more guessing! Making a decision on what to
buy is as easy as a push of a button."
There are some very specific needs that you as a home furnishings retailer have when it comes to the technology you select for your store.
Among them is the ability for the system to handle customer special orders when they come in. Usually these special orders will far exceed
the amount that other retailers will get. Make sure that the system can handle these and that your technology partner has a good understanding
of what is involved with them also.
Another important thing to consider is that the system can handle multiple attributes for the same style. If a manufacture tends to use
different style numbers for the same item, then this can be difficult for the retailer to get style performance statistics that are accurate
unless they have a system that is able to differentiate the differences as item numbers, but still gather overall style statistics.
The first store opened in 1979 with two other store locations that opened in 1981 and 1987, with a total of 25 full and part-time employees.
They used a system built around the necessity to create a paper document. They developed their own inventory control system and open-to-buy
system built around a database / spreadsheet program. The computer was at the main office and the stores used registers which provided
summary information. The paper document was then forwarded to the main office and entered into the computer -- operating on a half computer,
half manual basis.
Stores were equipped with Retail Pro which immediately began to affect their ability to control inventory.
"Retail Pro has provided us with so much information than we ever imagined possible. For example, it used to take us three days and six
to eight people to take inventory in one store. With Retail Pro, it took us three hours and three people to inventory the same exact store.
It is giving us control over our merchandise...no more guessing!"
The company saved 150-200 man hours in one month with the ability to run a report in 5 minutes. Previously, they paid $9 an hour to do
the same job.
"The system has the control that we require. This is especially true in its ability to filter information. Retail Pro is a lot more
flexible than other systems. It has been around awhile ... you could have the world's greatest software, but if you don't have a
knowledgeable sales force to answer your questions, then it is useless. Our dealer had all the answers."