Modernizing a 117-Year-Old Family Business

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A letter from Bradd Levin of the Levin’s Crosstown Supply Corporation…

Levin’s Crosstown Supply is my family’s very successful 117-year-old plumbing & heating supply business. I’m Bradd. My Dad, Jerome (3rd generation) and I (4th generation) run the business (which bears our name) open to close, 6 days a week. We stand out from our numerous competitors by treating our customers (primarily plumbers and building managers) as business partners (we need them just as much as they need us). We offer them the personalized service and attention they deserve and can only get from a family run business. When customers call we know many by the sound of their voice. Customers come to our counter and are waited on promptly. All invoices are handwritten and priced up according to the customer. Growing up, I watched my Dad leave for work early in the morning then return home late in the evening, have dinner, then sit down to price up invoices to be billed out to our customers who have house charge accounts. Ever since I started working for the business full time, back in 2002 I wanted to computerize. I knew it would make our lives easier and would be a way to get our customers in and out even faster so they can get to their jobs.

Over the past 5 years, I have done a lot of research on POS and inventory management software companies. I called places that didn’t want to deal with us because we weren’t big enough for them. Other companies were too expensive (the next closest on the pricing ladder was literally double what I paid) and had outrageous monthly “maintenance and update” fees. Last but not least, some were just too inflexible and wanted us to change the way our 117-year-old family run company does business in order to run their system. As fate would have it, I met Jason, the owner of Sierra Plumbing Supply based in Northern California at a conference last year. His company has been using Retail Pro for many years and he spoke very highly of it. I came home from the conference and called Retail Pro and was contacted the next day by the Senior Retail Technology Consultant of One Step.

He was different from any IT “salesperson” I’ve ever met. We spoke on the phone for a while. He asked a lot of questions about our business and wanted to make sure that One Step would partner upright with our company. He was genuinely interested in how our business runs and never once did he rattle off traditional “sales statistics” to try and impress me.

He came to visit us and demonstrate how Retail Pro works. He let my parents and I poke around to see the depth of Retail Pro. He asked a lot of questions. He took the time to explain everything to us. He insisted on “the grand tour” of our far from a fancy building that our business has occupied since 1960. Looking around and seeing how our business works. He was very conscious that we are a small business that watches every dollar. After he left, he submitted his proposal to us a few days later. There was never a high-pressure sales pitch or a constant barrage of phone calls and emails.

Finally, we submitted our paperwork and placed a deposit during the last few days of December 2016. Once the software was installed on the computers, they were shipped from Arizona to our store in The Bronx, NY. Since going live, Retail Pro has already started saving us time by writing and pricing up purchase orders. Customers love how quickly they get priced up. We are still adjusting pricing levels for our large volume buyers within the system, but we hope to be 100% computerized by 1/2/2018.

Our Project Manager/Implementation Specialist from One Step has been invaluable. He has walked us through every step of this process from providing tracking numbers to when we would receive our hardware through our “go live” date. He is well versed in the “ins and outs” of Retail Pro. He constantly asks questions and always finds ways to perfectly tailor Retail Pro to our business. He always finds time for us. He always scheduled “on-site” visits with us around our schedule and never “just when he was available.” When he is here, he is focused on us. He makes us feel as if we are his only client. I consider him a business partner. We couldn’t have done this without you. Thank-you.

Best regards,

Bradd Levin
Levin’s Crosstown Supply Corporation
1347 Boston Road
Bronx, NY 10456