Success Story: Hometown Hardware
RockSolid Brings Savings and Productivity Gains on Multiple Levels
Tommy Bryant has literally thousands of reasons why switching to RockSolid was a good idea for his hardware store. They all come with portraits of some of our most famous presidents and fit very nicely in his billfold.
There’s the $1,500 he’s saving each year because he no longer has to hire an outside firm to come in and take inventory; and the other $1,500 that he doesn’t have to spend any more on paper and printing. And the annual $300 fee he used to pay to manage his receivables, not to mention the cost of the person who’d sit for hours in the back room keying in all the information into the program.
All those bills and many others like them are gone now, blown away by the productivity gains Tommy and the rest of his team are enjoying after they converted to RockSolid and began taking advantage of the power and user-friendliness of the hardware industry’s top POS management system.
“RockSolid has made a world of difference to our business on so many different levels,” says Tommy. “We looked at three different systems but none of them offered anywhere near the features and functionality that we get from RockSolid,” he contends.
RockSolid automated processes and took store to the next level
Tommy Bryant grew up in the hardware business. He started working at the store he now owns, Hometown Hardware in Henderson, North Carolina, straight out of high school and he’s been there ever since.
When the previous owner decided it was time to retire in 2009, Tommy took a deep breath, got out his checkbook and joined the ranks of the industry’s hard-charging, independent entrepreneurs.
He’s been hard at work since then, drawing on all he’s learned in his 14-plus years in the industry and using it to take his store to the next level.
The store’s inventory today is in far better shape than it was when he took over, with most of the dead weight that did little more than gather dust on the shelves now gone and overall turns posting a heady 400% improvement!
The overall product mix has been fine-tuned to better meet the needs of his market with the addition of a lawn and garden center and an expanded paint department helping to fuel new sales growth.
And with RockSolid—“the final piece of the puzzle to get us to where we need to be,” says Tommy—he now has a powerful resource to help cut out all the inefficiency and profit drains of his old system and can manage the business on the basis of information that he simply didn’t have before.
“You can’t beat the simplicity of the RockSolid system”
Ask Tommy Bryant what he likes most about RockSolid and the answers come thick and fast.
“You can’t beat the simplicity of the RockSolid system,” he says. “With RockSolid, you’ve got over 200 reports right at your fingertips. All you have to do is click a few buttons and it will tell everything you need to know about your business.”
Hometown Hardware is an Orgill store and, says Tommy, the way RockSolid integrates with Orgill makes purchasing and pricing a snap. “Every week, we just click on a button and send in our order,” he reports. “RockSolid downloads a weekly maintenance file that takes care of any price changes and new or discontinued items from Orgill and, once it’s uploaded into the system, we’re ready to go. It all flows seamlessly.”
And keeping track of products and what’s selling and what isn’t is just as easy. “Before, when we had no point of sale, we were paying an outside company to come in once a year and do inventory. It would take them about ten hours and cost us $1,500 a year—and that’s not counting the hours I had to pay employees to be there with them while they were doing it,” he recalls.
With RockSolid, Tommy can now track inventory in real time. “Each week, we work on a particular aisle and if I need an inventory report, I just click a button and RockSolid gives it to me—it’s that simple,” he explains.
Accurate, real-time information means Tommy and his team are also buying so much better. “Before RockSolid, I’d go around the store to check on stock, write down my orders and then go type them into a computer,” he recalls. “There was a lot of guesswork and if I didn’t remember something or missed a hole on a shelf, it could cause problems down the road.”
RockSolid has replaced all that guesswork with reliable, actionable information. “You can go into the system and tell it you want to order everything we sold in the last week,” Tommy explains as an example. “RockSolid will bring up a draft order, you can edit it how you want to and then all you have to do is send it on through. It couldn’t be easier!”
Inventory, accounts receivable and POS all in one system
The news is just as good on the receivables front. “We used to keep our accounts receivables separately on QuickBooks and we had to key in the details manually every day,” Tommy remembers. “Now, RockSolid keeps up with all my in-house accounts and their statements and less than 5% of all my charge accounts are over 30 days.”
RockSolid is also making a different on the customer service front. “With our old system, it could take as long as 5-7 minutes to get through the line if we got busy with charge accounts at the cash register,” explains Tommy. “Now, it takes less than two minutes. RockSolid has really improved our efficiency when it comes to getting people in and out of the store with what they need and the accuracy is so much better.”
And just how hard was it for Tommy and his team to get RockSolid up and running and generating all those benefits for his business?
“There was a learning curve we had to go through but the training we got from RockSolid was top of the line,” says Tommy. “Their training was very flexible and designed around our needs and our schedule.”
He gives special kudos to RockSolid’s “training mode” feature, which allows new users to test drive the system and get comfortable with it without putting any valuable data at risk.
“We were a little nervous to begin with but once you go through the system and learn the steps, it’s so easy,” says Tommy. “It’s no different from running a regular cash register.”
It’s been less than two years since Tommy Bryant started using RockSolid to run his business but the changes he has put in place in that short time have been dramatic, indeed.
“We are so much more organized and productive because of RockSolid,” he says. “Nobody likes change but the changes that RockSolid has allowed to make have all been good. RockSolid basically took the place of another employee for us. Not only are we more profitable today, but I’m also sleeping a whole lot better!”