Success Story: McNeely's Do-It Center
RockSolid benefits go straight to the bottom line
As president of McNeely's Do-It Center in Man, West Virginia, he heads up an operation that has been in his family’s very capable hands since 1921.
It’s a small business, with a head count that varies from eight to 12, depending on the time of year, and a location in a largely rural market that’s dominated by coal-mining companies and hardwood timber producers.
The market may be small but competition is fierce, with a Lowe’s big box just 12 miles away and several other locally owned independents to contend with.
And given the general economic conditions of the past few years, it’s been critical for the McNeely’s team to focus 100% on keeping the business strong and profitable.
The good news for Gilman Burgess is that he and his staff have been able to do just that.
RockSolid is as easy as “set it and forget it”
“I’m here to sell lumber and hardware and paint and I don’t have time to worry about whether my computer system is doing its job or not,” he says. “With RockSolid, it’s a case of ‘Set it and forget it.’ RockSolid gives me what I need to know about my business when I need to know it and I don’t have to be a computer programmer to get it.”
It wasn’t always quite that easy for Burgess. Before converting to RockSolid in 2008, McNeely’s ran on a system that was a whole lot less user-friendly.
“Our previous system had its good points, but one thing it didn’t do very well at all was generate reports,” he recalls. “It was always a long and arduous process to get reports that today come so much easier with RockSolid,” he contends.
“RockSolid’s reporting is superb”
In any business, information is power and RockSolid, says Burgess, has made key business information so much easier to access.
“RockSolid’s reporting is superb,” he contends. “The reports that come pre-loaded with the program are very good and if we need to get a little more in-depth, it’s very easy to learn how to generate a custom report to give us what we need.”
McNeely’s is a Do it Best store and, says Burgess, RockSolid’s reporting power has proved itself particularly valuable for maximizing the value of that key partnership.
Purchasing and inventory are game changers
“RockSolid has been a game changer in terms of its impact on our purchasing and inventory management,” he says.
“When I’m building my Do it Best order, all the information I need is right there on the RockSolid screen and I can make decisions on the basis of what we’ve sold and what’s in stock instead of just shooting in the dark on what we think might sell,” he reports happily.
And once the order goes in, another report Burgess runs daily tracks out-of-stock items which are automatically transferred to the next weekly Do it Best order for replenishment.
The result: Business has been up at McNeely’s over the past few years despite a challenging economy because Burgess and his team have been able to make sure product is on the shelves when the customers need it.
“We don’t have as many late-paying customers as we used to”
Accounts receivable is another key area where RockSolid’s reporting power comes into play to help the business.
“We don’t have as many late paying customers as we used to,” Burgess reports happily. “With our previous system, running an A/R report was very cumbersome and there were very few customization options. RockSolid helps us really stay on top of our receivables and gives us what we need to weed out the dead wood and get us out of the banking business.”
Burgess also gives kudos to RockSolid on the inventory management front. “RockSolid’s Pocket PC has done a world of good for us,” he says. “It’s just so convenient to be able to go out on the floor and do inventory or check stock and even though most of our ordering is computer-generated through the PO function, we can also place orders through the Pocket PC when we need to.”
RockSolid helps maximize Margin Master
In addition to ECi RockSolid and Do it Best, RetailerSoft and its Margin Master pricing program represent another key strategic business partner for McNeely’s.
“We have been live on Margin Master since October 2009 and RockSolid has played a key role in helping us make the most of what it offers,” says Burgess.
“We export the basic information from RockSolid into Margin Master, run our strategies, make our price changes, export it back to RockSolid, create the new price stickers and we’re done,” he reports.
“It’s all very easy and very profitable. We figure Margin Master and RockSolid have raised our overall gross margins by two-to-three points and stopped us from leaving money on the table when we don’t have to.”
And, adds Burgess, it all comes at a very reasonable price and with outstanding customer service and technical support.
“We get excellent support from RockSolid,” Burgess says. Recently, the business was experiencing connectivity problems and placed a call to RockSolid Technical Support for help. “We got a call back within the hour and the problem was solved with the minimum of fuss,” he says.
“RockSolid does exactly what we need it to do,” says Burgess. “It’s very easy to learn, gives us the information we need when we need and allows me to concentrate on running the business instead of babysitting the computer system. It’s certainly done a world of good for our store.”