Success Story: Railroad Avenue Supply Company

RockSolid MAX™ Hardware Store POS System Brings New Benefits on Multiple Levels

Ralph Beisler

As president of Railroad Avenue Supply Co. in Stamford, New York, Ralph Beisler doesn’t have a whole lot of time to mess with software. Running the Ace Hardware® store his family has owned and operated since 1963 keeps him and his team— two full-time employees besides himself and four part-timers—plenty busy. Competition is fiercer than ever; local market conditions are challenging.

The good news, though, for Ralph, a hardware industry veteran who has headed up the company since 1975, is that since switching to the RockSolid MAX™ hardware store POS software in February 2016, he has seen an increase in productivity and has saved on hardware and software costs. Plus, he and his team are now able to respond to customer service requests a lot faster, and more easily, than they used to.

RockSolid MAX makes billing easier, faster and less expensive

On the productivity front, for example, putting together monthly statements and mailing them out used to take a full morning’s worth of printing, assembling, stuffing envelopes and mailing. With RockSolid MAX, reports Ralph, those monthly statements now get done in little more than two hours—less than half the time they used to need!

With RockSolid MAX, invoices are saved in the system as PDFs, so if any customers want copies with their statements, tracking them down now involves just a few key strokes, while before it involved spending precious time hunting through filing cabinets for paper copies.

And since Ralph and his team are working with PDFs, they can shrink the invoices down to fit two on a page and print them double-sided for additional savings.

“With RockSolid MAX, we spend a lot less time trying to track down paper and a lot less money on photocopies and postage,” he reports happily. With more customers asking for statements via email, paper, printing and postage costs promise to go even lower with RockSolid MAX.

Simplified inventory and maintenance, thanks to cloud-based computing

Taking physical inventory is also a whole lot easier with RockSolid MAX, Ralph reports. “Before the switch, we would do cycle counts on paper and then manually change quantities for each item in our database,” he explains. “Now, if we’re doing a full inventory, all we have to do is go out on the floor, scan the items and enter quantities into the system. And we don’t need to close the store to do it. We can keep the store open and the program will track the items we sell and make the necessary adjustments while the inventory is in progress.”

There’s a similar story to tell on the maintenance side of the software. Railroad’s previous system was server-based which meant every evening someone had to run a backup, switch out disks and make sure it all ran the way it was supposed to.

With a cloud-based system like RockSolid MAX, daily backups are a thing of the past. Even better, Ralph can be sure he’s running the most current version of the system without even having to think about it.

ECi RockSolid is perfect for small hardware businesses

The switch to RockSolid MAX, he points out, has also given him a new business partner who’s just as committed to his company’s success as he is.

“With RockSolid, you’re dealing with a company that clearly cares about its customers,” says Ralph. “The move to RockSolid MAX went far more smoothly than any of the previous software conversions we have done. Any time I’ve called technical support after the conversion, they’ve always been very responsive. I feel like I know them and they know us. For a small business like ours, that’s really important!”

Also important for any small business are overall technology costs and in that area too, the move to RockSolid MAX has brought more good news. “Since it’s a cloud-based system, you don’t have a lot of initial set-up costs,” Ralph points out. “And my monthly maintenance charges are at least $100 less than what I was paying before we switched.”

Easy-to-use POS software means happy employees and happy customers

All the cost savings and productivity gains in the world, however, are not worth a whole lot if your new software doesn’t help with the most important component of any business—its customers. Fortunately, that’s another area where RockSolid MAX shines.

“It wasn’t hard to get our people trained on RockSolid MAX and they’ve responded to it very positively,” he says. “Our customers didn’t notice when we made the switch and a document-based system like RockSolid has made it possible for us to take care of them faster and more efficiently.”

For example, before they made the move to RockSolid MAX, any time a customer called in looking for a copy of an old PO or invoice, it would require hunting through the files to track it down and then someone would have to print and fax it or scan and email it. Now, Ralph explains, a couple of key strokes bring up a PDF of the document and a couple more keystrokes take care of emailing it over to the customer.

That kind of functionality makes Ralph Beisler and his team big fans of their new system. “The program is very reasonably priced, it works as promised and the RockSolid team is always very responsive,” he says. “RockSolid MAX has been a good fit for us and I would certainly recommend it for other hardware stores like ours.”