Success Story: Rio Rancho True Value
Valuable Visibility into Their Operation Gained with RockSolid POS Software
There’s a basic fact about running a hardware business regardless of your size or the type of market you serve: It really doesn’t matter how good your product assortment or pricing might be, or even how knowledgeable and service-oriented your people might be. If you don’t have a reliable, real-time sense of how well your business is operating, you’re pretty much gambling with its future every time you turn on the lights.
Just ask George Meyerson, Jr. at Rio Rancho True Value.
In many ways, Rio Rancho has for many years been almost an ideal market for a hardware store operation. Thirty years ago, the place wasn’t even a city but functioned as a bedroom community for nearby Albuquerque and boasted a population of less than 10,000.
Fast forward 10 years and that number had expanded by over 200% to more than 32,500, driven largely by the arrival of an Intel Corporation manufacturing facility that at its peak employed some 7,000.
Hit the fast forward button one more time and the population of Rio Rancho today has grown to an estimated 93,000-plus, making it New Mexico’s fastest growing city—81% between 2000 and 2014—and its third largest.
And while the Great Recession didn’t leave the city totally unscathed, its economy was able to withstand the worst of the downturn, with unemployment staying below the national average and housing starts, after an initial dip, posting year-over-year increases every year since 2011.
Growth like that has been good for the business George’s father, George, Sr., founded in 1989. But how good? For most of the time, they were running the business manually and while that generated plenty of paper, nobody at the store really knew with any great confidence just what shape it was in.
Visibility into the business needed in order to remain competitive
George, Jr., had grown up in the business and when he came back to work full-time there a few years ago, he knew it almost as well as his father. But he also knew that he—and everyone else at the store—didn’t know it well enough.
“Business was good—we had a terrific product assortment, our pricing was competitive and our people were the best—but we needed to be able to track what was happening in the store far better than we had been doing,” he recalls.
And with two Lowe’s stores, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and several other independents all within just a few miles, increasingly fierce competition made the need for more detailed and reliable business information even more pressing.
After reviewing their options, George and his team decided on the RockSolid POS system from ECi Software Solutions.
“RockSolid could give us everything we need and I really liked the user interface,” George explains. “It was very intuitive and a lot easier to use than anything else we looked at.”
A short and smooth conversion
After running Rio Rancho True Value on a paper-based system for close to 25 years, George and his team wanted to waste no time putting the power of RockSolid to work in their business.
He told the RockSolid team he wanted to be live on the system before their upcoming big 25th Anniversary Celebration sale.
He did his part, too, taking an extra few hours every day in the two weeks prior to going live to get the database in shape and work through the training videos.
It was a lot of work in a very short period of time but it was worth it, George says. “Going live with RockSolid went very well and it got us on track from day one,” he remembers.
And RockSolid’s user-friendly interface—that had been such a big factor in George’s initial decision to go with the system—also proved its worth pretty much right away.
“We hired a new cashier just a few days before we went live and it only took her a few hours to pick up the RockSolid system and start ringing up sales,” he explains.
Already reaping benefits
It’s still early days with RockSolid and George and his team are still learning the system. But already, he says, it’s brought some significant benefits to the business.
“It’s certainly advanced our ability to keep better track of the basics like sales and inventory,” he says. “We can monitor how an item’s really selling and track sales by the hour, and we could do neither before.”
Bringing in a new computer system in just 30 days may not be the ideal choice for everyone but it worked well for Rio Rancho True Value. And as George and his team get ready for their next 25 years, they can do so confident that they now have the technology tools and business information to keep them growing and profitable.