Success Story: Scamman's Home and Garden
RockSolid Keeps the Bottom Line Strong and Growing
Karl Scamman says he hates computers but don’t be too surprised if he decides to make an exception for the RockSolid system from ECi Software Solutions.
Since switching to RockSolid to run his business, Scamman’s Home & Garden in Stratham, New Hampshire, life at the store has not only become a whole lot easier, it’s also become a lot more profitable.
Karl made the switch in April 2014 after the system he had been using up until then reached the end of its useful life. “We had been running on Windows 97 and it got to the point where we just couldn’t do it any longer,” Karl admits with a wry smile.
It didn’t take too much of a search for a new system, though, before RockSolid emerged as the logical choice.
Do the math
“We looked at upgrading our existing system and it would have come to about $60,000 and a monthly maintenance fee of about $1,200,” he recalls. “With RockSolid, we could get everything we need—including a handheld radio-frequency gun, which wasn’t included in the other bid—for about $26,000. And RockSolid’s maintenance came in about $1,000 less a month!”
That kind of math, particularly when backed up by warm endorsements of the RockSolid system from key suppliers, made the decision to switch systems easy, and once RockSolid was up and running it was very much a case of the more Karl saw, the more he liked.
“RockSolid not only cost us a whole lot less than we were used to, it also gave us the opportunity to boost our productivity in some key areas,” he explains.
Case in point: communications with Karl’s primary business partner, True Value. “We didn’t have electronic transfers with True Value before switching to RockSolid and it’s made a huge difference,” says Scamman’s manager Kevin Barnes. “With our old system, putting together a big order was a complex, labor intensive process. Now, with RockSolid, what used to take almost a whole day literally gets done in about 15 minutes!”
And once the merchandise comes in, RockSolid helps bring a new level of efficiency to getting it out onto the retail floor.
Before RockSolid, Karl explains, everything had to be priced individually. Not any more. The conversion has allowed Scamman’s to switch to the use of bin labels in the store, not only making the whole receiving and merchandising process less labor-intensive but also making it much easier for new or part-time employees to stock shelves cleanly and accurately.
The bottom line
RockSolid has given margins a welcome boost at Scamman’s, too, reports Karl. “When we print a purchase order in RockSolid, we also print a gross margin report that factors in our freight and tells us immediately what our true costs are,” he explains. “We couldn’t do that before!”
Even better, the switch to bin labels means adjusting prices to reflect true, landed cost is a whole lot easier than it would have been under the old system. “When everything was pre-priced, we wouldn’t have had the time or people to change prices, even if we did have landed cost information back then,” says Karl.
Six months after Scamman’s switched to RockSolid, the numbers speak for themselves: Year-to-date sales are up 14%, margins are up 2% and Karl’s payroll costs and overall expenses are both down slightly.
“With RockSolid, we pay just for what we need without having to pay for features we’ll never use,” says Karl happily. “And because it’s so much simpler to use, we can focus on running the business, rather than on running the computer.”
But the real clincher for Karl Scamman and his team is the bottom line. “If we didn’t have RockSolid today, I’d probably be looking at a net profit of around 1%,” Karl estimates. “Instead, we’re on the right side of 5%!”
And if that isn’t reason enough for anyone in the hardware, lumber or home and garden business to look at RockSolid for their operation, it’s hard to know what would be!