Success Story: Springhill Ace Hardware
Switch to RockSolid Helps Drive Double-Digit Sales Growth
When Brad Clark and his wife became co-owners of Springhill Ace Hardware in Mobile, Alabama, in July 2011, he knew it had the potential to be one of the smartest businesses decisions he had ever made.
The store was supported by one of the strongest brands in the industry and came with a strong team of seasoned hardware store veterans and a solid customer base in a prosperous, upper-middle-class community.
But, Clark soon discovered, if he was to tap the full potential of his new venture, some significant changes would be needed. Technology made its way to the top of his to-do list almost immediately.
“The computer system we had in place when I came on board—even though it was from one of the top names in software of any kind—was a nightmare,” he recalls. “Nobody in the store was using it beyond point of sale and when I tried getting the information I needed to run the business, it was incredibly difficult.”
Finding the right solution was a top priority
Clark made finding a new system one of his top priorities and after a thorough review of his options, settled on RockSolid from ECi Software Solutions.
“The price was right, the other hardware store owners I talked to who were already on RockSolid had nothing but good things to say about the system and once I started testing it out and putting it through its paces, RockSolid became the logical choice for us,” he remembers.
Less than six months after coming on board, RockSolid was up and running at Springhill Ace Hardware and Brad Clark was feeling a whole lot better about his grasp on the business.
“RockSolid is such an intuitive system to operate and the support ECi provided made for a very smooth conversion,” he says. “When you make a change of that magnitude to any business, there’s always the potential for trouble but everything went very well, our people picked up on the new system quickly and easily and it solved a lot of problems that we couldn’t address with our old system.”
RockSolid allows Springhill to offer Ace Rewards
The move to RockSolid also allowed Clark and his team to offer the Ace Rewards customer loyalty program—something his old system didn’t allow—and, he says, it made a big difference to their overall marketing efforts.
And almost overnight, access to critical business information became a whole lot easier.
“One of the strengths of RockSolid is the wealth of reports that come standard with the system,” Clark points out. “And if I needed additional information, the program’s Report Generator tool made it easy for me to find it.”
For Clark and his team, the switch to RockSolid also brought some significant improvements on the customer service front.
“With our previous system, customer service or technical support of any kind were basically non-existent,” he recalls. “With RockSolid, I don’t have to call for support very often, but when I do, I usually get to talk to someone right away and if I need to leave a voicemail, I get a call back that day,” he says.
Future decisions can now be made with confidence
Springhill Ace Hardware today is an organization that is very much headed in the right direction. Clark has expanded the store’s product offering, adding new categories such as cabinets and flooring and expanding the store’s paint department.
Sales, he reports happily, are up double digits, and just as importantly, he’s managing the business with a far greater sense of security and certainty.
“Before we made the switch to RockSolid, I had no confidence in our inventory or our pricing,” he says. “I knew we were losing money but I had no idea how much and I had even less idea of what to do about it!”
Fortunately, those days are long gone. Instead, thanks to the reporting power and ease of use that RockSolid brings to the table, Brad Clark and his team have all the information they need and it comes literally at the touch of just a few keystrokes.
Clark may not be finished with all the changes at his new venture but thanks to RockSolid, current business at the store is strong and profitable and future decisions can be made with far more confidence. “I’m having a blast,” he says happily. “Our business is growing, we get great support on the system and I can sleep at night. It doesn’t get any better than that!”