Whether you’re engaged in the distribution of heavy building materials to dusty job sites, or the display of stylish home decor in a well-lit showroom, the hardware and building supply industry is one giant exercise in human resources.
Marvin Ellison, EVP U.S. stores for Home Depot, took the mic at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference Wednesday, where he dedicated his time to discussing the retailer's approach to ever-evolving customer service needs.
Ask Marvin Ellison any question about Home Depot’s business, and the answer will probably circle around, gravitate toward or — probably most likely — hammer squarely on the concept of customer service.
Drive into any Home Depot parking lot and you’ll find a collection of rag-tag pick-up and utility trucks parked near the store’s pro entrance. The owners of the vehicles represent almost one-third of Home Depot’s $66.2 billion in annual sales. Yet they only spend, on average, $5,000 a year apiece.
Home Depot is where they stop if they run short of something or to grab a few items on their way to a job.
Pointing to the power of technology to improve communications to frontline employees, Home Depot EVP of U.S. Stores Marvin Ellison described a tool called "My Success" during the company's recent investor and analyst conference.
Ellison pointed to an example of how it will work in the store, once a department supervisor logs into the system: "If I were a hardware department supervisor, I would get a daily communication from the hardware merchant, making me aware of any product or promotion ideas that were coming online."