LBM Dealers Stand up for Technology
“If you look around you, you’re at a lumber and building materials conference,” said Lisa Pope, Epicor executive vice president Americas.
Pope delivered the opening keynote address at the Epicor 2017 LBM Conference here this morning and used the opportunity to reinforce the case for the software and ERP provider in front of a ballroom full of LBM professionals, including Epicor customers and potential customers.
“For us, this industry fit is absolutely key. We understand your needs,” Pope said. “It also helps you to be a better fit for your customers.”
Along with anticipating changes that might occur in the LBM industry, and sometimes recognizing them ahead of their customers, Pope said part of Epicor’s success equation is its ease of use. The system is easy to learn, deploy, access, and upgrade. “We want to be the Turbo Tax of enterprise software,” Pope said.
Simultaneously, Pope reminded Epicor customers to take advantage of upgrades. “If you’re not upgrading, you’re not leveraging your asset.”
Pope also told dealers to take advantage of Epicor’s Value Exchange program. Roughly 27% of Epicor’s LBM customers use the entire platform. Through the Value Exchange program, Epicor reps visit a dealer for two days while analyzing how the business is taking advantage of Epicor offerings and identifying pieces of the system that a business might not be utilizing, she said.
Looking ahead to 2018, Epicor is promising upgrades to its cloud offerings, while creating a “best in class” system, Pope said. Additionally, Epicor is looking to integrate better use of “mobility” and smart devices to drive growth.
During a recent visit with a customer in Hawaii, Graham Rigby, Epicor’s senior director of sales in the LBM sector, said the customer lost power for several hours. But because mobile devices had become so ingrained in the culture of the company, employees didn’t miss a beat and kept the business running – including processing transactions – during the entire outage.
Throwback Thursday: Turf Wars in Atlanta
The March 9, 1987 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, reported on a story that reflected the aggressive adolescence of the home center industry.
“Builders Square and Home Depot are maneuvering in preparation for their first battle here,” the article reported.
At the time, Home Depot operated six stores in Atlanta. Builders Square, a San Antonio-based subsidiary of Kmart, was preparing to open two stores while converting a Kmart into a third.
“The moves represent the first time Home Depot, founder of the warehouse home center concept, has been challenged on its home turf by another warehouse operator,” the article reported.
To put it mildly, Home Depot was prepared for the attack. The article reports: “[The Home Depot] has launched a drive to renovate all four of its older stores into units that more closely resemble its new prototype …. The renovations involve changing the aisles from side-to-side to front to back, installing new fixturing, and repositioning doubled-up registers into a single line.”
Here’s a map of Home Depot locations in the Atlanta area today.