New Orgill DC is open for business
Orgill's new Post Falls, Idaho, distribution center is now fully operational, and it's already begun serving retailers in five Northwestern states, as well as Western Canada.
Orgill first announced the acquisition of the Post Falls distribution center in August 2016, and it began retrofitting the facility shortly thereafter in order to provide faster and more efficient service to its growing customer base in the region.
“We are very happy to announce that this facility is now up and running and represents a significant enhancement to our distribution network. We look forward to the efficiencies this new distribution center will offer our customers throughout the coverage area,” said Ron Beal, Orgill chairman, president and CEO.
“We will be using our own fleet of trucks and drivers to deliver the majority of shipments out of Post Falls,” says Randy Williams, Orgill’s general manager of distribution. “This is important because it means customers will be able to rely on regular shipments from a driver who is familiar with their business and runs on a consistent, reliable pre-scheduled delivery route.”
The new DC will primarily serve customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, as well as customers in Western Canada. Previously, customers within this area had been served out of other Orgill distribution facilities.
Additionally, the new DC has already been recognized for job creation and positive community impact with an award from the Trade & Industry Development 12th Annual Corporate Investment and Community Impact (CiCi) Awards. The Post Falls Orgill project was one of 15 to receive the Community Impact award nationally.
The new facility is Orgill's seventh distribution center overall, including sites in Tifton, Ga.; Inwood, W.Va.; Sikeston, Mo.; Hurricane, Utah; Kilgore, Texas; and London, Ontario.
Here are the latest J.D. Power winners
J.D. Power has released its customer satisfaction rankings once more, and it has a short list of home improvement winners.
The category as a whole has seen movement in customer satisfaction. According to the J.D. Power 2017 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, overall customer satisfaction increased to 816, up from 795 in 2016 (on a 1,000-point scale).
“Even in a large market like home improvement, it’s the attention to detail that can affect customer satisfaction,” said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power. “Home improvement retailers understand that customers with higher levels of satisfaction are more likely to repurchase and more likely to recommend to their friends and family.”
And for the 11th consecutive year, Ace Hardware took home 1st place in the category, with a score of 835.
Menards came in close second at 824, and Lowe's was in third at 817.
"We are truly honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award for the eleventh consecutive year," said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. "We could have never done it without the loyalty of our neighbors, the entrepreneurialism of our local owners and servant hearts of the 100,000 red-vested heroes upon whose back these awards stand."
The rankings were determined by a number of factors, most notably: number of times received sale/promotional flyers/brochures (received more than once in past 12 months); quality of merchandise (above expected); and length of time waited for greeting (waited less than 5 minutes).
The study is based on responses from 2,751 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months, and was fielded in February-March 2017.
Marketing Mantra: Make more customers
True Value’s Facebook page recently displayed a collection of more than 100 happy customer selfies taken at True Value stores across the country — the result of a $1,000 gift card giveaway contest.
At last count, more than 8,600 people pressed the like button. But more importantly, the post reflected some of the big ideas of the co-op’s new SVP of marketing, David Elliott, who took on his role on April 10. Among those ideas are understanding the strengths and weaknesses of various media, adapting to changes in medium and message as audiences change, and embracing the value of the independent.
“The business of marketing,” he told HBSDealer, “is to make more customers, and to do it cost effectively.”
Take Facebook. Gone are the days, Elliott said, when small businesses could view this social media staple as an effective, free tool to broadcast information to followers. He pointed to stats showing a basic post will be seen organically by an average of 3% of a business’s Facebook audience. So, a post on Monday to a group of 100 followers will probably reach 3 of them.
Facebook’s free advertising angle shifted about a year ago, he said, with a Facebook move to encourage users to “boost” posts at a price. Elliott estimated it would take $15,000 or more to effectively reach audiences through Facebook with messaging. That can be effective on a national level, he said, but the name of the Facebook game now is engagement. And you can expect to see more interaction — such as customer selfies — on True Value’s pages.
Elliott came to the Chicago-based co-op from New Zealand’s Mitre 10 home improvement chain, the same company where True Value CEO John Hartmann worked as CEO. At Mitre 10, Elliott oversaw an advertising shift over the past couple of years to more than 50% in the digital realm.
“That’s not to say we’re going to stop everything we’re doing in a traditional sense, but we just have to be reflective of what customers are doing,” he said. “We have to look at the cost-effective ways of reaching our customers and adapt ourselves to move in that direction.”
One enduring message in Chicago is the value of the independent. Elliott said he was encouraged by the “overwhelming” community support for the local hardware store in recent social media posts. And he describes the mission of supporting the local business as a high calling.
“There is a real future in local hardware,” Elliott said. “Right across the country, customers put their trust in local staff and local people. That’s what consumers value — smaller local hardware stores. And you can’t make that point enough.”
Elliott said there haven’t been many surprises in his first two months on the job, and that there are surprisingly similar dynamics in home improvement around the world.
“Quite often when new marketing people come in, they change things. And it’s often just to buy themselves some time,” he said. “But I don’t really care about that. It’s more a matter of referencing how we’re traveling, referencing what customers are doing and how they’re changing, and adapting our business to that.”