DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Hardware chain adds retail management platform

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Hefner Ace Hardware knows the only way to expand its breadth is to have data integrity and inventory accuracy.

This was not an easy task for the family-owned, independent operator. When the retailer become an official Ace Hardware dealer in 2015, the retailer tripled its inventory, “and now we maintain 30,000 SKUs,” said Jason Hefner, owner, Hefner Ace Hardware. “Because of that jump in our inventory levels, we needed a system that was better equipped for inventory management and analysis.”

Becoming an Ace Hardware dealer also revealed other deficiencies. The company lacked overall systems support, as well as Ace-specific capabilities, security, and multi-store functionality — all pre-requisites if Hefner wanted to expand his business. These factors pushed him to adopt the Eagle N Series retail business management platform from Epicor, a solution designed to improve inventory management and scale the business.

“Our operations are better protected with an actual server; the Ace catalog and respective data is seamlessly integrated into the software, allowing quick and easy access; and we get quality support when we need it,” Hefner said. “And when we are ready to move forward with a new location, the software will grow with us.”

With better insight into inventory, the retailer expects to minimize carrying costs and maximize profitability, “while gaining deep insight into our business that will help us grow,” he added.

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