Tech Positions Conlin’s to Support Changing Consumer Behavior
Like many retailers in the furniture industry, in the early 2000s, Conlin’s Furniture found itself on a software platform that was no longer being developed. Fortunately for Conlin’s, they had a resident technology expert. Their owner, Joe Conlin, began to custom develop their software, giving their existing solution longer relevancy. However, upon Joe’s retirement, Conlin’s found themselves in a similar position of having their technology unsupported and falling behind. Realizing the growing importance of technology in furniture retail, Conlin’s made the strategic decision to have the support of a full team of software experts and chose STORIS as their new technology partner.
Making the Change
Switching over to STORIS was a substantial project in which 19 store locations were converted. Like many Top 100 retailers, Conlin’s found a return on investment in moving from a server to the cloud. Having cloud system maintenance through STORIS has cut back on the IT expenses of hosting their own server. Conlin’s team and their STORIS Project Manager built a great partnership in the process of implementation. By understanding Conlin’s business practices, their Project Manager was able to help them improve in specific areas using various software features. CFO, Lollie Ray, commented, “Conlin’s is unique even among home furnishings retailers. Our STORIS Project Manager played a large role in helping us use STORIS in the best ways for our business.”
Switching to a Modern System
Making the decision to switch over to STORIS positions Conlin’s to keep up with new technology now and in the future. Now that Conlin’s is on a modern ERP architecture, they will continue to advance their use of software. This includes plans to roll out mobile POS across their showrooms and further logistical enhancements to their warehouses.
“As the importance of technology continues to grow, we needed to make a transition that would position Conlin’s to keep up with new technologies that are supporting changes in consumer behaviors.” Lollie Ray, CFO
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A New Solution Brings Impactful Improvements
Streamlined Sales Entry
The sales associates at Conlin’s have found the Sales Order Entry process in STORIS easier to navigate than their former Point of Sale. STORIS’ screens flow organically through the POS process, enabling a faster checkout. STORIS’ modern architecture is also visually intuitive. This has made their sales associates more comfortable when helping customers, which is important to Conlin’s core value of providing an outstanding customer experience.
Inventory Accuracy and Reporting
Conlin’s extracts new insights from STORIS’ inventory reporting. Ray noted the Value of Inventory Report as one of her favorite analytical reports in STORIS. This report allows her to analyze merchandise performance by attributes such as category/warehouse or vendor/category. This multi-dimensional report makes analyzing efficient by cutting back on time spent while uncovering valuable product insights.
Conlin’s has two warehouse locations that have designated product assignments. Using STORIS’ multi-leg transfer functionality, they can make sure their customers are receiving the merchandise they ordered without anything falling through the cracks. Logistics are flowing in an optimized and organized fashion, which has helped Conlin’s in meeting their customers’ delivery expectations anytime.
General Ledger and Auditing
STORIS’ General Ledger has greatly improved Conlin’s accounting. Their audited financial gathering is expedient and helps reduce costs associated with accounting. Lollie commented that the information she is able to export from STORIS is incredible. They have 19 different store locations and with STORIS’ excel compatibility, analyzing across individual store performances has become a simpler task to facilitate with their district managers.
STORIS has allowed Conlin’s to cut back on time spent with both End of Day and End of Month reporting and reconciliation processes. Lollie commented on how STORIS cut half a day’s work just for balancing. Employees are able to leave work on time, instead of staying late to finish reporting, which ultimately boosts company morale.
Smoother On-Boarding Process
As a Top 100 Retailer who continues to grow, Conlin’s is always adding new employees to their team. Training new employees to learn the Point of Sale software is important in onboarding new hires. With STORIS’ intuitive design, this process has become 100% smoother than in the past, especially when training a younger generation.
“Technology is of critical importance to the home furnishings industry. It’s how retailers manage their operations and where they gain valuable data. In today’s market, knowledge is power.”
Conlin’s Furniture was founded in 1937 by Ed Conlin Sr. and was located in a 3000 square foot building in Williston, North Dakota. Throughout the years, Ed’s sons, Clem and Ed Conlin Jr., and his brothers, Frank and John, joined the business. Together they expanded Conlin’s into additional cities. Today, Conlin’s still operates in Williston out of the same building it was founded in and has expanded throughout Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming. Conlin’s eye for product style, a broad selection of quality home furnishings, great value, and exceptional customer service has led to Conlin’s’ success. Their team strives to provide an outstanding customer experience through a family of knowledgeable and caring associates. Conlin’s continues to grow and expand, ranking among Furniture Today’s Top 100 furniture companies in the United States.