Homemakers Trusts Partnership
Homemakers Furniture of Des Moines, Iowa has been a popular single-store destination since 1974. In the Midwest, customers are willing to drive a couple of hours to shop there.
When they arrive at the Homemakers’ 220K square-foot showroom— with another 200K square-foot warehouse in the back—they come ready to buy. They look forward to a superior shopping experience and expect the salespeople on the showroom floor to have all the answers at their fingertips.
Homemakers chose STORIS to help them deploy the STORIS ERP System, in great part due to the perspective STORIS brought to their working relationship. More than providing superior software, STORIS’ goal is to create a real “partnership” with each customer. So the customer not only gains a software solution; they gain an entire company committed to their success. Roger Merschman, Vice President of Operations, IT and Customer Service for Homemakers, recalled, “We’ve worked with other companies on projects in the past, but STORIS helped us tie up the loose ends and link everything together.
“With a working partnership that functions at a higher level, STORIS enables us to deal effectively with so many people – our customers and other diverse contact points – in addition to supporting Point of Sale on the showroom floor. STORIS gave us the resources to get all these things done.” Roger Merschman summarizes by stating, “It’s been a great partnership that continues to grow over time.”
According to Roger Merschman, “Customer convenience is the most critical element in the sales process today.” Merschman continued, “People don’t have the time they had five years ago. Their shopping expectations have changed. STORIS is helping Homemakers bring mobile applications with real-time answers to the sales floor to enhance the customer’s in-store shopping experience.
“They are also helping us create cross-channel integration, resulting in the instantaneous flow of information between our website and the STORIS database.”
Roger Merschman recalled a recent conversation with the owner of a large overseas furniture company, who was in the U.S. to research new ERP systems for his firm. Right at the top of his comprehensive list of possible ERP systems from all around the world was STORIS.
“Our previous ERP systems vendor of 18 years just didn’t keep up with the times. They stopped giving us application upgrades and their R&D efforts seemed to dry up,” Merschman said. He decided that the next time he embarked on purchasing from a new ERP systems vendor, top priority would be given to R&D capabilities that would not only help achieve success in the present but also in the future.
Homemakers chose STORIS because their Research & Development department continues, with demonstrable consistency, to distribute new applications and updates to keep their clients current. Secondary reasons included fully integrated applications, easy implementation, and thorough training.
Additionally, Homemakers is working with STORIS as they develop a full suite of mobile applications and capabilities. The ability for salespeople on the showroom floor to check their iPads or notebooks to determine the real-time status of furniture inventory, sales items, clearance items, special order and backorders is critical to closing a sale.
Homemakers had been using an old ERP System for the past 18 years, so their staff only had experience with that antiquated system. At the same time, the STORIS conversion process was taking place, Homemakers was also deploying a new WMS product. The STORIS and WMS products were scheduled to go live simultaneously.
Homemakers is based in Iowa, a state with limited population, therefore they need to resell to the same customers over and over again in order to stay in business. Their retention and sales process draws heavily on past customer history to create a strong customer relationship experience. Homemakers was required to extract all of their historical data from their old ERP system during the conversion process. Merschman said, “STORIS was right there, supporting and assisting us. Would we do it again with them? Yes!”
Homemakers leaned heavily on STORIS’ Customer Support in New Jersey. In addition, STORIS Customer Service personnel were on-site in Iowa for several weeks. “The STORIS people would go down to the sales floor and interact with everyone—our frontline people, our managers and our IT people – because that’s where it all happens. They were there when we needed them. They did a great job,” Merschman said.
STORIS provides the optimum scalability for high volume big-ticket retailers to achieve their full growth potential. Intuitive, with robust mobile-ready features to improve employee performance and satisfy consumer demand, STORIS enables organizations to capitalize on opportunities presented within the various commerce channels. Powerful reporting tools give executives 360-degree visibility to identify inefficiencies and the foresight to optimize business operations.