RockSolid MAX® POS Software Provides Strong Foundation for Future Growth
When Megan Orient and her brother Robert, co-owners of Hepler’s Hardware in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, made the decision to switch from a completely paper-based management system to business software, it could have been a disaster.
The role of hardware store software is to support a commitment to service
They recognized such a move was long overdue but the stakes were high. “Hepler’s,” says Megan, “is a quintessential old-time hardware store and proud of it.” Current management represents the fourth generation of the family to run the business, which has a history of service to the community that goes back more than 75 years.
During all that time, she reports proudly, they’ve never been closed by snow. This fact reflects a commitment to service that is deeply ingrained in a veteran team of employees who genuinely view their customers like an extended family.
But while those employees represent a key component of Hepler’s overall value proposition, most of them are not tech-savvy. So bringing in the wrong hardware store business software could have had catastrophic results. Fortunately for Megan and the rest of the team, they chose RockSolid MAX™ POS software for hardware stores from ECi Software Solutions, and results have been anything but catastrophic.
Automation and remote management freed the staff to focus on customers
The decision to automate, Megan explains, was part of a long-term business plan aimed at positioning the company for the future. “My brother and I were becoming more actively involved in the business and we were looking for a way to better manage things going forward,” Megan says.
Geography complicated the software search. “Neither one of us are local to the area and we needed a program that would allow us to manage remotely as much as possible,” she explains.
Finding the right program took a full six months, Megan recalls. As project manager for the whole effort, she looked at several different solutions and at the end of the day, one stood out from all the rest: RockSolid MAX.
Only a hardware industry-specific solution could save the company effort and expense
“We really liked the idea of using a program that was specifically designed for the hardware industry and RockSolid MAX certainly fit that requirement,” she says. “For us to have to customize generic software to meet our specific needs, and then have to maintain it, would simply have been too time-consuming, too complicated, and too expensive. I’d say this is particularly so, since our staff, for the most part, does not use computers on a regular basis themselves."
The sheer volume of SKUs involved in hardware retailing provided a further argument in favor of industry-specific software. “The number of different items you have to work with in a hardware store is enormous and if you’re relying on a generic program that’s designed for just a couple hundred or even a couple thousand SKUs, that could become a real limitation,” Megan warns. RockSolid MAX POS software for hardware stores removed any potential limitations.
Not just POS software, but a solution that supports business expansion
“When we looked at RockSolid MAX, we saw a program that could not only take care of our immediate needs, but that also would be able to support us as we grew and got more involved in categories such as lumber, fencing, and so on,” she adds. “Software represents a big investment and you don’t want your system to be at capacity within six months of implementing it. We knew that wouldn’t be an issue with RockSolid MAX.”
The benefits of cloud computing couldn’t be more ideally suited to a hardware store
Plus, the program’s cloud-based status meant 24-7 access from anywhere with a web browser. That not only enabled remote business management, but it also eliminated the need for Megan and her team to spend valuable time on daily backups, updates, and other maintenance items.
Identifying the right software for your business and getting it up and running so that it does the job you need are two very different things, however. But once again, RockSolid MAX came through with flying colors!
From conversion to implementation, to daily service, support was rock solid
“I have no hesitation about giving five stars to our implementation specialist at RockSolid MAX,” says Megan. “He was extremely accessible, an excellent teacher, and very good at understanding our specific needs and setting up the system to meet them.”
And unlike some systems, support stayed strong once the Hepler’s team was live with the program. “We got great customer service from RockSolid MAX after the conversion,” Megan reports. “To begin with, we were calling daily, and when we made those calls, the RockSolid team was very responsive. Rarely did I have to wait on hold and they always had the answer to my question,” she says.
For Megan and her team, good service on any level is critical. “As a business, Hepler’s prides itself on service excellence and the ability to take care of customers,” she says. “We’ve found the people at RockSolid MAX have a similar attitude. Their tech support staff has been there for us every step of the way and they want us to succeed and use the system to grow.”
When we talked to Megan Orient, Hepler’s had been live on RockSolid MAX for just about a year. Even though she’s the first to admit they’re still learning aspects of the program, her enthusiasm for the changes RockSolid MAX has brought to the company comes through loud and clear. “We have so much more insight into what’s happening with the business than we ever had before and it’s generated some tremendous time savings for our people,” she says.
“RockSolid MAX is a very good product that is specifically designed for the hardware industry and supported by people who have a lot of hardware industry experience themselves,” she adds. “It has put us in a very good place today, and I know it’s only going to make us even stronger going forward.”