Industry: Window & Door Manufacturer
A global supplier of windows and doors, selling through Home Depot and Lowe’s, must track thousands of displays, price cards, packaging and point of purchase (POP) display art. They need to manage a daily stream of requests for visual displays and merchandising materials from multiple sources throughout the U.S. They must also manage the budgets for those materials and keep the art up-to-date and in compliance with Home Depot and Lowe’s.
To handle this multi-faceted task, the company relied on several complex spreadsheets updated by one or two individuals and distributed to the sales team via email. No one was ever sure if the spreadsheets had the most recent data. If data were not available or current, the sales reps would need to travel to all stores in a region to verify display art and update information in the spreadsheets. This was costly and required unbudgeted last-minute travel expenses.
Art was also constantly being updated and hard to track. To handle the art changes, the sales teams would print out the art files, mark the changes and then send the prints to the design team. Sales teams were traveling and due to the mobile nature of jobs, were unable to reply in a timely manner. It was evident that a change was needed and SmithBates was ready for the challenge.
Sample of AMP home page & POP diagram
Our development team met with sales managers to map out a browser-based system to track the information by store, by plant and by sales region. An Asset Management Portal (AMP) was created with a library of art including specifications and attributes – available on the web 24/7 via permission-based user levels. The AMP provides the creative, management and sales teams with a request and approval notification system to facilitate the creation of, and changes to, their art. The system features an online ordering function for the field reps to replace POP as needed.
After the initial launch, additional features were added to allow automated ordering of store displays from various plants, automatically tracking merchandise budgets. A mobile friendly display tracker was added to record “in store” displays and products.
Sample of Display Tracker page
Sample of Budget Tracker page
Results That Shine
Today, we have wrapped the entire system into a merchandizing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform called nStore. Spreadsheets and Google Docs are no longer used and information is tracked in real time, securely available 24/7 – one source of true information, allowing employees to replace reactive activities with strategic initiatives.