Agility and scalability are both paramount to success in today’s ever-changing retail climate. As consumer demand and preferences shift, retailers’ tasks, strategies and investments also change.
The Paper Store, a specialty gift chain headquartered in Massachusetts, was tasked with the challenge of managing a legacy system that fragmented sales and financial information. The retailer implemented Epicor to align SKU data and prevent any significant losses from product mismanagement. The retailer has since achieved more accurate receiving, leading to a savings of $275,000 in the first year after implementation. The retailer also doubled revenue to $114 million between 2009 and 2013.
The Epicor Retail Suite is designed to give retailers visibility across the entire supply chain, while also enhancing the customer and employee experience. All solutions within the suite can be found in one single location, allowing users to have full control and real-time access to the tools they need to meet their business requirements. Solutions available in the suite include: A point-of-service (POS) system; CRM; cross-channel order management; merchandising, planning, audit and operations management; and business intelligence.
The transition over to Epicor also has allowed The Paper Store to open more stores, which was an ongoing pain point that stunted the retailer’s growth, according to Tom Anderson, CEO and EVP of The Paper Store.
“Our legacy system, at the time, was too complicated and unreliable to promote growth,” said Anderson in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “At one point, one of our stores was down for two straight weeks during the 2008 holidays because its systems and servers were down. We were making sales via pencil and paper.”
After analyzing more than 30 solution candidates over a period of six months, The Paper Store decided to implement Epicor’s retail management solutions and combine them within a SaaS platform. The company has since grown from 23 stores in 2009 to 40 stores in 2013, and intends to expand to 51 locations by mid-October.
Improving inventory management also was critical for The Paper Store. Epicor has allowed the retailer to report on damaged inventory from vendors more efficiently. In 2012 alone, The Paper Store was able to return merchandise for credits totaling $200,000.
“Our distribution problems just went away, and our POS capabilities went through the roof,” Anderson said. “We were even able to handle everything from offering gift cards to collecting customer data and offering a loyalty program.”
Over the course of its partnership with Epicor, The Paper Store has saved approximately $100,000 per year by identifying double billing and other errors, and uncovering opportunities for invoice discounts. Sales audit capabilities now only highlights 10 potential fraud cases per week. Previously, the legacy system would flag hundreds of violations each day.