With a new web-based distribution management system, Rugs Direct has doubled its order-handling capacity and increased sales, president Randy Kremer says. The retailer expects to leverage its web site to expand to 100 stores within 7 years, he adds.
Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
With a new web-based distribution management system that automates order processing and lets it give customers real-time status reports on orders, Rugs Direct has more than doubled its order-handling capacity and increased sales, president Randy Kremer tells InternetRetailer.com. “We can handle a lot more orders internally,” he says. “And our conversion rates are up.”
The retailer’s new web-based Epicor for Distribution application, from Epicor Software Corp., lets Rugs Direct see multiple parts of order information on a web page in real time, including number of orders by item and size, and return rates.
In addition to helping Rugs Direct process more orders internally, the system also presents order information processed by drop shippers, enabling the retailer to monitor which supplier’s products are being sold through each channel. With more than $20 million a year in sales, Rugs Direct does about 80% of its business through drop shippers, Kremer says. A division of Winchester Carpet & Rug Co., Rugs Direct operates two stores and a catalog in addition to RugsDirect.com.
The Epicor system also enables Rugs Direct to provide real-time updates on order status to customers, who can inquire by e-mailing the retailer at Status@RugsDirect.com or calling customer service. The system has reduced the number of calls to customer service reps by 20%, Kremer says. “Now our customer service staff can focus on sales rather than just order status checks,” he says.
The Epicor system, which is integrated with the shipping management system of Rugs Direct’s main carrier, UPS, is helping Rugs Direct overcome a problem of customers canceling their orders for lack of information on order status, Kremer says. As a result, order cancellations have decreased, and Rugs Direct is seeing sales from return customers and word-of-mouth marketing, he adds.
Rugs Direct is also using the system’s information on orders, including the location of customers, to help plan its goal of opening more than 90 stores over the next several years, up from two today, Kremer says. “Our goal is to have 100 stores within 5-7 years, and we’ll leverage our web traffic to get a better read on the demographics of our customers,” he says.