Showroom of the Year Accelerates with New ERP
- A Savance Enterprise Client Case Study
Savance’s vast experience in the electrical distribution industry parlayed well into what we need as a lighting distributor.
When you’re given the title “Lighting Showroom of the Year” you must be doing something right. As is the case with LightStyles in Cornelius, North Carolina. The destination Lighting Showroom received the award presented by Furniture, Lighting & Decor magazine during the 2021 Lightovation for their stand-out sales, resilience, and ingenuity to thrive in retail, even in a difficult climate.
After utilizing an outdated ERP Software for more than 15 years, Owner Skip Hulett decided it was time to streamline showroom operations, gain more control over inventory accuracy, and capitalize on fast order entry to meet customer demands. In their search, it was key that the new ERP software provided them with data and information in an instant to make showroom sales easy without losing the high level of service customers expected.
“Savance’s vast experience in the electrical distribution industry parlayed well into what we need as a lighting distributor,” says Hulett.
Greg Thorpe, Director of Business Systems for LightStyles applauds Savance’s intuitive inventory workflows. Thorpe, who has been managing the training and transition to Savance from Sage, says Savance Enterprise ERP Software significantly improves tracking and management of warehouse and showroom items. “Our old software was pretty much a free-for-all. You could do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted without any restrictions,” explains Thorpe. “That created a huge problem for our business and the way we operate.”
Now with Savance, the system is helping correct misplaced or unaccounted for inventory by alerting us as to what is actually on hand or special ordered. If something looks suspect, I get flagged. I can drill down to details such as who picked the item, whether it’s something that the warehouse was doing for our custom house, or if it was something that was a line item hold that our builder support department needs. The level of detail we can now get forces us to correct the inventory right then and there, instead of having to deal with it at the end of the year with a manual count and then adjust everything,” adds Thorpe.
In addition, LightStyles chose to leverage Savance’s integration with XO Logic to improve rich product data and industry-specific information that feeds sales orders and quotes, their web store, and professional proposals. “When a salesperson is working with a customer, they have the ability to look up anything they need to know about a part on the floor. There is no need to stop what they are doing and go pull a price sheet.”
“Our sales team members can simply hit the master file and it pulls up the information such as part number, UPC, description, and cost. All that data gets pulled in automatically from that master list that runs in the background saving our teams time and giving our customers a seamless showroom experience”.
Thorpe says Savance’s key functionality also helped resolve an inventory naming convention issue as well. The lighting showroom now uses a common identifier that aligns with the manufacturer’s information ensuring there are not multiple parts in the system using different numbers, which also commonly threw off inventory. “The time savings alone of what Savance Enterprise ERP Software has been able to do for this team is incredible,” says Thorpe. “A year ago, we would have to stop what we were doing, find the cost sheet catalog and then manually load all that in. Now, it’s all automated for us.”
According to Hulett, Savance’s showroom industry knowledge was one of the key factors in choosing the ERP provider over others. “With so many of the other ERP companies out there, we felt as if they just wanted to sell us a standard, off-the-shelf system. Those systems did not exactly work with our processes. Savance listened to our feedback and our business needs and customized the areas of the software we needed.”
To that end, Savance has been able to build a support network of other lighting distributors who actively engage with the development team and provide enhancement feedback. The consistent input allows the software provider to quickly evaluate high-priority improvements and align resources for fast enhancements. “That’s the beauty of Savance. We truly have a partnership with them. We all may be very similar in how we do things, but our execution might be a little bit different. Not only do we learn from each other, but we’re also provided a lot of best-practice ideas from Savance and they utilize our feedback to act fast on requested improvements,” says Thorpe.
Skip is also quick to add that having a point person who stuck with them from beginning to end was key to business continuity.
“When we spoke to other providers, I felt as though we were getting bounced from person to person. I have not encountered that at all with Savance.”
Positioned for Future Growth
Nearly 6 months after going live, the lighting distributor says the transition to the system has put them in a strong place for future growth. In fact, LightStyles’ recent migration to Savance Enterprise ERP Software, kept the distributor serving customers at an unprecedented speed during the pandemic, helping them to earn the coveted “Lighting Showroom of the Year” award.
Skip says, “Selecting an ERP is a massive decision. I have never second-guessed my decision to move forward with Savance. Their vast experience in the electrical distribution industry parlays well into what lighting distributors need for showroom operations. On top of that, I think distributors will be very pleased with Savance’s pre-implementation support and follow-through. They are extremely knowledgeable at what they do, and we are delighted with our decision to transition.”
I think distributors will be very pleased with Savance’s pre-implementation support and follow-through. They are extremely knowledgeable at what they do, and we are delighted with our decision to transition.