RC Willey Home Furnishings improved efficiency and customer experience by replacing its legacy EDI system with TrueCommerce’s cloud-based supply chain management platform. In this success story, TrueCommerce, a global provider of trading partner connectivity, integration and unified commerce solutions, analyzes how its ecUtopia platform helped the retailer accelerate order processing and expand into new sales channels.
RC Willey Home Furnishings is a Furniture Today Top 100 retailer owned by Berkshire Hathaway and is based in Salt Lake City. Offering exceptional selection, value and service for over 80 years, it currently operates 13 stores and three distribution centers in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and California. Unlike many home furnishings retailers, RC Willey sells appliances, consumer electronics and flooring in addition to furniture and mattresses.
A TrueCommerce-ecUtopia customer since moving from a legacy EDI provider in 2016, RC Willey uses the solution to exchange EDI 850 Purchase Orders (POs) and EDI 855 PO Acknowledgements with vendors, and is currently implementing EDI 856 Advance Ship Notice (ASN) support.
Easy management for thousands of SKUs
While most of its competitors offer just furniture and mattresses, RC Willey has the expertise to sell, deliver and install not only these traditional products but also products for the entire home such as, appliances, consumer electronics and even flooring.
EDI helps make that additional supply chain complexity transparent. “It’s easy for us to handle any kind of merchandise because it runs through our system the same way,” reports Stuart Peterson, Vice President of Supply Chain. “It’s a SKU, it’s a vendor and TrueCommerce-ecUtopia handles it all identically. Also, the transaction-based cost model really works for us.”
Winning the ‘Race for Product’
In a market space driven by ever-heightening customer expectations, having the right products in place at the right time is essential to success. And, with online shopping’s growth since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, rapid fulfillment has become even more important.
“In the COVID market, it’s become a race for product,” Stuart relates. “The faster you get orders in, the faster you go to the head of the line. Speed in ordering is critically important in today’s market.”
Manual processes can’t keep up with today’s demand and can result in delays and customer frustration. Stuart clarifies: “Without TrueCommerce-ecUtopia EDI, we’d have bottlenecks in our order entry process, and we’d send POs to vendors more slowly. Those seconds and minutes add up when you’re talking about 10,000 orders.”
He continues: “On the vendor side, without EDI there could be backlogs in the process of transferring a PO from a PDF into the vendor’s business system. Those backlogs might delay an order by a day or two, which could mean it misses that week’s production cycle and now the delay is ten days.”
TrueCommerce technology has been crucial to supporting RC Willey’s ongoing operations.
“TrueCommerce-ecUtopia helps us streamline out fulfillment delays,” emphasizes Stuart. “The more efficiently things flow, the better for our customers. Plus, because we’re bringing product in faster with fewer errors we can handle more volume and put more business through our system with our existing staff.”
Improving the customer experience
According to Stuart, ongoing Covid-19 supply chain impacts have led to “backorders like I’ve never seen before.” As a result, customer communications have taken center stage.
TrueCommerce-ecUtopia’s real-time visibility into the supply chain makes it easier for RC Willey to keep customers appraised of delivery dates, order changes and other important information. This helps ease customer frustrations with sometimes unavoidable delays.
“Automation and accuracy are really important to our order flow,” Stuart states. “One of the key benefits of TrueCommerce-ecUtopia is more consistent and better order tracking, with fewer errors. The ability to see where product is and know when it will arrive at our DCs is critical to our customer experience.”
A strong sense of value
TrueCommerce-ecUtopia’s deep industry expertise keeps RC Willey’s orders flowing predictably, even during tumultuous markets.
“We have confidence in the TrueCommerce-ecUtopia team,” says Stuart. “They understand our business and it matters to them. They’re professional, skilled and operate with a straight-line focus on resolving problems quickly. The communication is excellent. There’s such a strong sense of value with TrueCommerce.”
RC Willey is in the process of extending its TrueCommerce-ecUtopia investment with support for EDI 856 Advance Ship Notices (ASNs). The detailed delivery information in ASNs will further improve visibility into inbound shipments, provide physical shipment specifics to aid delivery preparation, and more.
“ASNs will automate our order tracking even more, and also give us more accurate shipment arrival dates,” Stuart notes.
But ASNs are only one of several digital transformation projects on the table for this home furnishings leader. “There’s a lot more opportunity for us to leverage TrueCommerce-ecUtopia’s technology,” confirms Stuart. “They are a partner that can take us into the future, with new applications and features that can make us more efficient. I’m grateful for it.”
Another compelling option for RC Willey is TrueCommerce-ecUtopia’s drop shipping support, which can automate and accelerate sending POs and shipment data to vendors for individual consumer orders placed online.
“Our online business has more than doubled in the current market, and is a key channel for our advertising, promotions and brand awareness,” indicates Stuart. “I confidently recommend TrueCommerce-ecUtopia to people who ask, and it’s nice to see how familiar people already are with them in our industry.”
TrueCommerce is the most complete way to connect your business across the supply chain, integrating everything from EDI, to inventory management, to fulfillment, to digital storefronts and marketplaces, to your business system, and to whatever comes next. To stay ahead in today’s dynamic global
market, companies need to be able to do business in a lot of different directions at once. But too often, doing so means too many solutions and too much assembly required. For decades TrueCommerce has helped businesses be more connected, more supported, and more prepared for what’s next.