By Megan Salzano Maintaining a successful flooring retail operation entails meaningful front-end strategies, such as product selection, showroom design and even marketing, but back-end strategies will make or break the business. Those back-end strategies include everything that goes on behind the scenes. In order to successfully manage those back-end operations, flooring-specific software is key, experts say.
Flooring-specific software —as opposed to generic software such as QuickBooks— can make all the difference to the successful back-end operation of a business. “If you want to stay competitive, you need to be able to handle operations without high overhead, and you need to know exactly what is happening in your business so you can make the best decisions,” said Chad Ogden, president and CEO, QFloors. “The right software delivers both. For the best return on investment, retailers need to embrace software that is easy to use, specific to the flooring industry and with good customer support to help people along the learning curve.”
Kelly Oechslin, product marketing manager, RollMaster, added that flooring retailers need to find the right flooring-specific software to fit their company and the way they do business. “Don’t look for shortcuts if you are expecting to grow your business,” she said. “Don’t waste time on software that is not flooring-specific—you’ll just end up needing software again in a year or two. Find a software that you will never outgrow but will continue to grow with your business, helping you to become more efficient and more profitable.”
Flooring-specific software providers routinely update and expand their offerings in order to deliver best-in-class service to their customer: the flooring retailer.
Following are the most recent flooring-specific software advances from the industry’s top providers.
American Business Software
“COVID-19 has changed the priorities of many of our customers,” said Joseph Flannick, president. “More people have been working from home, making cloud solutions more important than ever. Efforts to increase efficiency and reduce labor have intensified. From the start, our FloorPro ERP software was designed to run lightning fast in the cloud. This makes it an ideal solution for today’s remote work environment. In addition, we’ve enhanced our integrated instant messenger platform and expanded our integration with third-party retail websites.”
BanaBoom deploys new customer updates on a monthly basis due to its Multi-Tenant Cloud Architecture. “Updates are seamlessly deployed with no business interruption,” explained Scott Springgate, co-founder and principal. “Through our closed-loop customer feedback process, BanaBoom has launched a number of new capabilities in the last six months. In addition to usability enhancements, several new features include: an advanced Rules Engine, designed for flexible tax and payroll withholdings; and automated electronic tax filing features or ‘e-File.’”
Comp-U-Floor developed and launched a Web & Mobile ERP Business and Installations Management and Accounting software, which includes all of the functionality available in previous Comp-U-Floor Windows versions, but it runs in the Cloud. “It is device independent across multiple platforms: Windows, Apple and Android,” explained Edgar Aya, CEO. “Comp-U-Floor provides full mobility, allowing flooring businesses to be more flexible in their work practices. Flooring stores can’t rely on floor traffic during the current COVID-19 pandemic; Comp-U-Floor provides cloud-based tools that allow employees to work remotely.”
Measure Square recently launched its Quote Calculator, which can be easily embedded in a website. “With a click, a pop-up will appear, and a shopper can fill in some information—such as measurements—and get an instant quote,” said Steven Wang, president. “A store rep can then verify the information and close the sale before sending a measurer to
the job site. The self-service approach creates more customer engagement and also cuts down on expensive travel. Moreover, customers expect personalized digital experiences. This is certainly key in improving conversion rates.”
Pacific Solutions’ latest software advancement is its Warehouse Management Module, which runs on a tablet. “With the module, users can receive materials from purchase orders electronically and print inventory tags before putting the materials away,” explained Bob Noe, president. “They can also barcode racks for quick inventory relocation; see a list of staged pick tickets for preparing for material delivery; and capture a digital signature. There is also a Quick Pick and Quick Return function.”
“Podium is a suite of messaging tools that empowers local businesses to gather and convert leads through the power of messaging,” said Dennis Steele, co-founder. “Whether you need to collect more reviews, get found and chosen online, communicate more easily with your customers or collect payments faster—Podium makes it all as easy as sending a text. These days, customer experience is really the key factor in conversion. Podium’s tools help businesses provide a much higher quality customer experience.”
QFloors’ browser-based cloud software, QPro POS+, now features an advanced integration with QuickBooks Online. “This makes it possible for even the smallest dealer to benefit from the time savings and efficiencies of features built to help flooring businesses, even if they don’t want to step away from their familiar back-end accounting program,” Ogden explained. “Also, QLeads, a new integration add-on, allows leads that come through your website (or other lead-gen platforms) to be uploaded to your QFloors Leads screen, automating and improving the tracking process.”
RFMS’ latest software advancement is its new CRM app– Client Relationship Manage-ment. “As a complement to the Measure Mobile and RFMS Mobile apps, CRM meets a strategic need in the workday life of a salesperson,” said Kurt Wilson, apps product manager. “With CRM, a salesperson captures initial engagement information for every opportunity and has complete control and visibility of that opportunity through the sales process. Text messaging is built in, and product selection, estimating and quote generation are integrated. Customers can approve quotes and even make payments online.”
RollMaster’s latest software advancement is the Open Application Program Interface (API). “It offers our customers practically endless opportunities to integrate non-flooring specific business, marketing and operations applications to automate more of their daily business tasks,” Oechslin said. “When you have one software that can automate your flooring business but also integrate with other online applications, you benefit from not having to enter data in more than one application, which also cuts down on errors. Plus, because RollMaster is cloud-based, you can work from anywhere at any time.”
ViSoft’s ViSion software allows a user to select from various room scenes such as bathrooms, kitchens and even exteriors to visualize products like flooring in the space. In addition, ViSoft Premium products can cover an entire renovation planning process to provide the planner with an intuitive application and a common thread for customer consultation and sales. In addition to a strong and efficient software infrastructure, the product family offers solutions for mobile devices, showrooms and the web.