Latest software programs, tools help retailers get up to speed

Home Featured Post Latest software programs, tools help retailers get up to speed

Technology and software companies work with one goal in mind—to make life easier for the retailer. That’s especially true in today’s fast- changing retail environment. At TISE 2021, tech companies launched software tools and updates designed to streamline a variety of essential tasks. Following is a sampling of some of the new software solutions providers are rolling out.

American Business Software

ABS has automated most of the purchasing process on COLA, an internet-based e-commerce application that solely requires a PC, a browser and internet access to operate. COLA’s automated features now include key tasks such as checking inventory and pricing, providing status on existing orders, notifying when orders will arrive and analyzing which products are selling and which products should be phased out of inventory.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of employees needed to get the job done right,” said Joseph Flannick, president. “This software can automatically search for product knowledge, predict upcoming trends and know where to make larger margins. COLA breaks down the information so you can ensure every product on your showroom floor is there with purpose.”

BanaBoom

BanaBoom has implemented a new “sample checkout” management tool to help retailers make the most out of every possible lead. The system now tracks a new customer’s contact information, the job they are looking to complete, their preferred design theme, the products they are interested in, flooring sample sign-outs and who to follow up with for not returning those samples. In addition, all this information can be automatically turned into a sales order avoiding the need for re-entry.

“Someone asking for a sample is the hottest type of lead you can possibly have, but keeping track is a headache,” said Scott Springgate, principal. “You will always know who has taken what from your store and will save money on samples that would have otherwise gone missing.”

Comp-U-Floor

Comp-U-Floor now has launched a new installer app for subcontractors to streamline communications between retailers and their floor layers. Installers can now see all their upcoming jobs, where those jobs are located and get an update a job’s status. The application, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be fully integrated with the Comp-U-Floor software, can also take pictures on site, which can then be uploaded to a sales order.

“We are talking about a proj- ect management tool that shows everything in great detail,” said Alex Aya, CEO. “Leadership no longer needs to drive to a jobsite to confirm what the installer found because all the information and photos can be sent over the app in a matter of minutes. Businesses can accept jobs located farther from the office and the office staff can still monitor their progress.”

FloorForce

FloorForce has built two types of augmented realities—an in-store kiosk and an online visualizer that allows customers to virtually test different products before purchasing them.

“It can be hard for people to visualize how a small sample in their hand will look across an entire floor in their home,” said John Weller, CIO. “Customers can bring in a photo of a room they are looking to redo, scan a sample’s QR code and be shown how that specific flooring will look in their own home.”

To assist shoppers while they are browsing, FloorForce has partnered with Podium to launch an exclusive integration so customers can launch a chat or phone call to speak directly with a sales rep from any page of a retailer’s website. Phone calls are recorded and chats are logged, so all staff members have access to every customer interaction that takes place. If the same person returns with questions, the system automatically searches the records by name and pulls up the correspondence.

“An artificial intelligence pulls out key words and phrases from these conversations so your staff—whether it is the same person or someone new—can be caught up in a few minutes,” Weller said. “For example, phrases like ‘new carpet for three bedrooms’ are what the AI will show so the staff member knows exactly what to show her.”›

Measure Square

Measure Square can now be integrated with a company’s CRM or ERP system so flooring measurements can be automatically synced and instantaneously used for a sales or work order without double entry.

“We can now sync with systems like RollMaster, QFloors or Comp-U-Floor,” said Steven Wang, president. “When their system is integrated with ours, the information can be pulled into the cloud and then be used for estimations, quotes and installations to save time and minimize errors.”

Measure Square has also launched a new web-based calculator for retailers’ websites so customers can enter measurements and receive a rough quote on their own. “If a customer engages to the point of putting together her own quote, she is much more likely to close on the order,” Wang explained. “Sales reps will have to go on site to confirm the measurements, but the customer has already done a majority of the leg work.”

software
Pacific Solutions Warehouse Management app

Pacific Solutions

Pacific Solutions has launched its new Management Warehouse Module to oversee all inventory inflow, outflow and cycle counting by using the app’s mobile-friendly barcode scanner. In addition, all updates are done in real time and photos of both ingoing and outgoing materials can be uploaded to the app to avoid future problems.

“Efficiency and elimination of mistakes is key with large vol- ume,” said Bob Noe Jr., president. “What used to take hours can now be done in minutes at the touch of a button. This software also makes it very difficult to send the wrong material to the jobsite or to have installers claim they are missing a roll of anything because you can snap a photo of what they are taking.”

Podium

Podium has focused on enhancing its text-messaging platform to communicate with their cus- tomers regarding scheduling and order follow up, or to request a review and to accept payments more efficiently. This feature also allows customers to begin a con- versation online and then contin- ue through text messages for a more mobile experience.

According to Luke Salisbury, senior account executive, “90% of text messages are opened within the first three minutes, so if you want a guaranteed way to get in touch with the customer, this is how. No matter where they are, we can schedule an appointment, collect payment or answer any questions instantly.”

QFloors

QFloors unveils its own internal credit card processing company called QPro Pay, which integrates directly with the QFloors software. With a third party no longer involved, QFloors now has complete control over the feature’s pricing and technical support. This way, problems can be addressed faster.

“We previously had very little control if there was a technical problem or an issue with pricing,” said Chris Ogden, CEO. “Now we can address all glitches faster because it is solely up to us to find the solution. When things can be addressed quickly, you have happier customers and that is our goal.”

In addition, QFloors has part- nered with FloorForce and Velocity to develop QLeads, a new integration that automatically generates leads from a retailer’s website directly into the QFloors software. “The customer’s information will just appear in our system, so re-entry is not required,” Ogden explained. “This new update saves time, minimizes errors and avoids the possibility that any new customer could fall through the cracks.”

software
RFMS credit card software

RFMS

RFMS has recently launched RFMS Credit Card Services, which offers real-time, electronic payment processing that can be fully integrated with RFMS. This means users no longer have to exit the company’s program to accept payments, according to Fred Kotynski, CIO.

In addition, the program allows the use of “tokens” so a customer’s payment information can be safely stored. (A token is not the actual credit card but a representation.) Sensitive credit card information only needs to be handled and entered once throughout the sales process.

“It is all stored in a token, but staff cannot view the actual credit card numbers,” Kotynski explained. “When it is time to charge the remaining balance once the job is complete, you access the token so the customer doesn’t have to be bothered.”

Retail Lead Management

With COVID-19 still affecting how consumers shop, RLM has launched Remote House Call, which allows the sales staff to video chat directly with the con- sumer using a mobile device. Customers can take pictures, GPS their location, ask questions and even request a service call or sales call.

“It is similar to FaceTime, with the exception that you have a whole bunch of tools you can use to assist with the sale,” said Fred Kotynski, CIO.

In addition, the program allows the use of “tokens” so a customer’s payment information can be safely stored. (A token is not the actual credit card but a representation.) Sensitive credit card information only needs to be handled and entered once throughout the sales process.

“It is all stored in a token, but staff cannot view the actual credit card numbers,” Kotynski explained. “When it is time to charge the remaining balance once the job is complete, you access the token so the customer doesn’t have to be bothered.”

software
RLM Remote ‘House Call’

Retail Lead Management

With COVID-19 still affecting how consumers shop, RLM has launched Remote House Call, which allows the sales staff to video chat directly with the consumer using a mobile device. Customers can take pictures, GPS their location, ask questions and even request a service call or sales call.

“It is similar to FaceTime, with the exception that you have a whole bunch of tools you can use to assist with the sale,” said Jason Goldberg, strategic advisor to Broadlume, which recently purchased RLM. “In the past, you would have to drive to a customer’s house to see what they need, but now all the information is being given to us up front. Customers just send a link, and the same process can be done without making that 40-minute drive.”

RollMaster

Rollmaster has launched a new dashboard to monitor text message alerts so retailers can easily maintain client communications. Common alerts include appointment and installation reminders, follow-ups to reschedule last-minute cancellations and to investigate any customer service issues. The dashboard can be accessed by all personnel so all issues can be handled accordingly by the right person.

“We are minimizing the number of same-day cancellations so you can keep your installation crew busy installing” said Kelly Oechslin, marketing coordinator. “Working through issues is now a much quicker and easier process. Customers tend to reach out for more follow up business when they know you can effectively handle their problems.”

This feature fully integrates with the RollMaster app, but the integration also requires the RollMaster Core System to operate. In addition, RollMaster is helping dealers to manage their online reputation with the RM5Star app , which fully integrates with the RollMaster software. Retailers can send a request for a review to customers upon completion of a job and all reviews—whether left on Yelp, Facebook, Google, Angi—can be monitored from one dashboard. Retailers also have the option per- sonally reach out to those who left three stars or less. RM5Star can also turn these reviews into professional social media posts and marketing visuals that can be added to a retailer’s website.

Roomvo

Roomvo has launched its new Roomvo Sample Viewer, which allows customers to browse through virtual swatches and sample boards as they would if they were in a showroom. While end users shop, they can zoom in and out on products, examine grain and texture and even view how the material would look in various types of indoor and outdoor lighting to reflect the different times of day.

“The pandemic made people less willing to physically come into the showroom, so this gives people a great way to safely shop hands on,” said Stephen Caldow, director of marking. “This gives our customers the ability to have the full shopping experience whether it’s at home or in store.”

TraLaMa

TraLaMa has launched an app that can be used to connect retailers and consumers to experts who specialize in all construction trades: flooring, framing, concrete, electrician, plumber, painter, etc. Once a job is posted, suitable candidates will be connected to the employer based on skill level, pay and geographic location.

“We are looking to connect the job seekers to the bosses because there is a severe labor shortage right now,” said Jason Goldberg, CEO. “Head installers can’t find team members and retailers can’t find installers. This app allows you to post a job you need done along with your budget, and the perfect candidates are served to you on a platter.”

Must Read

Mine the hidden gold in your business

By Jim Augustus Armstrong—"What advertising should I start with?” an attendee at one of my seminars asked me. This is a question I get asked regularly,...

Ceramic: Category reaps benefits of booming housing market

By Megan Salzano-Birch—After two years of slow decline, the tile category is back on top. U.S. suppliers are touting record-high sales in 2021 and...

What’s driving workers’ changing mindsets

By Lisbeth Calandrino—The world of work is changing. It appears that employers are no longer in the driver’s seat when it comes to hiring....

Stanton makes a big splash in hard surface pool

Stanton was one of the last of the traditional carpet mills to make the leap into hard surfaces, entering the category in 2020. Rather...

Latest Daltile studio celebrates the allure of Austin

By Ken Ryan—Austin, Texas—Daltile held a grand opening for its 20th design studio here in Austin, a city known for food, great live music...

Mannington hires John Hammel as senior director

Salem, N.J.—Mannington Mills hired John Hammel as senior director, wood and laminate business. In this role, Hammel will be responsible for leading the product...

As seen in

Sept. 27/Oct. 4

DOWNLOAD
Some text some message..
X