By Matt Pillar, Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine
Store count growth was an issue for Jake Gersowsky, CFO of Light Bulbs Unlimited. As the company increased from four to eight stores through acquisition and new store set ups, Gersowsky found himself and coworkers cobbling together sales and financial information from disparate systems in a manual, inefficient way. "We were running eight stores using one software but with eight individual product/customer databases, so when we had to change prices or add products we had to do it eight times," he explains. "If you have eight people entering data instead of one or two, you risk accuracy, integrity, and you hurt your margins. A 1% or 2% bottom-line improvement can be meaningful." The $15M, 100-employee operation needed a common retail enterprise platform to facilitate continued growth.
Four years ago, Gersowsky and the company owners at Light Bulbs Unlimited evaluated 11 retail enterprise software providers, but most were considered too expensive or cumbersome. Then the Light Bulbs Unlimited management team met Raymark at the NRF show. Gersowsky was impressed by Raymark's pedigree in footwear retailing, which he says has many parallels with the business he's in. "Shoes are high-fashion, seasonally changing items with many different attributes in terms of size, color, etc. The same is true of lighting. Products we sell have many variables, so we needed a system that could accommodate these," says Gersowsky.