STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 51

based on their popularity in a given area.
Warehouses with a fuller selection of sizes
and colors supply the retail outlets.
"People would see that we had
a particular style and color in our
warehouse, but products in the
warehouses were moving so quickly
to the stores it was easy for it to get
'lost,'" Devlyn says. "We had to allow
customers to see the entire inventory,
even what was in our stores, to create a
kind of one-step transparency."
The company was already using
a Magento system to organize their
inventory; Devlyn felt it was a natural
step to upgrade to the company's latest
ecommerce platform. He then told Sonier
something that surprised him. "I said that
we would do the installation ourselves
with our own IT staff," he says.
Nearly every time its systems are
purchased, Magento brings in a thirdparty developer to integrate it into the
retailer's operation. "I was impressed that
Andrew knew what he was doing and felt
that he and his team could do it," Sonier
says. "We provided whatever support
they needed and they did a wonderful job
doing it themselves."
In October 2016, Devlyn was confident
enough to roll the system out in six stores.
"The ease of use made a big impression
on the store staff," he says. "If they didn't
have a product, they didn't have to shift
over to the inventory system at the point
of sale. It was all there, very seamless."
It had become common for store staff
to communicate via a web chat service
STORES.ORG

to locate inventory
to address customer
needs. This worked
occasionally,
when queries were
answered while the
customer was still in
the store. More often
than not, though,
sales were lost due to
a lack of inventory
transparency.
"Suddenly, we
could see the
products that each
store had and could
place the order right
at the register," says Devlyn. "It created
a seamless process of order management."
SALES ATTRIBUTION
Training has mostly been online; each
sales district has a "mentor" who assists
and answers questions. A video program
was produced to show the system in
action, as well as a user guide.
As the system was rolled out, Devlyn
began seeing an issue crop up among the
stores involved. "It was evident that while
it appeared the new system was working,
there were lots of questions by store
management," he says.
"While everyone was happy that sales
were up, we hadn't figured out how to
attribute the sales, which created some
discussions on how to handle it."
The problem was basically figuring out
who gets credit for a sale when one store
places an order that takes from another
store's inventory.
"This is a common issue for lots of
companies since traditionally each store
is judged on its sales figures," Sonier
says. "If you're Store A and you sell
something from Store B's inventory, it's
great for you because you just had to do
a few keystrokes. Store B has to package
and ship the item. So it's probably not
fair for just one of the stores to get
the credit."
Sonier recommends that when looking
to implement a comprehensive order
management system, executives include
store operations personnel in the
discussion. "Everyone figures out the

incentive element their own way," he
says, "but it's critical to get the opinion
of the people at the store level since
they're the most affected by this issue."
Devlyn Optics worked out a plan
where basically each store that's
involved in a part of a sale gets a
credit. "The goal is to change the
calculus of the sales and focus on
overall sales for the company," Devlyn
says. "We have to change the way we
do compensation packages so that
instead of sales they're focused on
great customer experience."
The company is slowly moving the
system to its other stores, adjusting as
it goes. "It's better to fix any issues
on a smaller scale first than to quickly
introduce it company-wide and deal
with them across 1,200 stores,"
Devlyn says.
SHOCKING RESULTS
Results created a shockwave through
the company. When in-store inventory
was exposed on the new system, online
conversion rates increased 150 percent
over the previous year.
"Each store now has access to more
than 10,000 SKUs, compared to before
when they only had what was in-store,
which was around 500," Devlyn says.
"The question now becomes, 'How do
you help a customer find what they want
when you have so many SKUs?'"
One area the company is addressing is
a renewed focus on associate training,
giving them skills to help assist the
customer's search for frames.
"Modernizing inventory management
helps the business focus on other areas
of need, such as personalization and
curating a selection of products for that
particular consumer," Sonier says.
Devlyn is already aiming at his next
challenge, which he sees in AI. "We hope
to eventually give customers the same
type of concierge service they receive in
the store online, which, as we see every
day, is something that's becoming closer
to reality."
John Morell is a Los Angeles-based writer who
has covered retail and business topics for a
number of publications around the world.
STORES August 2017 51


http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine -August 2017

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
Trends
Retail People
Hot 100 Retailers
Forward Thinkers
Personalized Pricing
C2W
Q&A
Store Operations
Omnichannel
Marketing
Online
Finance
Business Operations
Startup Spotlight
Security
Fraud
STORES at 100
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - intro
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover1
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover2
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 4
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 5
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 7
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 9
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF News
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Trends
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 13
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 14
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 15
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail People
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 17
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 18
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Hot 100 Retailers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 20
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 21
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 22
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 23
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 24
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 25
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 26
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 27
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 28
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 29
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 30
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 31
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 32
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 33
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 34
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 35
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Forward Thinkers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 37
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 38
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 39
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Personalized Pricing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 41
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 42
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - C2W
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Q&A
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 45
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 47
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Omnichannel
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 49
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Marketing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 51
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Online
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 53
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Finance
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 55
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Business Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Startup Spotlight
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 58
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Security
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 60
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Fraud
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 62
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 63
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - STORES at 100
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF Communities Update
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover4
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