STORES Magazine - May 2009 - (Page 49)

NUTS AND BOLTS / CUSTOMER SERVICE Driven to Please BY M.V. GREENE SaaS system powers Arhaus Furniture’s white glove deliveries A chieving premier status at anything is a high threshold to meet, but Cleveland-based Arhaus Furniture strives to excel on two fronts – the quality products in its showrooms and its back-of fice logistics. In the retail furniture business, a smooth-running logistical function means customers receive delivery and set-up of their bedroom, dining room and living room pieces within a reasonable amount of time following purchase. It also means superior customer service that will translate into future sales. Arhaus takes a “white glove” approach to customer service and delivery, says vice president of logistics John Roddy. This includes meticulously unpacking and setting up new furniture, removing replaced items and discarding packing materials. Arhaus delivery people, who wear plastic booties or remove their shoes when entering a customer’s home, will even fluff the pillows. “We do deliveries incredibly cheap for what it costs us to do,” he says. “There’s a lot of time involved. We’ll move piecefor-piece on the same floor, so if you order a new bedroom suite and your WWW.STORES.ORG bedroom’s sitting there, we’ll tear it down and move it to a different room [before we] put our new one in.” Making more than 1,000 deliveries a week, Arhaus operates a sophisticated logistical operation. Rather than delivering from the backrooms of its retail stores, Arhaus delivers from a central warehouse in Cleveland, routing drivers and loading items from that location before transporting them to neighborhoods across the country. The goal, Roddy says, is “if it is in stock in my warehouse, we can deliver it to you within 10 calendar days. Usually it is around eight days, anywhere in the country.” With 35 showrooms in 13 states, Arhaus meets that tall order by relying on the ETAdirect customer appointment and mobile workforce management system from another Clevelandarea company. TOA Technologies employs a webbased, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to give companies like Arhaus increased visibility into their logistics op- Arhaus Furniture reduced delivery windows to an hour in most markets STORES / MAY 2009 49 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2009

STORES Magazine - May 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Facts to Chew On
What Shoppers Think
Deals "R" Us
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Brand X Power
Home Improvement
Credit Where Credit's Due
Locate, Locate, Locate
New Playbook
Staying in the Fast Lane
Clean and Green
Driven to Please
Farm System
Rx for Shrink
Zeroing Out Zombies
Rogues Gallery
Ounce of Prevention
Loeb Retail Letter
Chain Action
Optimism Rocks
ARTS Update
Point of View
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2009