Hardware Retailing

JAN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2018 68 For Star Lumber, payment is usually determined by how often the customer has ordered through the business and the type of order. Cash orders typically require full payment up front, as do other orders that cannot be feasibly repurposed, such as custom paint mixes. "There's a line on each ticket, saying 'S.O. Agreed.' That stands for 'Special Order Agreed,' and it has to be signed off before any order is put through. Once you have everything from the color, the type of product, the style and the manufacturer, you sign off on that," Schawe says. "It can really be anything, from a gallon of paint to 50 gallons, if it's custom mixed that's not something we resell, so we ask for full payment beforehand." Get a Good Look Another way to avoid mistakes is a site visit by a salesperson or trusted partner to a contractor's or builder's location. Mawson Lumber and Hardware in Fort Collins, Colorado, does the majority of its business with builders, often on historical buildings and homes that require great care when finding authentic materials or finishes. When a builder is looking to begin work, a Mawson employee will often visit the job site and take pictures along with measurements. These photos help determine which vendor or mill to use for the job, general manager Mike Fees says. "Before we do the bid process, we do a site review and get as much information as possible. We had a recent order that came from a contractor switching yards, and the reason was the other yard was putting in the measurements wrong. These custom orders carry a high price tag, so we need to make sure these numbers are accurate from the start," Fees says. Vendor Value Managing customer expectations and delivery needs go hand in hand when dealing with vendors, distributors and other professionals who can create or procure the products customers demand. Each step along the way, retailers must maintain contact with these specialized professionals to make sure ordering, manufacturing and final production are all in sync. Methods for developing a strong network of vendors can vary. Star Lumber employs a ONE MOUNT BAR GIVES YOU ACCESS TO 7 ATTACHMENTS (866) 537-6216 | JRCOINC.COM/HRM Heavy-duty Attachments for Commercial Mowers DO MORE WITH YOUR MOWER! DETHATCHER AERATOR SPREADER LEAF PLOW BLOWER BUGGY SPOT SPRAYER TRANSPORTER

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