Hardware Store

Hardware store franchisee finds the ideal solution for a thriving business

Don’s Home Centres, with two franchise locations, use Vigilant to get Don Freeman out of the office and onto the sales floor

by Andy Shaw

Many independent store owners face a choice between time-consuming and inefficient manual entry systems, and sophisticated, but expensive computerized solutions. Don Freeman, of Don’s Home Centre stores in Linwood and Heidelburg, Ontario, has found the solution for his point of sale needs in Vigilant.

As manually running his business was beginning to eat up his profits and erode customer good-will, Freeman was aware that he must automate his processes. He discovered Vigilant at just the right time.

Vigilant took a two-year history of our customer transactions, as well as our complete 15,000 item inventory, then entered them into the software for us. Even though we’re not computer experts, it’s been really easy to use the product.”

“It’s meant a huge improvement in efficiency,” he explains. “Before we started using Vigilant, we were entering charges manually at the end of each day. With about 1,000 accounts, that took a considerable length of time. Now, we simply enter each customer’s name, and the processing is done automatically.”

The implementation of Vigilant saves Freeman and his employees time, as well as the cost and effort of extensively training new employees. “We used to pay an accountant to do our bookkeeping. With Vigilant, it’s been really easy to train our staff to do accounts receivable entries. We’re saving time, and also giving our customers better

Don Freeman appreciates this improvement. He strives each and every day to service his customers the best he can, as many owners do. Now, with Vigilant, he finds it much simpler to make and keep his customers happy and to return to his store.

Our customers want clear, detailed information about their purchases and accounts. Since westarted using Vigilant, our receipts are cleaner and more precise. And our customers appreciate that. I’m looking forward to expanding our use of Vigilant.

He also loves the Multi-Site Polling feature, which he plans to implement at his store in Heidelburg. He is excited about he idea that he can link his Linwood store with Heidelburg to monitor every aspect of his operations. “It’s just a matter of getting another computer,” he says. “Then we’ll use the software package to improve operations at the second store.”

Andy Shaw is a freelance writer, broadcaster and international journalist with articles in many business and technical publications.

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