Bad Boy is a leading retailer of furniture, appliances, mattresses, and electronics in Canada. In 1955, the Bad Boy phenomenon was born. Mel Lastman opened his first Bad Boy store in Toronto Ontario, stating that Bad Boy was “the place to shop”. The store quickly grew in popularity and eventually, Mel turned 1 store into 40 locations across Canada. In 1972, Mel decided to turn his attention to politics leading him to sell the store which eventually closed under new ownership.
At the time, 14-year-old son of Mel, Blayne Lastman, didn’t give up on his high hopes for the Bad Boy entity. In 1991, Blayne was ready and had reopened the store. To re-establish themselves as an industry leader, Blayne invested in comical promotional initiatives which proved to be invaluable to Bad Boy’s success! Today, customers can walk into any of the 12 locations, or you can conveniently shop online at www.badboy.ca
Bad Boy is a family-run company committed to their 5 pillars of business: Quality, Selection, Service, Value and Price. Price matching with competitors, offering a lifetime price guarantee and their promise to “Never Be Undersold” outlines their commitment to always offer great products and value. Bad Boy currently has over 300 employees, operates 12 locations and one 110,000 square foot warehouse to ensure speedy delivery for all customers in the Ontario, Canada area.
Bad Boy had been using an antiquated system for some time and found the lack of integration capabilities, especially with their Magento website, a disadvantage. Systems weren’t integrated, information was not up to date in real-time and the sales staff had become accustomed to manual processes that slowed company growth.
In the furniture retail industry, it is not uncommon for a customer to place their order and expect delivery at a later date. Given the nature of the industry, the front desk staff was dealing with a number of support requests. When a customer did call with an inquiry, it required the sales team to take the extra time to find the relevant information pertaining to the order.
Since employees did not have an accurate view of inventory levels, they would often allocate product that was already allocated to another sales order, in the hopes to provide great customer service. Instead, it led to even longer wait times and disappointed customers.
In order to provide better customer service, Bad Boy started the hunt for a Furniture store software that would allow their 130+ sales floor employees access to all customer sales and inventory information on one screen and in a simple way. In addition to providing easy access to the information, Bad Boy management also had to keep in mind data security and costs. Part of the challenge was finding a solution that allowed management to control user settings and keeping costs reasonable with so many employees.
Bad Boy found most software vendors lacked the personability they hoped for. After meeting with the Blue Link team, Bad Boy made the decision on their trusted technology partner and realized that Blue Link solved many of their pain points and also included ongoing support and reliability unlike any other vendor. Blue Link is an all-in-one ERP Solution that provides retail furniture software and includes SSRS as part of the base application and monthly fee which became the answer to the sales floor issue. Currently, Bad Boy uses a multitude of custom developed SQL Reports to gain insight into efficiencies across the entire business.
Two specific reports, the Inventory Item Overview and the Sales Order Report are easily accessible via tablet by sales floor employees.
The use of these two reports allows employees to assist customers with their order status and recommend appropriate next steps. The reports use a browser to show employees the same information that is within Blue Link ERP, without the need to have an individual Blue Link user account. This makes access simple, secure and within budget considerations. Staff accesses the information via tablet so they can walk the sales floor while on the call to provide the best possible service.
What is SQL?
SQL is a language that speaks to databases to retrieve information. Blue Link ERP, among many other ERP solutions, are built using the Microsoft database.
What is SSRS?
SSRS or SQL Server Reporting Services is a reporting tool special to the Microsoft database. SSRS uses SQL to provide you with SQL Reports full of customizable data with the ability to drill down. A single SQL report can combine information from multiple sources and can do so over multiple pages. SQL Reports include traditional data, tabular information and graphics making information simple to understand. If you want to see Blue Link ERP – SQL Reports watch this short video.
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As a result of implementing Blue Link’s retail furniture software and SSRS, Bad Boy salespeople now have insight into real-time accurate inventory levels and sales order information. These two reports are what Bad Boy employees needed to amp up their customer service. Employees can provide a status update to the customer quickly with the Sales Order Report and if a customer says they don’t want to wait for an item, employees can use the Inventory Overview Report to see what other locations have the product (or similar) on hand. This eliminates the practice of employees taking inventory from other open sales orders. Between the two screens, employees can follow up with customers regarding payment, offer similar products if the one they ordered is on backorder, they can upsell and can also look up historical sales. Information is at the salespeople’s fingertips, and they are able to make properly informed decisions to ensure the customer experience is always positive. Management can rest assured that their employees are well informed and conducting business as efficiently as possible. As their trusted technology partner, Blue Link and Bad Boy work closely together to ensure their processes – on and off the sales floor – are at their most efficient.
Bad Boy and Blue Link have worked together as partners for over three years. I can confidently say that Blue Link is not only an excellent partner as it pertains to our ERP implementation, but also on our overall business needs. Blue Link looks at the various business challenges and opportunities and finds ways to provide solutions.