Customer Success: Ace HArdware

Adding to their Toolbox: Salesforce for Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware invested in a custom CRM solution to gain better insight into store operations and promote employee productivity.

Who is Ace Hardware?

Ace Hardware is a national hardware store chain headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois with over 4,000 locations.

Ace Hardware Project Fast Facts

  • Platform: Salesforce
  • # of employees: 100,000+
  • # of users in deployment: 300
  • Workload Type: Sales (District Managers and Business Development)

The Challenge:

  • Ace Hardware implemented SAP CRM in 2011 and found it unsuccessful from the beginning. They felt SAP was inflexible and unable to meet the specific business needs of their District Managers and Business Development team, such as customized workflows to document investor relationships.
  • One of the key responsibilities for Ace Hardware’s District Managers is to implement new initiatives for their stores to drive revenue, such as selling more paint or creating new product displays. Too often managers would get one of their stores to agree to move forward with a new initiative and then forget to follow-up after the concept was “sold.” Ace Hardware required a solution that would better track and monitor these initiatives.

The Solution:

  • Sonoma Partners implemented Salesforce with an automated lead management process, starting when an interested investor reaches out to Ace Hardware all the way through to the opening of a store.
  • Now completely automated in Salesforce, the lead management process operates as follows:
    • Initial inquiries start from or arrive with the Business Development team.
    • The Business Development team qualifies the lead.
    • Once qualified, Salesforce automatically generates the lead’s contact record.
    • The workflow initiates a background check, qualifies the funds available to invest…etc.
    • Finally, Salesforce launches a workflow that automates the new store set-up process when it leaves the queue of the new Business Development team and the District Managers work the deal from here.
  • Sonoma Partners architected two process flows for opportunities:
    • District Managers use opportunities to track the progress of “selling” a store on implementing an initiative.
    • Once the store agrees to move forward, a second, triggered process flow tracks the store’s progress in actually implementing that initiative.

The Result:

  • Auto-generated reminders for District Managers prompt follow-ups on store initiatives, leading to more effective leadership and more successful implementations of these initiatives.
  • District Managers can more easily track various data points with store visit reports in Salesforce, making individual store management itself much easier.
  • Custom dashboards and reports provide District Managers and Business Development with the information they need in a single, easy-to-read view, such as top/bottom 10 stores YTD and wholesale sales metrics reports.