"Customers can come to this beautiful showroom, see what they’re looking for here and ultimately go buy it somewhere else. What stops that from happening is ensuring we provide service that truly sets us apart."
Since their humble beginnings in 1921, BENDER Supply has evolved into the largest retail and wholesale provider of home design products in Connecticut. With 8 locations and 6 showrooms, BENDER continues to do what it takes to provide service that sets them apart and deliver on promises more accurately than ever before. Behind the scenes, the leading distributor utilizes DDI System’s Inform ERP Software to manage operations seamlessly and stand out as a distributor of choice.
Using Technology to Serve Customers
BENDER began as a traditional plumbing wholesaler, and still caters to local tradesmen with a wide range of PHCP, PVF & HVAC materials. As customer needs evolved, BENDER seized an opportunity to also add attainable luxury products such as kitchen and bath cabinetry, lighting, tile and stone to it’s product offering. To stay in sync with both their trade and retail customers, BENDER relied on Inform ERP. The system manages everything from proper inventory control to billing, sales performance, and stock — all of which are critical for a business like BENDER to operate successfully and continue on a growth trajectory.
“With the right technology on board, BENDER’s team is able to provide customers with valuable information like stock levels, lead times for orders, order tracking, status updates, and ultimately, when a customer’s project will be completed,” says Director of Operations Mark Chirgwin.
CRM Identifies Missed Opportunities
BENDER utilizes Inform’s embedded CRM functionality to continue to provide the all important customer focus. The system is able to differentiate between trade and retail customers by using their unique information in preferences and projects to connect. In addition, it helps to notify users to follow up with customers with open quotes and proposals. The calendaring and task follow-up feature has helped BENDER make significant progress. “We had a customer that our team wanted to stop quoting to because they never ordered and instead went with our competitors,” Chirgwin said. ”When we got everyone using Inform’s native CRM, we realized no one had been following up with the customer after they’d been provided the quotes. We used the task management feature of the CRM screen, began following up with the customer and were able to win their business.” Stephanie, the New Haven showroom Manager, says Inform helps her pull reports and manage sales teams more effectively. “We use the pipeline report and that is so great for the team because it gives us a way to follow up and put notes in. It truly helps us form better connections with our customers.”
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