Home Depot Regional Store
PRODUCT SELECTION/CUSTOMER INTERFACE MODULE
Home Depot needed a simple to use, web based tool for commercial customers to allow the end user to be able to select products from their local store’s current inventory of products actually immediately available from inventory and to be able to enter them into a basic purchase order format that the customer could then email or fax to the local store so that once ordered. The store employees then in turn could pull the inventory, put it into customer pickup so that all the customer had to do was come to the store and load the products onto their truck and sign for the purchase.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was having a very serious problem with incorrectly order materials and a resultant high return of products that would often be out of their original packaging and sometimes damaged. This was causing a serious problem with their customer base because of lost time, refusal of the return of damaged or unpacked products and a general frustration on both the part of their customers as well as their store employees. It also was costing each store thousands of dollars in lost employee time re-stocking and re-packaging the returned materials as well as a problem with bad will between the store and their commercial customers.
Our task was to develop a system that allowed the customer to be more actively involved in the order process, with an inventory interface that allowed the customer to be able to pre-select from the existing product inventory actually at their local store, which greatly reduced the confusion of the customer ordering a product that was not in inventory and the resultant errors caused by a store employee trying to cross reference a replacement products from the actual existing inventory that often did not meet the need of the customer’s particular requirements.
The system that we developed for Home Depot allowed the customer to easily select from the actual existing products that were in the inventory of their local store, and when they selected the product from a simple dropdown interface, the product listing would show with the proper sizing, SKU coding, pricing, as well as other pertinent data to allow the customer to review their order before placing it with the store. When the order was placed, the inventory required would be immediately put on hold so that the customer would not get to the store expecting to pick up the inventory only to find that it had been sold before they arrived. This process allowed for a significant reduction in returns and created a tremendous goodwill between the customer, the store employees and the store itself.