Huron Scuba - Case Studypdf  
Situation
Huron Scuba sells scuba diving and snorkeling equipment and apparel at its store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as by phone, via its iSnorkel.com web site, and through Amazon. Huron Scuba also conducts PADI training programs, arranges scuba and snorkel expeditions, and rents and services dive equipment. Huron Scuba has received the prestigious Excellence in Retailing Award from the Council on Retail Excellence for four consecutive years.
Challenge
Huron Scuba's POS system tracked inventory levels and customer history and exchanged order data with the iSnorkel.com web site, but product descriptions and images were maintained separately on the Yahoo Store interface. Amazon was not linked to either the POS or the website, and Amazon content was maintained separately. As a result, orders originating in Amazon had to be entered manually into the POS system and the stand-alone shipping system. This was time-consuming: order processing was a two-person, all-day activity, with many opportunities for errors or mis-keying. Product updates had to be made separately and by-hand for each channel, which led to delays before new products could be listed as well as poor synchronization of product images, descriptions, and pricing among channels.

Phone sales and service also relied heavily on manual processes. Notes regarding the availability of a product or the status of an order were captured by sales reps on paper. When customers called for the status of their order or to substitute items or colors, a mad scramble ensued to find the piece of paper containing the customer's information.

With web sales becoming an increasingly larger percentage of overall revenue, Huron Scuba needed a change.

Solution
Huron Scuba now uses on-demand retail management software from CORESense. Designed specifically for multi-channel retail, CORESense automates and integrates product management, inventory management, supplier management, fulfillment and CRM.

Huron Scuba selected CORESense for its ability to manage all sales channels from a single web-based system. New product information and changes to product data are uploaded once to CORESense and available immediately across channels. All customer data is maintained within CORESense, enabling Huron Scuba reps to quickly and easily locate files and respond to customer inquiries. The entire process of managing orders – from capturing the purchase through picking the item from inventory, preparing a packing slip and alerting the customer that their item has shipped – is now handled in CORESense, regardless whether the order originates in-store, at iSnorkel.com, by phone or through Amazon.

Results
Order processing and shipping has been reduced to a single-person job and a half-day's work, for the same volume of business. Staff resources saved have been redeployed to aid the in-store customer service effort, a trademark of the Huron Scuba experience. Huron Scuba is expecting to see an increase in sales across channels due to the productivity gains it will accomplish with CORESense, and the ability to turn over a larger portion of inventory more quickly.

  • Eliminated duplicate data entry and manual order processing
  • Reduced time-to-market for new products due to cross-channel integration
  • Reduced order processing time by a factor of four
  • Improved customer service quality with integrated email and order notes
  • Increased availability of staff resources to support in-store customer service
"We needed a solution that would streamline sales across channels and automate product and order management from end-to-end, and CORESense was the best fit," comments Rachael Kasper, President of Huron Scuba, "I can honestly say the results we are seeing with CORESense are even better than I expected."