10 years ago

How Ace Hardware Corp. Uses Oracle Data Quality Products to Improve Online Product Search

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 Ace Hardware logo with the slogan The Helpful Place.

Ace Hardware Corp. is known for its customer service.  It has more than 4,500 stores in the United States and more than 60 in other countries.   The company wanted to give its associates and retailers the chance to find information quickly so that they could in turn assist customers in finding the right products for any need they have.

The company already has ACENET, which is a portal that Ace retailers can access to search for products.  The system has data on more than 90,000 stock-keeping units and gets close to 130,000 hits in a day.  ACENET is already powered by Oracle Endeca Guided Search, making the searches fast and accurate.  But still, Ace Hardware needed to organize and standardize the system to make it easy to identify products and its locations more effectively.

Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Product Data Parsing and Standardization

So what did the company do?  Use Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Product Data Parsing and Standardization.

Aside from having to deal with tens of thousands of constantly changing SKUs, 129,000 hits, and 4,600 locations, Ace Hardware also needed to make sure that each product entry in ACENET uses standard product and search attributes with a standard product data definition.  They wanted Ace retailers to have accurate and updated information, and they wanted to allow their employees to do product comparisons so that they could give suggestions if a particular product is not available.  Ultimately, the company wanted to increase ACENET’s use and adoption.

The Solution

Ace Hardware undertook the following steps:

  • The company made use of Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Product Data Parsing and Standardization to help streamline new entries to the ACENET system.  They were able to standardize the names of the manufacturer, the brands and the item attributes.  The result made search more effective.
  • Ace also made use of a connector that enabled Oracle Enterprise Data Quality to work with Oracle Endeca, which handled the system’s search.  This enabled them to automate the dimension management as well as include item facets to implement guided navigation.
  • They also worked on increasing customer in-store sales by improving on how they organized the products and increasing findability.

The results?  Every day, the company was able to standardize, update and verify more than 10,000 product data attributes covering around 900 categories of merchandise.

They were also able to increase retailer confidence in ACENET, leading to a 300% increase in retailer adoption.

No more unnecessary drop shipment costs because now the staff can see if there are similar products that they could suggest in case something that the customer wants is not available. Or they could see if the item is available in nearby stores.

What’s more, because of the new system, Ace Hardware was also able to come up with product lists, such as hurricane preparation kits featuring items that you would need in order to be best prepared to weather through a hurricane.  This way, retailers would find it easier to just order items that may be in high demand just by looking at the lists.

It is amazing how good quality data can help transform your operations and allow you to get more sales.  If you want to do what Ace Hardware has done, call Four Cornerstone today!  We can help you use Oracle software to come up with sustainable solutions to your business problems!

Source: Oracle.

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