Appliance Dealers Cooperative (ADC), a chapter of the powerful NECO Alliance retail co-op, has launched a new end-to-end digital platform designed to level the playing field with larger online and multichannel competitors.
The fully-integrated solution, from Philadelphia-based HomeSource, provides ADC members with real-time inventory status; instant access to sales and marketing data; customized quotes or proposals; rebate and incentive information; and in-store promotional videos from potentially thousands of manufacturers.
Dubbed Centerspec, the platform was developed specifically for small, independent dealers in search of affordable digital solutions.
“We are very proud of what we have developed and accomplished,” said Ken Miele, ADC’s executive director/CEO. “Mike [Napoletano, ADC president] and I have always felt we needed to be in control of our business and provide our members with the tools needed to compete and succeed in the marketplace.”
“This platform,” he continued, “allows us to change as quickly as the market evolves, and to be fully in control of new development and enhancements in the future. We felt it was a priority to deliver a comprehensive software package that can be managed by the member or directly from our corporate office.”
HomeSource CEO James White said the data management system offers advanced analytics, reporting and store-management tools that were once the province of national retailers alone.
“Until recently, only big-box stores have had the resources to put thousands of product numbers, spec sheets, manuals, and other pieces of information into a system that retail locations could use,” he said. “Suddenly, the small retailer can compete one-on-one with Amazon, Best Buy or Home Depot.”
Online parity has been the Holy Grail of buying groups in recent years, as their management teams worked to build turnkey web design, digital marketing, and data and inventory management systems that can be readily implemented by member dealers.
New Jersey-based ADC was founded in 1972 and is comprised of nearly 200 independent appliance, electronics and home furnishings dealers operating across nine states. Like its three fellow NECO chapters, the co-op maintains its own warehousing, which allows it to buy and stock container-size shipments at competitive prices. The merchandise can then be delivered to dealers in small lots as needed to relieve inventory overhead.
ADC moves over 600,000 units a year and makes more than 44,000 deliveries with its own fleet of trucks, Miele said.
“All to keep the independent dealer competitive,” he added.