Cavender's is a legendary western and workwear retail chain based in Tyler, Texas. Founded in 1965, the family-owned brand currently has 84 stores in 14 states, as well as a strong online presence. Cavender’s is also famous for its rodeo booths.
According to Larry Waterman, executive vice president and chief operating officer, relationships have always been the foundation of Cavender’s success.
When Waterman joined Cavender’s in 2018, he recognized that it needed an electronic data interchange (EDI) vendor that could deliver the strong partnership orientation the company required.
After considering several options, Cavender’s selected TrueCommerce for its EDI technology and longstanding experience in the clothing industry. The retailer also saw a significant potential for efficiency gains and competitive advantages across multiple business areas.
“Where we see the biggest initial return on our TrueCommerce investment is through improved collaboration with our largest vendors,” Waterman explains. “We’re now able to provide them with analytics that support their production and distribution planning and, ultimately, help ensure that we have the right products in the right places at the right times.
“The TrueCommerce ecUtopia platform gives us multiple ways to enhance productivity internally," adds Waterman. "In particular, we're now able to automate the longstanding manual process of matching up our point of sale (POS), packing slips and invoices. This will benefit store operations, our buying department and, ultimately, even accounts receivable. Thanks to these efficiency gains, we can reallocate payroll from operations to customer-facing roles.”
Cavender’s is also rolling out carton-level receiving, assumed receiving and other operational automations made possible by TrueCommerce technology.
“This process is a journey more than a destination,” Waterman points out. “For example, many of our merchant partners are small businesses. They’re growing with us and gradually creating capabilities of their own. Over time they can take more advantage of what EDI can provide for both them and us.”
Another major business benefit of Cavender's partnership with TrueCommerce is improved visibility for the retailer's hardworking merchandising department.
“Until now, our merchandising organization hasn’t had great visibility into product flow and order fulfillment,” states Waterman. “For example, they might not know there was a problem with a vendor not shipping or short-shipping until they got a call from a store manager.”
Adopting TrueCommerce EDI changes that equation.
“Now they’re able to spot these kinds of issues much sooner thanks to automated exception reporting, from a price change between a PO and an invoice to what’s actually on the road to our stores,” Waterman continues. “That’s incredible business enablement.”
The value of Cavender’s relationship with TrueCommerce ecUtopia is enhanced by the EDI solution’s end-to-end integration with Jesta’s Vision Suite ERP platform. Cavender’s first began working with Jesta in 1997, and the relationship has only grown stronger over the years.
“Jesta is a great technology company and a good partner with a win-win mind-set,” notes Waterman. “It has worked synergistically with us and with TrueCommerce to evolve our overall solution along a very aggressive timeline over the past year. I’d characterize this as a constructive three-way partnership.”
“TrueCommerce ecUtopia offers Cavender’s new ways to advance our business, our communications and our partnerships with vendors. It brings rich data analytics to our business and enables us to leverage new opportunities like direct-to-customer vendor shipping and other new distribution strategies — even potentially vendor-managed inventory or vendor-managed analytics,” emphasizes Waterman. “It's a great company with incredible technology and customer support capabilities along with a partnership-oriented approach. I would highly recommend the TrueCommerce ecUtopia platform to other retailers, and I look forward to exploring more opportunities with TrueCommerce.”
Phil Kenney is senior vice president, ecUtopia Division at TrueCommerce, a unified commerce platform.
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