Home Depot Self-Checkout Boosts Sales, Satisfaction

By Larry Dignan  |  Posted 2005-04-10 Print this article Print

Home Depot asked its customers to work its cash registers. The result: more staffers on the floor to help them put stuff in their carts, and more dollars per customer per visit.

When Home Depot chief executive Robert Nardelli met with Wall Street analysts in January, he said the best way to judge the companys technology overhaul was to listen to the silence that surrounded it.

"In 2004 alone, we completed several significant infrastructure projects including HR PeopleSoft and the largest SAP platform in the world," Nardelli said. "And the good news is, you heard nothing about it."

Translation: No horror stories. No projects run amok. And nothing that hurt sales.

Indeed, since Home Depot announced its plans to increase capital spending 21% to $4 billion for fiscal 2003 in an effort to remodel stores and use technology to improve customer service, the home improvement giant has largely completed its laundry list of activities ("Data Depot," June 2003, p. 60).

That list includes the creation of digital dashboards to monitor store operations, reengineering business processes to focus employees on floor sales, upgrading point-of-sale equipment, speeding up replenishment at stores and implementing SAP.

"Home Depot has utilized technology in a way that allows it to get more labor on the floor," says Tom Moseman, senior vice president at Envirosell, a retail consulting firm. "A couple of years ago, Lowes was doing a better job. Home Depot paid attention and made it clear its not going to surrender."

Read the rest of this story on Home Depot at Baseline magazine
Business Editor
Larry formerly served as the East Coast news editor and Finance Editor at CNET News.com. Prior to that, he was editor of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive Investor, which was, according to Barron's, a Top-10 financial site in the late 1990s. Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine. He's a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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