Auto Service World
News   March 14, 2012   by Auto Service World

Canadian Tire Completes Rollout of Epicor Electronic Catalogue

Epicor Software Corporation has announced that Canadian Tire Corporation has completed the conversion of its retail stores to the Epicor LaserCat 3 electronic catalogue interface.

Canadian Tire operates 489 full-service retail stores across Canada.

This investment was part of the company’s comprehensive Automotive Infrastructure initiative, which updated all software and hardware across the chain.

The Epicor LaserCat 3 interface is one of the most popular catalogue solutions for automotive parts resellers and has been implemented by several premier retail organizations. The bi-lingual tool features a highly intuitive, Microsoft Windows-based interface that is designed to make even the most experienced parts professionals more effective.

Canadian Tire chose the LaserCat 3 solution after an extensive study that included feedback from its own parts counter professionals. “We are investing in best-in-class information, selling tools and training to empower our staff to provide a superior automotive customer experience. Epicor and LaserCat 3 are playing central roles in this initiative,” said Jim McCown, vice president of automotive, Canadian Tire.

The LaserCat 3 interface provides all of the information the counterperson needs to complete virtually any parts sale. Users can easily navigate between the latest parts information, a comprehensive flat-rate labour guide and other seamlessly integrated tools to quickly and easily identify and sell the right products for any repair. In addition, Canadian Tire now utilizes Epicor parts data both at the counter and on its website, which helps eliminate user errors and confusion among retail customers.

“The new catalogue allows us to find parts and other information much faster,” said Bill Konlup, parts manager at Canadian Tire’s Edmonton West store in Edmonton, Alta., and recipient of the 2011 Counterperson of the Year Award from Jobber News magazine. “I get all of the information I need with just a few clicks, which leads to a much better customer experience.”

The LaserCat 3 interface also helps users of all skill levels identify and sell all of the products the customer actually needs — rather than only what they might initially request — and enables Canadian Tire parts professionals to recommend the best products for the customer’s needs. The user interface consolidates critical part and application information within a single screen and enables users to launch lookups with any of three types of inputs — year/make/model/engine, vehicle identification number or part description. Its advanced logic dramatically reduces the number of clicks required for most lookups and allows the counterperson to reduce or eliminate the need to take notes when serving a customer.

The interface is linked to the comprehensive Epicor PartExpert database, which provides Canadian Tire store professionals with the industry’s most extensive set of manufacturer product data and vehicle applications.

The new interface also includes the Epicor PartExpert Editor, which enables Canadian Tire and other users to augment their catalogue data with additional information to eliminate lost sales, reduce returns and sell parts that otherwise would not display. Users also have access to the Epicor All Lines and InterChange modules, which help maximize sales of existing inventories and enable counter professionals to search for parts beyond their standard suppliers.

Access to several other value-added databases — including the Epicor BuyerAssist guide, LaborExpert flat-rate labour guide and Service Intervals Plus OE-recommended maintenance schedules — also is included, enabling users to quickly and easily switch back and forth between databases while serving the customer. Counter professionals also can easily access detailed part photos and diagrams, installation instructions and other important information via the integrated Epicor Cover-to-Cover module.

“We’re more likely to find and sell the right part for every customer using this new tool,” Konlup said. “We can locate the parts easier and the breadth of lines is much greater. If it’s not in our system, I’m now 99-percent certain that the part is not available anywhere in the aftermarket.”

The LaserCat 3 catalogue interface has helped parts businesses of all sizes provide increased value through more efficient, accurate and complete service, according to Paul Salsgiver, executive vice president and general manager of retail software at Epicor. “Customers expect increased speed, convenience and professionalism from every business, including their parts providers,” Salsgiver said. “The LaserCat 3 interface enables the user to provide a truly differentiated customer experience. It’s not simply about looking up parts, but also providing photos, wiring diagrams and other important information that helps speed the repair and eliminate returns and other issues.”

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