Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions
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Officer Q&A Questions

Morning session

3:42 – With regards to Ace’s Weber advertising, it frequently over-dominates the circulars. It seems that the front page of the circulars might be better used to promote new, exciting and useful products that don’t start at $399. In addition, the free assembly and delivery really should be left up to the stores. What are your thoughts on this?
5:26 – Instant rebates have created a problem. Ace would like us to order merchandise on bulletin for sales but because of instant rebates, there is little chance to sell through sale merchandise if it does not sell. We are unwilling to purchase an abundance of merchandise ahead of time due to this issue. How can we solve this?
7:41 – With the pending completion of Sherwin-Williams’ acquisition of Valspar, what impact will this have on Ace Hardware, the stores, the Color Crew, etc.? And in a similar situation, what’s Ace’s initial response to the Stanley Black & Decker acquisition of Craftsman and how might this benefit or harm us?
12:05 – When Ace nationally advertises premium brands like Toro, YETI, Big Green Egg, Stihl, etc., it creates a problem for us and leaves a bad taste with customers because we cannot order these items. Wasn’t the reason we dropped Benjamin Moore because it could not be offered to all Ace retailers? Why are any of these different? I and quite a few other dealers feel that if we are going to bring in a line of products, it should be available to all of the owners at Ace.
14:50 – Regarding The Supply Place, it seems that we have directed our efforts to only increasing the business with current commercial customers. Has there been any thought given to recruiting new customers via direct mail or possibly a Dream and Send email ad?
17:50 – Are there any plans to improve the process for ordering paint chips? We used to send an order as part of our regular stock order. The current process of entering information in ACENET is very cumbersome.
18:25 – Can you tell us a little more about what is happening with Lowe’s and Ace Hardware in Canada?
20:45 – The merchandise teams have certainly hit some home runs lately with Weber, Big Green Egg, Traeger and YETI. Can you give us a peek at the next slugger to the plate?
23:40 – In regards to the proposed tax plan, what percent of purchases of Ace are imports?
24:30 – When is pallet pricing going to be available on ACENET for all bagged goods? Only some products have this option currently.
26:20 – If we have inventory left in the store, we should be able to use Instant Saving rebates until our stock is depleted, or at least back to normal shelf inventory. Why can’t we?
27:10 – Why does Ace put products on AceHardware.com for lower than what we can buy them for?
28:50 – It would be helpful to review and revise the protocol that’s used to name the promotional files that are downloaded to the stores. It’s not easy to know what “11611...” is. Sometimes we have multiple Red Hot Buys promo files in our POS with no specific month designation. Can this be reworked so files names make more sense?
30:28 – Does the management team understand that ship-to-store for unavailable advertised premium brands is very poor customer service?
31:40 – We just completed our LED bulb next gen reset and pulled most of the high-priced, non-moving SKUs out of the set. We’re taking advantage of the buy-back offer to offset the cost of the SKU removal, but we’ve found that just 60% of the items will meet the dollar return limit. We will have to eat the rest of the cost. What additional efforts from a merchandising standpoint are we making to leverage vendors to help offset these pending losses in a category that’s moving so swiftly?
33:33 – ACENET keyword search needs help. When searching for an item, more often than not unrelated items show up. What does the future of ACENET search look like?
35:15 – How can we get the replenishment planner to keep more inventory in the Princeton warehouse? On numerous occasions it has been out of core and seasonal products.
36:40 – Should Valspar be one of our Best Brands?
37:30 – When is the 2% adder fee going to be dropped when buying from Ascendant/LaGasse?

Afternoon session

40:36 – ACENET Direct is a great tool but it appears to have some growing pains. I have placed two orders with one vendor and have yet to receive product. In addition, the program needs to expand to include all of the products for the vendor and not just the ACENET items. Doing this would facilitate the dropship ordering we do all the time. Are there any plans to make improvements to ACENET Direct?
42:48 – We’ve had a lot of problems trying to reorder times that our warehouse is out of stock on, but Ace had several thousand in other warehouses. Is there anything being done to address this issue?
44:02 – What is the strategy behind the paint Buy 2, get One free offers? Our experience has been that when we offer multiple lines of paint with varying price points, customers choose the least expensive product. Please define the goal of including all hour lines in these promotions.
45:58 – Can Ace please stop sending emails to consumers for merchandise we are out of in our RSC? These are items we carry in store and cannot get due to being out of stock in our RSC. We would like to be able to purchase the same items that you are promoting online. This is an inventory issue, not an email issue.
47:04 – What does Ace seem to celebrate the independent Ace stores while constantly rewarding those stores that conform to the numerous hurdles created at Oak Brook? Suggest we have a “least compliant, most profitable” award.
49:36 – Will shipments from the RSC ever come in order of my store location’s scheme? If I use best practices to locate items in my store, and you have the info, is there a way that RSC shipments are packaged according to my location? This would very much shorten out sort time.
50:59 – I have not seen any statistics on fill rates recently. I feel that mine has gotten worse (out of Rockland, Calif.). Can you provide some feedback on fill rates and how things are going?
52:32 – Why do we need Ace Brand Place? The user interface is not very friendly.
54:20 – Is it just me or do the Ace retail consultants (District Managers) seem to be more oriented toward selling new product than helping sell what we already have. I feel pushed, pushed, pushed and I don’t feel like I’m getting help with what I need help with.
57:01 – Will we get to an integrated offering to all customers of all products, including separately priced for B2B, through one internet site?
58:15 – Years ago we were able to take our ad book and place the order in the same order it appeared in the book. Not anymore. I made inquiries but didn’t get a good explanation. Now we must either waste an inordinate amount of time following the book or enter each SKU and then the quantity. When you multiply the labor involving thousands of stores by the extra keystrokes, it seems logical to go back to the previous order.
59:29 – The After Hours at the conventions are fun, but when are we going to go back to something other than country? How about some AC/DC?
60:14 – Can we simplify back office processing of in-store pick up by maybe letting the customer pay at the store instead of online?
62:35 – When shipping oversized or pallet loads to either customer or retailer, we are unable to obtain a freight rate in ACENET. We need to call the RSC and have a customer service rep obtain this for us. Can these freight rates be integrated into the ship-to-retailer/customer field?
63:44 – Please remind everyone in Oak Brook that there are many stores that do not have 15-20,000 square feet. We’re space-constrained. Separately, is anyone looking at RFID to improve inventory and loss control?
65:57 – Our exterior sign is in need of either repairing or replacing. It’s currently lit with neon and is constantly in need of expensive maintenance. As important as our exterior signage is to our brand, why isn’t there a strong program with deferred payments to make it less painful to implement upgrading?
67:57 – Regarding ACENET: it’s very painful having to constantly log in and out and see error messages. Is corporate looking at the message boards to see the daily issues we as owners have to deal with when it comes to ACENET? How are things with ACENET going, and when’s it going to improve even more?
69:22 – Why in the world would we have an order minimum of 21 on the ever-popular whiskey barrel planter in the May circulars?
70:27 – When we embrace one of the Discovery Edge programs, we need to be able to have faith that once we make room for the set, that we’ll be able to get the product regularly from the RSC.
71:37 – We need to make sure no matter whatever level reset you are buying, whether it be 1, 2 or 3, that all products come segregated. Right now if a reset is ordered by bulletin, it does not come segregated, which is very labor intensive and makes an owner regret bringing a reset. When will a change take place where everything is segregated?
72:56 – Ace descriptions are awful and have lost all credibility. If the description says it is “blue,” you wonder if it really is that color. When will this be fixed?
74:02 – Can we boil the systems down to one system with one login for everything?
74:42 - Any update on patronage?
Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions
Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

Officer Q&A Questions

Morning session

3:42 – With regards to Ace’s Weber advertising, it frequently over-dominates the circulars. It seems that the front page of the circulars might be better used to promote new, exciting and useful products that don’t start at $399. In addition, the free assembly and delivery really should be left up to the stores. What are your thoughts on this?
5:26 – Instant rebates have created a problem. Ace would like us to order merchandise on bulletin for sales but because of instant rebates, there is little chance to sell through sale merchandise if it does not sell. We are unwilling to purchase an abundance of merchandise ahead of time due to this issue. How can we solve this?
7:41 – With the pending completion of Sherwin-Williams’ acquisition of Valspar, what impact will this have on Ace Hardware, the stores, the Color Crew, etc.? And in a similar situation, what’s Ace’s initial response to the Stanley Black & Decker acquisition of Craftsman and how might this benefit or harm us?
12:05 – When Ace nationally advertises premium brands like Toro, YETI, Big Green Egg, Stihl, etc., it creates a problem for us and leaves a bad taste with customers because we cannot order these items. Wasn’t the reason we dropped Benjamin Moore because it could not be offered to all Ace retailers? Why are any of these different? I and quite a few other dealers feel that if we are going to bring in a line of products, it should be available to all of the owners at Ace.
14:50 – Regarding The Supply Place, it seems that we have directed our efforts to only increasing the business with current commercial customers. Has there been any thought given to recruiting new customers via direct mail or possibly a Dream and Send email ad?
17:50 – Are there any plans to improve the process for ordering paint chips? We used to send an order as part of our regular stock order. The current process of entering information in ACENET is very cumbersome.
18:25 – Can you tell us a little more about what is happening with Lowe’s and Ace Hardware in Canada?
20:45 – The merchandise teams have certainly hit some home runs lately with Weber, Big Green Egg, Traeger and YETI. Can you give us a peek at the next slugger to the plate?
23:40 – In regards to the proposed tax plan, what percent of purchases of Ace are imports?
24:30 – When is pallet pricing going to be available on ACENET for all bagged goods? Only some products have this option currently.
26:20 – If we have inventory left in the store, we should be able to use Instant Saving rebates until our stock is depleted, or at least back to normal shelf inventory. Why can’t we?
27:10 – Why does Ace put products on AceHardware.com for lower than what we can buy them for?
28:50 – It would be helpful to review and revise the protocol that’s used to name the promotional files that are downloaded to the stores. It’s not easy to know what “11611...” is. Sometimes we have multiple Red Hot Buys promo files in our POS with no specific month designation. Can this be reworked so files names make more sense?
30:28 – Does the management team understand that ship-to-store for unavailable advertised premium brands is very poor customer service?
31:40 – We just completed our LED bulb next gen reset and pulled most of the high-priced, non-moving SKUs out of the set. We’re taking advantage of the buy-back offer to offset the cost of the SKU removal, but we’ve found that just 60% of the items will meet the dollar return limit. We will have to eat the rest of the cost. What additional efforts from a merchandising standpoint are we making to leverage vendors to help offset these pending losses in a category that’s moving so swiftly?
33:33 – ACENET keyword search needs help. When searching for an item, more often than not unrelated items show up. What does the future of ACENET search look like?
35:15 – How can we get the replenishment planner to keep more inventory in the Princeton warehouse? On numerous occasions it has been out of core and seasonal products.
36:40 – Should Valspar be one of our Best Brands?
37:30 – When is the 2% adder fee going to be dropped when buying from Ascendant/LaGasse?

Afternoon session

40:36 – ACENET Direct is a great tool but it appears to have some growing pains. I have placed two orders with one vendor and have yet to receive product. In addition, the program needs to expand to include all of the products for the vendor and not just the ACENET items. Doing this would facilitate the dropship ordering we do all the time. Are there any plans to make improvements to ACENET Direct?
42:48 – We’ve had a lot of problems trying to reorder times that our warehouse is out of stock on, but Ace had several thousand in other warehouses. Is there anything being done to address this issue?
44:02 – What is the strategy behind the paint Buy 2, get One free offers? Our experience has been that when we offer multiple lines of paint with varying price points, customers choose the least expensive product. Please define the goal of including all hour lines in these promotions.
45:58 – Can Ace please stop sending emails to consumers for merchandise we are out of in our RSC? These are items we carry in store and cannot get due to being out of stock in our RSC. We would like to be able to purchase the same items that you are promoting online. This is an inventory issue, not an email issue.
47:04 – What does Ace seem to celebrate the independent Ace stores while constantly rewarding those stores that conform to the numerous hurdles created at Oak Brook? Suggest we have a “least compliant, most profitable” award.
49:36 – Will shipments from the RSC ever come in order of my store location’s scheme? If I use best practices to locate items in my store, and you have the info, is there a way that RSC shipments are packaged according to my location? This would very much shorten out sort time.
50:59 – I have not seen any statistics on fill rates recently. I feel that mine has gotten worse (out of Rockland, Calif.). Can you provide some feedback on fill rates and how things are going?
52:32 – Why do we need Ace Brand Place? The user interface is not very friendly.
54:20 – Is it just me or do the Ace retail consultants (District Managers) seem to be more oriented toward selling new product than helping sell what we already have. I feel pushed, pushed, pushed and I don’t feel like I’m getting help with what I need help with.
57:01 – Will we get to an integrated offering to all customers of all products, including separately priced for B2B, through one internet site?
58:15 – Years ago we were able to take our ad book and place the order in the same order it appeared in the book. Not anymore. I made inquiries but didn’t get a good explanation. Now we must either waste an inordinate amount of time following the book or enter each SKU and then the quantity. When you multiply the labor involving thousands of stores by the extra keystrokes, it seems logical to go back to the previous order.
59:29 – The After Hours at the conventions are fun, but when are we going to go back to something other than country? How about some AC/DC?
60:14 – Can we simplify back office processing of in-store pick up by maybe letting the customer pay at the store instead of online?
62:35 – When shipping oversized or pallet loads to either customer or retailer, we are unable to obtain a freight rate in ACENET. We need to call the RSC and have a customer service rep obtain this for us. Can these freight rates be integrated into the ship-to-retailer/customer field?
63:44 – Please remind everyone in Oak Brook that there are many stores that do not have 15-20,000 square feet. We’re space-constrained. Separately, is anyone looking at RFID to improve inventory and loss control?
65:57 – Our exterior sign is in need of either repairing or replacing. It’s currently lit with neon and is constantly in need of expensive maintenance. As important as our exterior signage is to our brand, why isn’t there a strong program with deferred payments to make it less painful to implement upgrading?
67:57 – Regarding ACENET: it’s very painful having to constantly log in and out and see error messages. Is corporate looking at the message boards to see the daily issues we as owners have to deal with when it comes to ACENET? How are things with ACENET going, and when’s it going to improve even more?
69:22 – Why in the world would we have an order minimum of 21 on the ever-popular whiskey barrel planter in the May circulars?
70:27 – When we embrace one of the Discovery Edge programs, we need to be able to have faith that once we make room for the set, that we’ll be able to get the product regularly from the RSC.
71:37 – We need to make sure no matter whatever level reset you are buying, whether it be 1, 2 or 3, that all products come segregated. Right now if a reset is ordered by bulletin, it does not come segregated, which is very labor intensive and makes an owner regret bringing a reset. When will a change take place where everything is segregated?
72:56 – Ace descriptions are awful and have lost all credibility. If the description says it is “blue,” you wonder if it really is that color. When will this be fixed?
74:02 – Can we boil the systems down to one system with one login for everything?
74:42 - Any update on patronage?
Officer Q&A Questions

Officer Q&A Questions

Live Ace Officer Q&A - January 2017

Did you miss this week's live officer Q&A, or want to watch the event again? The live Brandlive broadcasts that took place on Wed. Jan. 18 are now available.
 
Both the morning and afternoon sessions included live remarks from President and CEO John Venhuizen and were moderated by Kane Calamari, VP of Human Resources, Organizational Development, Communications, Ace Foundation and Customer Care.
Other participating officers included:
 
  • Frank Carroll - Vice President of Merchandising
  • Lori Bossman - Executive Vice President, Supply Chain, Inventory Replenishment, Retail Support, Loss Prevention and Property Administration
  • Brian Wiborg - Vice President, Retail Development and Supply
We've provided timestamps for every retailer question answered on-air, so it's easier for you to locate responses. Over the coming days, we will also be updating this page to respond to some of the retailer questions that we were not able to answer during the recorded sessions. Please note that we did have some technical difficulties with the afternoon session, so it is primarily an audio-only recording. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Did you enjoy the event? Would you like to see more of these in the future? Do you have a suggestion for improvements? Please give us your feedback by taking this brief survey.

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