iPads To Be Employed for CRM in Furniture Deliveries

Who knew, it saves money to arm delivery guys with iPads.

Arhaus Furniture, an Ohio-based furniture maker with stores across the Midwest and eastern United States, is equipping each of its delivery drivers with an iPad. The company aims not only to cut down on paper usage, but to actually improve sales.

During this fall when the technology will be deployed, drivers will bring the iPad on deliveries and use it as part of a mobile CRM system; iPads will be used to obtain customer signatures, during which customers will also have a chance to view the furniture catalog and a thank-you video message from the company president.

“We look at our drivers as a secondary sales force. Customers might order a sofa but no tables with it. This really becomes more a point-of-sale tool for our drivers, says Roddy.

For a while, the company has been looking for such a mobile, handheld device to allow its drivers to access CRM capabilities, says John Roddy, senior vice president of logistics for Arhaus. However, the fact that these devices are built to handheld size is a problem.

“We have delivery guys who are big, burly guys, and they have problems double keying,” says Roddy. “But then, the new IT directory and I sat down and he threw out the idea of the iPad and I said, ‘Come on – it’s just an oversized phone.” However, Roddy was won over by the iPad when he took it on a summer vacation.

With iPad adoption, Arhaus will be able to compile business apps and CRM solutions it will employ on the one device. The company has been a longtime customer of TOA Technologies (an IT solutions provider), who will produce the signature capture application for Arhaus. TOA already provides an internal workforce management system for the company to schedule deliveries, which can now be accessed through the iPad. Arhaus will also use GPS-based applications on the iPad to track where trucks are.

As amusing as it’s going to be for customers to receive iPads from surly delivery guys, this isn’t a frivolous company purchase. Roddy calculates that by eliminating the paper delivery tickets the company would have printed over the year, Arhaus will pay for the iPads with $10,000 to spare. Roddy also hopes this will cut down on fuel usage, customer service staffing, and truck mileage. This isn’t to mention any possible improvements in customer service, CRM management, sales, etc.

Arhaus will order 40 iPads for the roughly 25 trucks it has on the road each day, and hopes to have the new mobile CRM system in place by this November.


Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] order histories, service issues, and other important data while out in the field. For example, this furniture company arms its delivery drivers with iPads that serve both as a point-of-sale tool, complete with […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.