Back Office: Quantum Looks to Reach Broader Dealer Base
Why is Q so pricey now? "A lot of the things we do require a lot of data, and that doesn't come free," said Allan. "Even if we gave the software away, there would be a cost to the business for pulling that data together. What we're working on at the moment is how we can make that cheaper. As we experiment, and address more of those roadblocks, it will enable us to scale down further."
For Guitar Center, the goal set for Q was to take a big chunk of inventory out of the stores while increasing overall customer service. "We were able to increase service levels across the board and take 10 percent out of their inventories—obviously, a significant cost savings, which added to their revenue," Allan said. The company's three-and-a-half-year partnership with Quantum also coincided with a 50-store expansion.
Before Guitar Center used Q, in-house forecasting was a major challenge since management had to keep track of more than 7,000 SKUs. Those products ranged from keyboards and amplifiers to iPods and Apple laptops, representing a mix of high- and low-ticket items with varied and volatile lifecycles.