During last night’s Shop! Awards celebration, Chicago-based store fixture company S-CUBE was honored with the Merriman Above & Beyond Award for its proactive efforts to cut costs and installation time for Books-A-Million. More specifically, the vendor lowered costs by half and reduced its new-store installation timeframe by a week.
Books-A-Million first turned to S-CUBE five years ago for a single item. “Over time we have significantly increased their share of store fixtures due to outstanding service, proactive communication, value-added services, quality control, and attention to detail,” says Daniel Warren, project manager for Books-A-Million.
The annual Merriman Above & Beyond Award recognizes a Shop! member that has delivered extraordinary customer service. Candidates are nominated by a client company and the winner is selected among finalists by Shop! Association leaders.
“We are proud to recognize our members who bring outstanding service to their customers,” says Steven A. Weiss, CAE, Shop! CEO. “Each year, the Merriman Above and Beyond Award winner surprises us with unique ways they are delivering extraordinary service to a customer. Their stories are inspiring and represent the best of our member companies.”
In 2017, Books-A-Million tasked S-CUBE with designing and developing several new fixtures, including some for comic and vinyl products, and value engineering its entire store package to deliver price savings across all product categories.
“It was costing us more and more to open stores, so we asked S-CUBE to value engineer many of our products,” says Warren. “They came back with a savings of almost 50%.”
S-CUBE was also charged with managing delivery so that all trucks arrived on time and in the correct order to facilitate unloading and staging within the store. Warren said each store typically requires 10 truckloads. To ensure smooth deliveries, S-CUBE crafted detailed instructions, including a color-coding system to make it easier to locate certain fixtures among the many boxes and skids.
By implementing this system, Books-A-Million has cut its install time by an average of one week.
“Throughout our meetings and weekly conference calls, they understood our business and what we were trying to accomplish,” adds Warren. “S-CUBE is always trying to improve the processes we have in place even when we don’t ask them to.”