Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Boys And Their Toys!

Smart Scraper!
I'm super excited about my new TOY. Can you guess? Not a boat… Not a motor cycle… Not a camera, video game, laptop or giant BBQ.
No, my new toy is SOFTWARE.
SMART SCRAPER I call it. And what it does is take an Excel file of item numbers from products we sell and tells me what my competitors price is and item number off their web site. Very cool!! I have worked with the company, who developed software & technology for about 10 years on other reporting tools they have custom made for me. When I saw this technology being used by another of their customers, I knew I wanted it for Costless.
Today, I ran a report of the top 4000 Office Supply items we sold last quarter, and loaded it into our new SMART SCRAPER. Then, I pointed the software at website to see who had the best pricing on each item. The results were amazing!
We had the lowest prices on about 82% of the items, some were significantly lower. On the remaining 18%, we were now able to adjust our sell price to beat Staples. The SMART SCRAPER will also monitor when Staples changes a price and give me a list of the changes, with date and new price. Also, the SMART SCRAPER will make more matches over time, as we clean the data on items that did not have a match: items where the pack size was different, or there was no direct item number match. With ongoing data management, we plan to have 8,000 matches to Staples (about the number of items they sell), and then work on Office Depot and Grand and Toy.
Imagine, in your business, if you could push a button and see how your prices compare to your competition?