SMCo Thrift works with thrift stores to improve business operations, drive funding to help support their non-profit organizations, and develop their marketing initiatives and brand growth.
The client's problem
In 2018, SMCo Thrift ran into industry-specific challenges and issues unique to their business model.
While non-profits may be great at serving others, they “are typically not good at business,” said Evan Crass, Vice President of SMCo Thrift.
They also saw there was room for improvement with KARM Stores, which SMCo Thrift manages and whose profits support Knox Area Rescue Ministries. They were looking for ways to improve the operations at KARM Stores’ 20 locations.
“We were waking up every day wondering how do we do this well?”
One service that SMCo Thrift offers includes the recommendation and implementation of software tools. They started with a tool that gave stores the ability to provide a tax-deductible receipt to donors. Their toolkit grew to include tracking inventory complemented by a point-of-sale system. To tie all of their efforts and report quickly on each store’s performance, they wanted to provide an all-in-one business dashboard.
However, the original dashboard features in their platform were limited to simple raw table views and an ability to export data into Excel.
“A lot of people’s eyes would start swimming when they were looking at those raw numbers.”
They required a better solution that could visualize the key data from each store so it would be easier for their clients to understand and track.
SMCo Thrift's solution
SMCo Thrift first investigated several dashboard solutions. They looked at each of these solutions from the perspective of KARM Stores and improving their toolkit so they could help other organizations.
With their decision process, they considered:
- Scalability: They needed a platform they could first test within their organization that could be quickly rolled out to others
- Simplicity: Their toolkit was built on SQL and needed the ability to set up simple select statements for queries that could then be easily visualized.
- Price: They weighed which platforms provided the most value at an affordable price point that would fit into the budget of a cost-conscious thrift store.
In September 2019, Evan and his team discovered Cyfe’s white label solution, which “allowed them to get to the scale we were looking at. We were able to see big changes early on in the way clients were interacting with data.”
TV Mode for team alignment
Many of the teams that SMCo Thrift works with broadcast dashboards onto a television monitor in the store’s break room. That way, they can have a team huddle at the beginning of a shift to review their current store’s performance and goals including sales and production value.
While taking in donations they can go into SMCo Thrift’s toolkit, ThriftTrac, and categorize item donations and identify what’s sellable. When ThriftTrac users log into the platform, they see a dashboard view of a stores’ KPIs including:
- Product donations
- Sellthrough rate
Each thrift store location SMCo Thrift manages also has a second dashboard containing daily sales reports used by the bookkeeper to create the end-of-day journal entries.
Any non-profit team member can also easily share results and provide a snapshot of how much money their store earns with their non-profit’s executive director and board of directors.
Easier data transfer
Many non-profits have a donor management platform system that contains information about donors and acts as a communication tool.
“It’s a pain in the butt though to import and export information from those systems.”
Since partnering with Cyfe, SMCo Thrift’s clients can get quick stats on the average donation amount per donor or send an email to donors. These non-profits may have an outsourced communications specialist so they can easily export those contact details and drop an email blast.
SMCo Thrift’s clients are able to hit their goals faster with a 41% total sales increase across all the organizations they work with after adding Cyfe as a white label solution to their platform. That’s a 20% median sales increase.
“What used to take six months to be able to change course, we’re able to do in half the time or less.”
In their client’s dashboards, SMCo Thrift can take a variety of data points so that any non-profit employee or a thrift store volunteer can see their target goal for a KPI and track their progress.
One of the biggest metrics they can now track in stores is the average price per piece sold, helping non-profits monitor and grow that KPI. They can monitor this KPI to see which particular items sell well and what is the most advantageous price point.
Gauging realistic goals
Due to COVID-19, stores are not seeing the same year-over-year growth. Still, SMCo Thrift can adjust their clients’ targets to more attainable goals. Then visualize the goal as a gauge on the dashboard.
“This provides a simple way for non-profits to understand what metrics they need to meet regardless if that person isn’t great with numbers.”
Letting the data speak for itself
It’s also easier now to sell their software.
“Even though it was the last piece, people really started getting it after we added Cyfe.”
During conferences, they can share the sales success they’ve recorded working with many non-profits and have grown their network to stores across North America. Their clients have over 175 different dashboards.
“Showing that growth has been such a game-changer. At our conference, we invite our customers to join a panel and tell us the most compelling stories like ‘Anytime I am sitting with my team on a Monday morning, I can change the date range and see if we are winning or losing.’”
For SMCo Thrift, Cyfe provides an off-the-shelf tool they can still customize without needing to build a data dashboard from the ground up. Instead, they can focus their development efforts on components unique to their industry.
“As a software developer, you want to be able to mobilize and equip your users to make the best decisions. We realize as a software provider that makes us unique. Cyfe as a partner has allowed us to truly shine.”
Evan and the rest of his team needed a more accessible solution to data reporting that could be easily picked up by their diverse group of clients. Data visualization is a key part of keeping their tool user friendly and helping non-profits hit their goals.
Using Cyfe as a white label solution, SMCo Thrift can customize dashboards for client’s specific needs and scale up their platform. They also have more time to serve new clients and develop solutions specific to non-profit organizations running thrift stores.