How Harrison Supply Used Rundoo as their First System in 113 Years

Harrison, New York
ACE Hardware
Benjamin Moore
Previous POS
Matthew Aletti
Setting up Rundoo on our computers on Go-Live day.

114 YEARS AGO, my great grandfather Urbano Aletti started Harrison Supply. Today, I want to talk to you about one of the biggest shifts in our business. In September of 2023, we moved to our first ever technology system. It’s called Rundoo, and we are big fans. But before I jump in, I want to let you know where I’m coming from. I think it’ll help contextualize why we made the move.

Harrison Supply is a family business, and we have all the pride that comes with it. My great grandfather—our founder—had a contracting business named Aletti & Sons. He wanted easier access to hardware and paint, so he decided to open a store. Sure enough, many others in the community wanted easier access too. The store thrived. He passed the store down to his son, Roy Sr, who in turn passed the store down to Roy Jr, my uncle, who is still involved in the business today.

In its 114-year history, Harrison Supply has survived two world wars; nearly 20 presidents; the popularization of the car, the TV, home appliances, computers, the internet, and mobile phones.

What has kept us in business through it all? My strong hypothesis is connecting with our customers.

Many businesses call this idea customer service, but I think that term has lost its meaning. It makes you think of a help desk where the goal is to resolve a case as fast as possible. To me, connecting with customers in our community is not simply about getting them in and out quickly. It’s about so much more.

We aim to relate to our customers as people and as members of our shared community here in Harrison. When someone walks in the door, they may be trying to replace a light bulb, repaint a room, or remodel their kitchen. But regardless of what they came to find, they are probably nervous about solving a problem. It’s our job to connect with them, put their heart at ease, and help.

This was the case 100 years ago. It is the case today. And I imagine it will be the case 100 years from now.

Ok, with all that background established, I want to turn to why we moved to Rundoo. We had considered many systems over the years, since computers first came about. But we never thought any of them would improve our business enough to be worth the effort of adopting.

Even in the last few decades, as multiple point-of-sale vendors became preferred by wholesalers and co-ops in the industry, we held out. Why? We always felt they got in the way of connecting with the customer. They were clunky and slow. They created a physical barrier between us and the customer.

But last summer, we got a demo of Rundoo. We were skeptical because we had seen how clunky other paint and hardware systems are. But Rundoo was unlike anything we’d seen.

Rundoo is very fast. My biggest concern when playing with other systems was how slow they were, both because of confusing interfaces and literally just being slow. It feels like everything we do in Rundoo moves quickly.

Rundoo is mobile. I have always imagined a point-of-sale as a big computer screen between me and the customer. I preferred handwritten tickets that allowed us to connect face-to-face with our customers. But Rundoo lets us check customers out on our phones and gives us the best of both worlds—ease, speed, and accuracy as well as human connection. We can do a whole lot more on our phones, too: check inventory, place orders, and view analytics.

Our customers see everything. I’ve always felt weird about hiding behind a computer when the customer doesn’t know what’s going on. With Rundoo, every product we scan shows up on the card reader, and customers can verify the order for themselves before checking out. Even better, they have a mobile app where they can review all their purchases with pictures of the items!

All this to say, we were convinced. After a couple meetings, we pulled the trigger. Rundoo then worked with our main hardware vendor to set up EDI integrations so that we had up-to-date product information, could place orders directly in the system, and so on.

Once the system was set up, we had some time to play around with it before scheduling a go-live. Nick & Max from Rundoo came out in-person to ensure we had a smooth transition. We were a little nervous the day before, but we got up that morning and everything worked fine! All of our products, customers, vendors, and historical sales were in Rundoo. Many of our long-time customers were joking with us that they never thought the day would come that we entered the 21st century.

Rundoo has been transformational for our business. Our staff love it, and our customers love it—what more can you ask for? If you run an independent store, I recommend you learn what Rundoo is up to and maybe join me in making the switch. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by calling our store here in New York.


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