YES PAINT only started a year and a half ago, but my brother Walter and I aren’t new to the paint and hardware industry. We used to work for a big corporation in a family owned branch. Unfortunately, when the big box stores arrived up here in Anchorage, Curtis and Campbell couldn’t compete on price. They wound down business and let go all employees, including Walter & me.
Soon after the shop's closure in 2021, Jason Smith and Steve Ramsey from Yes Enterprises approached Walter and me about opening a paint store. They had a vision to expand Yes from its strong foundation in flooring to include paint. Walter and I had never considered opening our own store, but we loved Jason & Steve’s energy and their hunger to grow. We said yes to Yes!
Through 27 years of hard work in the industry, Walter & I had amassed a following of customers much larger than we realized! Though it hasn’t even been two years, our customer account list is in the triple digits. We think the main reason for our growth is customer service. We're always joking with our customers. We like to give hugs, and handshakes, and dap, and all that good stuff around here.
In addition to customer service, the other big thing that has made us successful is Rundoo. For our first 8 months in 2022, we were using a legacy software system. It had all sorts of problems, the biggest of which was poor support. When we had questions, not only could we not get an answer, we knew the product would never change. We told our Benjamin Moore rep, and he introduced us to Nick from Rundoo. When I met with Rundoo, my first thought was how much I loved their vision. Rundoo was being built from scratch specifically for guys like me, paint store managers in 2023. They were listening directly to what paint stores wanted. Laser focused on making my job easier. Other companies have a product and you have to work around it. Rundoo works around us.
Once we signed and they moved our products, customers, and historical sales over, the first big benefit hit me: the system is so easy to learn! For example, my 17-year-old daughter recently started working with us part-time. She had never used a point-of-sale system before, but she learned Rundoo all on her own on her first day. With our old system, it took months of training, which is honestly what I expected given how much these systems can do. But not with Rundoo. And it’s not just the young folks! Our whole team picked it up so quickly, within a week for sure. In fact, I think our staff genuinely enjoys using it day to day.
Finally, the best thing about Rundoo is its constant improvement. Comparing Rundoo today versus the initial system I saw in December 2022 is like comparing night and day. The team constantly takes feedback and improves the product. For example, Rundoo recently introduced improved product sales analytics. These insights have greatly helped with my purchasing confidence. I now have a better sense of the stock I can expect to sell in upcoming months. It's hard to explain how much Rundoo has made my job and life so much easier.
I have one last story about the vision of Rundoo. Nick and Joe from Rundoo came up to Anchorage to help me set up for the go-live in January 2023. Once Rundoo was running smoothly (after just two days!), I took them to Thursday Night at the Fights, an Anchorage boxing series, and dinner at a local brewery named 49th State Brewing. At the end of the meal, Nick pointed to the system the restaurant used. He explained it was called Toast and has become the one-stop-shop software for restaurants: it powers their online ordering, tablets for waiters to wait tables, displays in the kitchen, the time clock for payroll, and damn near everything! “That right there is our goal. To transform paint stores the same way Toast has for restaurants.” I believe they will do it!