How E-Z Stop Foodmarts Is Doing More With Less

Technology is vital to efficiency for one small Tennessee chain
mobile technology

Donna Perkins, pricebook manager for 23-store chain E-Z Stop Foodmarts, Maryville, Tenn., is dedicated to making work easier and more efficient for all of her colleagues, from those on the store floor to corporate headquarters.

Q: What will be some of the biggest changes in the back office this year?

A: I think we’re moving away from hardware server-oriented stuff into more web-based processes. I think you’re going to see that in most of the larger-market-share, back-office companies. … That’s where the future’s going. It kind of changes the way you have to look at your back office, so it can be a challenge for retailers.

Q: With the announcement of Amazon Go and other internet-based services such as online product pickups, how do you think services offered at c-stores will evolve?

A: The younger generations just assume they can get anything ordered. They order it online, pick it up somewhere or have it delivered to them. That’s just an assumption for them. So I think we have to grow with the culture. We have to be willing to look at what’s going to happen.

Take the press on Macy’s [in January], where they’re shutting down stores and laying off 10,000 people to focus on online retail, because that’s where their business is. Well, it’s no different for us. We’re going to have to focus where the business is, and if that is online and in lockers, then that’s what we’re going to have to do. At this point in time, I don’t know if we’re prepared for it, but I’d say it’s coming.

Q: What are some improvements you’d like to make this year regarding the way E-Z Stop operates?

A: I’m always looking for better ways to automate and improve our efficiencies. We’re getting ready to implement rebate management within PDI software. We’re also getting ready to implement an electronic invoice with a direct-store-delivery supplier, which can be a challenge. My goal this year is to get those things implemented and improve efficiency internally so we can do more with less.