Hoy Shoe Logo
  • Ability to grow the company without adding more employees
  • Quick access to vital customer data
  • Easier order entry via the item matrix
  • Faster, more accurate warehouse picking



Hoy Shoe Co

St. Louis, MO | www.saltwater-sandals.com


The Company

Hoy Shoe Co. has been in the business of manufacturing and distributing sandals for women and children since 1944. Hoy Shoe Co. operates as a B2B company, distributing across the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, East Asia, Israel, and South Africa. They’re no stranger to playing with the big kids, either — they’ve been selling shoes to customers such as Nordstrom for over 40 years. Some of their other big-box customers include Zappos, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s.

Over their years of experience, the folks of Hoy Shoe Co. began to notice big changes in their industry. Their customer base began to shift from smaller, mom-and-pop sized customers to more big-box retailers — likely a side effect of the rise of online shopping.

Such customers come with their own challenges, but this has not stopped Hoy Shoe Co. from growing at a near breakneck pace. Over the last 10 years, they’ve averaged a 30% growth rate year over year, and they don’t anticipate slowing down anytime soon.

The Challenge

Before making the switch to SalesPad four and a half years ago, Hoy Shoe Co. was running their business from a “green-bar paper” ERP system from the 1990s. While obviously due for an upgrade, Hoy Shoe Co. was also looking for an order-to-cash focused solution that could keep up with their rapid growth, increase their efficiency in interacting with customers, and help improve their accuracy in picking orders from the warehouse.

Customer service was particularly important during their search for a better solution. Jeff Downs, CIO, CFO, and Global Sales Director at Hoy Shoe Co., explained their attitude this way: “Customer service drives everything — if you don’t have it, you’re going to go out of business. So we were looking out for that in particular when we were exploring the different options out there for our company.”

The Solution

SalesPad. Hoy Shoe Co. adopted SalesPad when they migrated to Microsoft Dynamics GP. They knew right from the start that entering orders through Dynamics GP would be too cumbersome for their employees, and that the time lost as a result of dealing with such a clunky interface would inevitably result in a dip in productivity.

SalesPad impressed them with its intuitive interface, powerful CRM feature set, easy order entry, and intuitive workflows. It was a perfect match for a thriving, ambitious company new to Microsoft Dynamics GP.

“SalesPad has allowed us to continue growing without having to add more employees,” said Downs. “It has allowed us to be more efficient with what we do. All of our SalesPad products have played a huge part in helping us handle the increasing volume as we’ve grown.”

Downs says SalesPad has helped keep the bar high when it comes to working with customers. Easy customer lookup and visibility into customer returns and purchase history have done a lot to streamline their CSRs’ processes.

“SalesPad has helped make our company more agile when interacting with customers. From a CSR standpoint, we’re able to better serve both big and small customers. SalesPad helps speed up our customer interactions and helps us give the customer more information than we ever could before.”

Seamless order entry using an item matrix

Distributing shoes in a B2B environment presents additional unique challenges, Downs explained. When someone calls in an order, they ask for a “size run,” which is a certain number of a style of shoes, in specific colors and sizes. That translates into a lot of different SKU numbers.

“Imagine typing in an order like that into a system as un-intuitive as GP,” said Downs. “So part of what really sold us on SalesPad was the item matrix.”

An item matrix is a grid that makes order entries, such as the ones Hoy Shoe Co. deals with, a much simpler, easier process. Rather than typing in each SKU and quantity, the item matrix lets whoever is entering the order quickly indicate the range of what they need (style, colors, and sizes) and the quantities for each variation.

Hoy Shoe Co. were able to take their success one step further by putting in some customization requests for the item matrix to make reading the grid a bit easier — those changes were so useful that they were adopted into SalesPad’s main design and released to all customers in an updated version of the software.

Beyond streamlining entry for orders with lots of different SKU numbers, SalesPad also pulls its weight for Hoy Shoe Co. by integrating directly with Hoy Shoe Co.’s EDI (electronic data interchange) solution. This common digital language makes it possible for them to easily exchange important data and information with their newer, big-box customers such as Nordstrom, Zappos, and the like.

“When you work with bigger customers like Nordstrom’s, they want you to be on EDI,” said Downs. “But if you mispick something, that’s a charge-back. If you do anything wrong in the picking and shipping process, you get a charge-back. That can really eat into your profits.”

Charge-backs can include anything from longer payment terms to a dip in order quantities to being dropped altogether as suppliers for the customer. With EDI, charge-backs become far less likely, since the distributor and customer are able to easier communicate with each other, eliminating the risk of missing or mixing up important product information during the order fulfillment process. SalesPad has helped Hoy Shoe Co. rise to the challenge of keeping the charge-backs at bay.

Near perfect (or actually perfect) picking with DataCollection

Before adding SalesPad’s DataCollection to their business software suite, Hoy Shoe Co. struggled with picking their orders accurately. Shipping out large orders with lots of different sizes and styles of shoes carries a big risk of mispicking items on a daily basis. Prior to adopting DataCollection, warehouse workers would walk the aisles with clipboards and pick the items listed, resulting in a very manual process with high risk of human error.

They decided to move to a barcode-based picking approach, and with the help of SalesPad’s DataCollection, checking a clipboard evolved into simply scanning an item, and their picking accuracy consequently went through the roof.

“When we got everything set up with DataCollection, and we got all our scanners and set up the workflows in SalesPad, we found that it made our employees much, much faster. We can get more products out today than we’ve ever gotten out. Scanning an item instead of manually checking a pick list saves so much time,” said Downs.

Scanning an item’s barcode lets warehouse workers know right away if they’ve mispicked an item. If the item’s barcode does not match an item number on the order that the warehouse employee is picking for, that error is noted right away, and the item goes back on the shelf.

Similarly, if a box somehow makes it to the shipping department without being correctly scanned with DataCollection, the shipping manager instantly knows that the box is not ready to ship and can quickly figure out why — just by scanning the associated order.

“We actually went a full year without a single mispick,” says Downs. “And if someone calls in and wonders whether or not they got an item from us, we can tell them exactly which box to check, and then they usually find the item they thought they didn’t have.”

Without a doubt, Hoy Shoe Co. has found their rhythm using SalesPad products. According to Downs, SalesPad is a vital part of their business process, and they don’t anticipate leaving anytime soon. Much like their beloved sandals for thousands of customers all over the world, SalesPad is, for Hoy Shoe Co, a perfect fit.

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