An epic software update 130-years in the making at Henne Jewelers.

October 8, 2022 12:55 AM

Background

In 1887, Rudolph J. Henne and his wife Margaret put a $5 down payment on a storefront in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. The foundation of what would become Henne Jewelers, a landmark local business in Pittsburgh, was created. Four generations later, John Henne carries on the family’s legacy of experience, innovation, and service.

The original Henne Jewelers started by R.J. Henne in 1887.

As Henne has grown over the years, so to has its footprint—becoming an Authorized Rolex Dealer in 1999 and expanding into a 3,500 sq. ft. showroom in 2003. Today, the family business consists of more than 40 full-time employees embracing R.J. Henne’s legacy.

“I like the culture here.” said Anastasia Deer, Inventory and Accounting Systems Administrator at Henne. “It’s not like a big corporation. It’s a family business, so everybody is very friendly and very open to working with you.” 

Problem

Like any family business, Anastasia has worn a lot of hats over the years. “I do inventory, payments, balancing transactions, client database, store credits, and admin. Basically, I do a little bit of everything. I use a lot of different tools.”

Henne came to rely on Anastasia to keep things running smoothly. So when an update from their legacy jewelry software brought operations to a screeching halt, it was her job to help get everyone back on track.

“You wouldn’t think working in jewelry would be so stressful, but when we switched over they gave us no training. I basically trained everybody on it. It was a lot of manipulating the system to get what you need out of it. It wasn't easy to do quickly. 

In a business where customer experience is paramount, Henne’s jewelry store management software just couldn’t keep up. Anastasia recalled “We were almost 2 years into it and the sales staff still had a very hard time using it. People just weren't learning it anymore. “

Solution

Leery of new software and frustrated with the status quo, Henne Jewelers was at an impasse. “We had just done the [legacy software] update and we didn't like what happened. We didn't want to go to another system and just hate it.”

Rather than go back to another legacy jewelry software, Annastasia and team decided to try something new—Crystal.

“We looked at the other options and for us, and for the jewelry industry in general, Crystal really was the best option. The way that it is set up is just very intuitive.”

“We migrated over on a Saturday, we were closed Sunday, and then we came into the office and looked at everything on Memorial Day to make sure there weren't any issues. So we took like two full days to make sure everything was set up correctly.”

With implementation complete, Henne Jewelers was ready to hit the ground running with Crystal as the cornerstone of their jewelry store management software stack.

Results

Although skeptical at first, Henne has seen the benefit of betting on innovation over legacy. “At this point everybody is doing 90% of their work in Crystal.” according to Annastasia.

She continued, “I’m looking at Inventory, Admin, and Transactions. Salespeople use Clients, Reports, and search inventory. They're using the reports more now than they were in the other one because they understand the needs. Before, you really had to know what you were looking for.”

As Crystal’s adoption increases, Annastasia is seeing improvements in other processes at Henne. “It's much easier now. It's much quicker. You don't have to try and search as much. because it's all on the job itself.”

“The assembly process is much easier as well. It’s saved us so much time. It took probably half an hour per piece before. Today, it’s maybe five minutes and that would be on the higher end.”

No longer afraid of software updates, Annastasia admitted, Henne is settling into a rhythm with their new tech stack. “With the constant updates, you're really improving the product. I have way less work now. I haven't heard anybody not like it. The future is going to be great!”