Home improvement retailer builds transparent procurement workflow

Purchasing managers inspect shelves to check inventory levels.
Purchasing managers inspect shelves to check inventory levels.


National Home Improvement Retailer



Number of locations


Implementation timeline

3 months

Company Background

With over 17 million customer transactions each week—across more than 1,700 retail locations—store managers for this home improvement retailer are busy making sure the customer experience is top notch and the operations are running smoothly. Assuring that employees had the supplies they needed to do their job was not keeping up. Ordering, tracking, receiving, and stocking items like coffee for the breakroom or cleaning supplies was difficult for day-to-day operations.


Because the purchasing process was so convoluted to purchasers in the field, a senior manager of strategic sourcing at this home improvement retailer told Varis that his department would have orders escalated each day for the simplest items such as safety jackets or lightbulbs.  

“Every day, all day, there were fire drills.” 

To buy what was needed to run each store, the purchaser would have to navigate 90 different punchouts and individual catalogs. You would need to know the specific SKU number of an item before making any purchase

“You would try to find it via search or SKU, but the results were always inconsistent.”  

Once items were ordered through internal procurement systems they often ended up being delivered late (50% of the time) or incorrectly. Because this process consumed so much time, store managers would use their p-card instead to buy the items they needed—often going to non-approved websites or suppliers because of convenience.  

And since p-cards were not connected to the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system it became nearly impossible for finance to accurately track, report and forecast spending.  

Solution: Decrease P-card usage

A solution to address these pain points had to integrate with their existing ERP system, be able to manage multiple catalogs and be super easy to use from a usability perspective. With Varis, the home improvement retailer created an experience that could be controlled by the procurement team, allowing them to manage their catalogs, pricing, product photos and item descriptions without the need for IT resources. 

Within 90 days of the Varis purchasing platform launching, over 95% of buyers were using the Varis purchasing platform and easily searching, finding and buying what they needed for each store.  

“Onboarding was smooth, and the product has been intuitive for our buyers. Now, we can search, see the product image, and make a purchase. They don’t spend nearly as much time.” 

P-card usage plummeted by over 40% during the same 3 months, helping to bring spending into compliance. 

“We aren’t hearing as much from our stores anymore. From their perspective the buying experience is a day and night difference. Everybody is much more confident in what they are buying because the system is so much easier to use. Our teams can get back to business quicker because of Varis.” 

Since launching with Varis, these are the goals that have been achieved:

  • P-card spending is down almost 60%. 
  • Escalations for his team are down 85%. 
  • Reduction of time and frustration around the supplies buying process. 

“Our teams are so much more confident in what they buy now. Varis is intuitive and allows our managers to really maximize their time in the stores focusing on customers.” 

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