Retail Cooperative Helps Its Members Go LED
Ace Hardware is a retail cooperative with over 5,000 locations in 60 countries. They undertook a huge project to help their members upgrade their stores to LED lighting. It was a project more complex than any we've ever done before. When we typically work with a retail chain on a national roll-out, we work with one project manager/decision maker, one distributor, and one contractor. It makes it relatively easy to streamline and plan. In this case however, each member of Ace Hardware made the decision for their own stores. That meant not only coordinating with thousands of different people, but also a lot of education and explaining the program.
Guiding Members Through the Upgrade Process
Customized Tools and Support
A big part of the challenge was getting Ace Hardware members to see the benefits of LED. To help with this initiative, we worked with Ace Hardware to create a tool to estimate the cost and savings of the retrofit. This custom built calculator quickly showed them the upfront cost, annual energy savings, rebates, and payback for an LED upgrade. To make this tool as comprehensive as possible, Ace Hardware used our RebateDirect service to pull the estimated rebate numbers directly into the reports. Then, members could send the estimate to us to verify the rebates and advise on topics like rebate deadlines, possible bonus programs, and the steps to start the rebate pre-approval process. We also sent staff to Ace Hardware's bi-annual trade shows to help talk members through the upgrade and answer questions.
Ace Hardware chose 4 different brands to work with in this project with a few SKUs from each so their members had options. We were asked to work with all the manufacturers in an unbiased way which meant not only being in contact and working seamlessly with each vendor, but also understanding the differences in their products when members had questions. Since the project involved several types of products (Type A, B and C tubes, fixtures, retrofit kits), BriteSwitch's lighting expertise and knowledge was crucial to help store owners understand what solution worked best for them.
Seamless Rebate Administration
Ace Hardware members are busy running their day to day business, so we had to make the rebate process as easy as possible. In some areas, BriteSwitch staff worked directly with District Managers to take the load off the stores. Even the process of getting the check was simplified. Rather than waiting for a check to arrive in the mail and having to deposit it, we worked with Ace Hardware so the rebates could be credited directly on the store's Ace Account.
“The rebate process was handled quickly and efficiently by BriteSwitch. It could not have been any easier for us. Thank you.”- Ace Hardware Member
“BriteSwitch helped us through the whole process and made it easy.”- Ace Hardware Member
“The process was simple for us with the help of BriteSwitch”- Ace Hardware Member