TOA Technologies Developing iPad App to manage Delivery Process for Arhaus Furniture

CLEVELAND, OHIO August 5, 2010 - TOA Technologies, the only Cloud-based predictive mobile workforce management and customer communication solutions provider, today announced the development of an application for the Apple (AAPL) iPad. Arhaus, the high-end furniture retailer and a long-term TOA customer with stores in 13 states and a booming national print/online catalog business, plans to use TOA’s iPad app to manage its 40,000 in-home annual customer deliveries - an industry first.

TOA’s robust Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for managing mobile employees and providing predictive customer communications will continue to be device agnostic. However, to meet Arhaus’ goals of enhancing customer service, increasing efficiency and elevating its brand, TOA is developing the following features specifically for the iPad:

  • Signature Capture: The iPad’s unique touch-screen capabilities, combined with web access, will allow Arhaus customers to use their finger to sign a digital receipt for their deliveries. TOA is developing the interface for this, as well as a system to immediately share those receipts with other departments, including customer service and billing.
  • Catalog Display: Arhaus plans to launch an iPad app that will display its catalog, making it easier for customers located beyond in-store markets or unfamiliar with Arhaus to view the company’s products.
  • TOA System Access Via App: TOA users typically access the on-demand system from a web browser. Because the iPad navigation focuses more on apps, TOA is developing access to TOA’s system by touching an app button on the iPad’s home screen. All work will still be online, therefore shared in real-time with the home office.
  • Enhanced Mapping: To take advantage of the iPad’s top-quality graphics, TOA is developing maps that will make it easier for mobile employees to view and interact with their routes.

TOA iPad App

“When we began working with TOA in 2005, we found more than a software solution - we found a dedicated partner. Time and time again we come to TOA with a business need or a goal, and they always come back with the tools to help Arhaus succeed. That’s the case with our iPad app. The iPad is an amazing product on its own, but its real power and potential for us as a company comes from what the TOA app will enable us to do with the iPad’s many unique features,” said John Roddy, Senior Vice President of Logistics and Distribution at Arhaus. “Our motto at Arhaus is ’We Keep Our Promises.’ Thanks to TOA, we’ve kept our promise to deliver excellent customer service that respects people’s time. We’ve increased customer satisfaction 15 points to 96% and narrowed wait times to one or two hours, while reducing operational costs by 7%. The combination of TOA with the iPad will further cut expenses, offer exciting opportunities for marketing and sales, enhance our customer service and promote our reputation as a high-quality retailer."

Arhaus plans to provide an iPad to each of its 52 delivery drivers this Fall, in advance of the busy holiday season. While there is an initial investment, the long-term benefits include:

  • Cost Savings: Arhaus anticipates an annual savings of $100,000 by reducing paper and related operational expenses.
  • Going Green: The iPad helps the Arhaus operations team reach their goal of going paperless. Arhaus has a long history of green initiatives. In addition to using wind energy, recycled paper and soy-based ink for its catalog production, Arhaus has never used wood from endangered rainforests in creating products, focusing instead on renewable resources, plantation-grown hardwoods and recycled materials.
  • Improved Customer Service: Due to the real-time, web-based receipt system TOA is developing for the iPad app, if product damage is found when Arhaus delivers an item, the warehouse will immediately be notified and a replacement will be sent on the next truck. This is a first in the retail furniture industry.
  • Ease of Use: The iPad’s large surface area touch screen and single button are easier for drivers to use on the road.
  • Brand Image: The iPad’s sleek, cutting-edge technology will present a sophisticated image to Arhaus’ upscale clientele.

“TOA Technologies has always had a visionary approach to giving our customers the most up-to-date tools available for managing their customer-facing mobile employees. TOA is focused on helping provide an exceptional customer experience to consumers waiting at home for an appointment. With our current development of the the first mobile workforce management solution offering iPad-specific features, TOA continues to exhibit a deep commitment to ongoing innovation, industry thought leadership and cutting-edge technology,” said Yuval Brisker, President and CEO of TOA Technologies. “We’re delighted to continue partnering with Arhaus, a company that has always pushed the technology envelope, to help them further innovate and improve customer service. We are strong believers that the iPad will be a great business device for all mobile employees and we anticipate more and more businesses like Arhaus will adopt it in the future. As technology advances, TOA will keep enhancing and expanding our powerful platform to ensure our customers have the best tools at their finger tips to improve their employees’ workflow and the appointment service experience while reducing expenses.“

TOA’s customer-centric SaaS solution enhances customer service by predicting with a high degree of accuracy when a mobile employee will arrive at a waiting customer’s home - allowing delivery/service providers to offer customers a much smaller appointment “wait window.” TOA’s workforce management solutions can reduce the appointment wait window to just one hour with 96% accuracy. TOA’s industry leading, predictive statistical engine creates the most efficient operations workflow by applying performance pattern recognition analysis to mobile workforce management. TOA analyzes learned performance patterns for every field employee and overlays the demands of skill set, location, job history and customer commitment to accurately predict appointment, service or delivery times and duration. TOA then personalizes mobile employee schedules accordingly with an automated job allocation system that can generate thousands of optimized schedules in under five minutes - the fastest routing optimization and scheduling engine on the market. TOA’s patented field service management software combines a unique, real-time view of the field with an advanced mobility application and with state-of-the-art workforce management tools, context-aware collaboration systems, social networking capabilities and predictive customer communications. The end result is a more efficient mobile workforce and higher customer satisfaction. As the only provider of Cloud-based mobile workforce management applications for large enterprises, TOA offers service providers a cost-effective solution that is easily configurable, quick to deploy and inclusive of support, software upgrades and maintenance.

About TOA Technologies
TOA Technologies is the leading provider of Cloud-based mobile workforce management applications for large enterprises. Its patented platform improves customer service while dramatically reducing operational costs and providing immediate return on investment. As the industry’s only complete on-demand end-to-end field service solution using predictive, time-based analytics, TOA reduces customer wait times while increasing field workforce efficiency. TOA automates Time Of Arrival communications across multiple channels to proactively keep customers apprised of their appointment status. It delivers unparalleled cost savings by providing on-demand tools for real-time planning, routing, dispatching and tracking of mobile employees. TOA’s system deploys quickly, is highly configurable and is easily integrated with existing CRM solutions. Named Best of Breed and Visionary solution in Gartner’s 2010 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, TOA Technologies is headquartered in the United States and has offices in Europe and Latin America. For additional information please visit www.toatech.com.

About Arhaus Furniture
Journey through an Arhaus store and discover an intriguing atmosphere filled with one-of-a-kind handcrafted home furnishings that you won’t find anywhere else. From antique cabinets to hand hammered copper dining tables, the product selection is reflective of our travels. We journey near and far to experience the culture, authentic design of antiques and classic styles, and bring them to you. Since 1986, we’ve partnered with skilled artisans to craft our many exclusive collections, which are complemented by our timeless upholstered (slipcovered, leather and custom-ordered), indoor and outdoor dining, and bedroom pieces. Made of the world's finest materials, products are then presented in a theater-type setting using interesting architectural elements embellished with hand-painted murals and fresh botanicals at all of our store locations. More than 500 employees serve customers in 34 Arhaus locations across the country. Corporate headquarters are located in Cleveland, OH.

For more information, call 1-866-4ARHAUS or visit us on the web at arhaus.com.