Red Oxx Featured in Microsoft Case Study

Red Oxx Featured in Microsoft Case Study

Microsoft highlighted Red Oxx's Business Solutions Retail Management System in a client case study.

Microsoft highlighted Red Oxx's Business Solutions Retail Management System in a client case study. With help from Microsoft, Red Oxx can better track customers, shorten steps, contain costs, and hoist sales. Here is a brief overview of the Microsoft solution:

Sustaining rapid growth with a paper-and-pen system was impossible for Red Oxx Manufacturing. "We make the best travel bags on the planet, yet we weren't serving customers as well as we could have," says Jim Markel, Jr., Co-owner, Red Oxx Manufacturing. "Almost every order, especially the custom ones, had some information problem. Ordering sometimes backed up because we didn't know what to tell our manufacturing arm to make."

Compiling a precise wish list for a new system, Markel and Co-owner Perry Jones selected Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System. "It exceeded data and reporting needs," Markel says, "and it was easy to install, learn, and operate."

"This retail system is very easy to learn and use," says Markel. "All of our staff use the system and are comfortable with it—even the ones that didn't like computers. Any learning curve delivers its benefits more rapidly as you take it farther."


"Microsoft Retail Management System helped get us organized so we could grow 28 percent and expand Web sales 600 percent in 2004," says Markel. The plant, store, and management operations continue to combine in a smooth-running machine.

"Our entire product line owes its success to innovative design and superior raw materials and workmanship," says Markel. "Making production happen wisely depends on precise and accurate communication between retail and manufacturing. Management needed to know who was buying, how often, and how recently. They had to have that information on a moment's notice," says Markel, "so we could give manufacturing a heads-up."

"Now, communication in every direction is vastly improved," he says. "With Microsoft Retail Management System, we can track all corporate and individual sales—including why the customer bought the product—in an easily accessible and exportable form."

Another factor contributing to sales growth was easy and obedient reporting. "The system helps us find new ways to attract new customers. My analysis of our product line showed we were totally ignoring the $20-item market. So we now carry shaving kits, smaller bags, and totes to complement our large, high-quality $150-to-$200 product range.

"One slow day in a hotel before a Houston show, we pulled up all our Houston customers and prospects from the system, and personally called each one to invite them to the show," says Markel. "That's marketing power!"

Markel is able to track orders, hourly, whether they come in online, by phone, at the point of sale, or at shows. "None of this was possible before," says Markel.

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