Insights for September 2020
The first Weekends Only showroom opened its doors in 1997, which established the foundation for the 5 stores open in the greater St. Louis area today. More stores followed in Castleton, Indiana (greater Indianapolis area) in May 2015 and in Greenwood, Indiana in February 2018.
Weekends Only employs a unique retail concept with their showrooms only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This allows them to save their customers time and money, providing a non-commission, shopping and purchase experience that adds value to customer's lives.
The company added to its brick & mortar footprint in 2013 with the implementation of their first e-commerce site, making all deliverable items available any day of the week.
Weekends Only moved their eCommerce solution to Magento Commerce in 2017-18, but ended up facing many challenges.
So in late 2018, Kadro begin working with Weekends Only to address the website and backend integration issues they faced.
Here is what Scott Antrobus - Product Manager, Digital Enterprises - Weekends Only Furniture & Mattress had to say about the Weekends Only and Kadro relationship.
“Before partnering with Kadro, we worked with two very different Magento Solution Partners with limited results. After a rocky launch with the first, we decided to "upgrade" to a "Platinum" partner to ensure that all future development followed best practices. Unfortunately, we saw a lot of the same problems resulting from poor communication and hand-offs to overseas developers.
We learned from the challenges of those relationships that we needed a partner who could be agile and accessible without compromising quality and structure. After meeting with a long list of potential partners with indistinguishable technical capabilities, we selected Kadro because of their flexible and direct communication, transparency, and integrity. Since then, Kadro has helped us achieve stability and substantial growth, and have proven to be a solid partner that we can trust and rely on.”
Kadro conducted a thorough discovery session with the Weekends Only team to identify and prioritize each of the on-going issues and challenges they faced with operating their new eCommerce site. That resulted in multiple development and build cycles to address the open issues and to achieve stability for their online business.
Subsequent to the site stabilization phase of this project, Kadro developed many more features and functionality for Weekends Only.
With consistent sales growth experienced over the years, Weekends Only is proud to hold a place in Furniture Today’s list of Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores.
TO READ THE FULL STORY VISIT THE WEEKENDS ONLY PORTFOLIO PAGE ON THE KADRO WEBSITE.
Technology Partner of the Month
Amazon Pay offers Amazon customers a fast, convenient, and secure checkout experience backed by Amazon’s technology, innovation and advanced fraud protection. Amazon Pay makes it easy for hundreds of millions of customers to pay for products and services using the information already stored in their Amazon accounts. That means you can reduce cart abandonment, optimize your checkout flow, and easily activate the Amazon customer base. And it quickly and easily integrates into Magento eCommerce stores.
Kadro was featured in a recent Amazon Pay Partner Spotlight piece. Read the spotlight by clicking here!
Say hello to Daniel Friel, VP of Operations at Kadro
Daniel’s Kadro story began in 2004, a mere three years after the company’s founding. He has the distinction of being the first student accepted into the company as part of Kadro’s participation in the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University. The University-sponsored Cooperative Education program permits students to work multiple work-terms in a relevant field to their major to gain first-hand experience in the workforce. Kadro still participates in this meaningful program (see our co-op web page) to this day and routinely retains a number of Computer Science co-op students on rotation during each of the Spring, Summer and Fall school terms. Needless to say, Daniel completed his studies at NC State and earned a BS degree in Computer Science.
Reflecting back to those days in the Co-Op Program, Daniel shared his feelings about the experience. “I've enjoyed watching that program grow from 1 student per semester to the 17 we had this summer. And yes Kadro does hire former co-ops, at least 5 in the last year in fact.
Skip forward 16 years and you’ll still find Daniel in the offices of Kadro (well less so at the moment due to COVID restrictions), but now as Vice President of Operations. Along the way he’s held a number of positions like Software Engineer and Director of Engineering. One could say that he is a living testament to what hard work, perseverance, dedication and smarts can do to help propel a career from student to executive. Keep this in mind you NC State students thinking about participating in the Cooperative Education Program. It can be a great stepping stone to future long-term career success.
WHAT DOES A VP OF OPERATIONS DO AT KADRO?
Wear many hats! Basically this means doing whatever is needed to complete customer eCommerce projects in a timely and efficient manner. The role most definitely extends beyond what would classically be considered operations.
For the last several months, Daniel was focused on delivering petedge.com You can read more about that project in the July 2020 edition of Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter and also check out the work on their Portfolio page on the Kadro website.
On a broader scale, Daniel continues to help manage a variety of projects, deliverables and resources. He has championed software engineering best practices and code reuse, architected an array of software solutions and helped to improve customer website performance. And he piloted the development of Kadro’s Marketplace Manager product offering.
Given his many years in the company and expertise in software engineering, it's not very surprising that Daniel is also an integral part of the company's interview and hiring process. As we said, he wears many hats.
WHAT DOES DANIEL FIND PARTICULARLY REWARDING ABOUT HIS TIME AT KADRO?
The variety of technical and business challenges the company gets to solve for its customers and of course the many talented people that work here. They are a dedicated team of developers with a passion for problem solving in what most describe as a relaxed, fun environment. “It’s great to have seen Kadro grow from around 10 people to the current 60,” Daniel remarked.
WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE WORLD OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING SINCE THE EARLY DAYS?
The programming languages and technologies have certainly changed a number of times. Yet at the end of the day, our success is all about helping solve customer’s challenges with whatever tools and technologies are at our disposal.
BEYOND THE OFFICE
Daniel “wears a number of hats” outside the office as well. He’s a big Formula 1 racing fan (me too!), enjoys watching the NFL and gets in a few rounds of golf as time permits. And when he’s not doing all of that, you may find him out walking with his wife, kids and puppy, a 6 month old sheepadoodle named Finn.
Recent Blog Posts
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More informative blog posts! Stay tuned for future announcements.
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