Skookum Tools Ltd
Langford, Vancouver Island/Coast
In Business Since 2000
Skookum Tools Ltd
Langford, Vancouver Island/Coast
Skookum Tools Ltd. (Skookum Tools) was founded in September of 2000, by Robert & Donja McDonald. Marketed as “The Tool Store at Your Door,” Skookum Tools began servicing the industrial market by utilising fully stocked step vans to provide clients with shop supply consumables directly to their place of work. The core mission of Skookum Tools has always been to deliver a high level of convenience, combined with exceptional customer service. We want the client to be left with such a positive impression of their experience with us, that they intentionally seek us out when they need to replenish their shop supplies. As Skookum Tools has transitioned to an online platform with a growing e-commerce store, this customer-centric philosophy continues to be the focus and mainstay of our business. Skookum Tools initially grew their business by providing franchise opportunities throughout British Columbia. In the early days, the franchise model worked well, allowing Skookum Tools to grow its market share. However, after several years of operation, the franchise model began to struggle and Robert realised that he had to re-invision his business model to ensure the company's continued success. Robert decided to turn his attention to the growing e-commerce opportunities emerging on the internet. In 2014, Robert hired a team of Web Developers to create a custom e-commerce interface for Skookum Tools. The primary goal of the site was to make the online consumer experience mirror the high level of convenient and personal service that Skookum Tools was already known for. By the end of 2014, the first iteration of OnlineSupply.ca “Industrial Supplies - Direct to your Door!” was launched. Since then, OnlineSupply has undergone several design updates, making it more user friendly and intuitive. The virtual store provides both supply consumables and tools catering to woodworkers, metalworkers, boatbuilders, maintenance shops and more. With a focus on Canadian made, high quality products and commitment to providing a personalized customer experience, Skookum Tools continues to grow its business through their online store. Catering to both professionals and hobbyists alike, OnlineSupply has grown every consecutive year. It currently services every province in Canada, and has begun expanding into foreign markets, including the United States.
Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?
Skookum Tools should win the Premier’s People’s Choice award as they have consistently maintained an extremely high level of customer satisfaction while growing the business year over year. This is evidenced through their Google Reviews, Site Reviews and Product Reviews
E-Commerce Experience Award
How have you optimized your e-commerce store to create a strong user experience for your community, (through content, education, reviews etc.) and what results have you achieved?
On the customer-facing side of the website, Skookum Tools created “All-In-One” pages for specific product ranges. This started with the Bandsaw Blade Order Page (https://onlinesupply.ca/bandsaw-blades/Custom-Band-Saw-Blades), and has further developed to an additional 6 pages. These “All-In-One” pages allow users an easy way to sort and find specifically what they need from a huge range of product selections. Here is an example where Skookum Tools offers the ability to sort through over 2500 End Mills on one page: https://onlinesupply.ca/end-mill-selector Informational “Blog Pages (https://onlinesupply.ca/blog-section)'' have become an integral part of the OnlineSupply experience. Topics for these blog pages have been chosen specifically to address the most commonly asked questions. Additionally, they assist clients through some of the more complex ordering processes; such as ordering a Custom Bandsaw Blade. Skookum Tools has received a lot of feedback on how beneficial these pages have been to their clients, as well as from some of their competitors! During the pandemic, Skookum Tools received many enquiries about product lead times through their website. This prompted Robert and his team to create a more robust system for displaying stock on hand, critical product details, and lead times. To accomplish this, Skookum Tools began integrating stock quantities from selected suppliers to display alongside their stock on hand. Furthermore, it provides customers the ability to request shipping directly from specific suppliers, thus greatly reducing lead times. Most importantly, Skookum Tools has developed a full “after care” system in the back end of their e-commerce site. The system provides Skookum Tools staff with follow-up prompts for each step of the process; from the initial order, to supplies arriving in their warehouse, and finally, to the successful delivery of products to their clients. Furthermore, it allows Skookum Tools to provide real time progress updates to their customers, enhancing the service experience. Most recently, Skookum Tools has fully integrated a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) accounting and inventory management software within their website. This allows seamless information to flow from initial contact and order, through the fulfilment process. The integration also provides the added benefit of displaying “live” inventory stock quantities, providing clients with real-time product availability. This past year, Skookum Tools online sales exceeded 1 million dollars, all the while maintaining a 4.8 positive rating on Google Business with over 300 unique reviews. In addition, Skookum Tools has over 350 positive site reviews and 400 positive product reviews on their website. Skookum Tools responds to every review they receive. They provide thanks for all positive reviews, and look for satisfactory solutions to any negative reviews.
Why do you deserve to win the E-commerce Experience Award?
Skookum Tools deserves to win the E-commerce award for successfully transitioning 100% of their business from a struggling franchise model to a successful online store. With over 8 years of re-design and development, Skookum Tools has created a robust website that delivers the same personalised customer experience online as has come to be expected with their brand. Their user-friendly website provides customers the ability to order products with little to no assistance. For clients that do require additional assistance, Skookum Tools offers several methods of contact, including; live chat, phone calls, emails and “helper” blog pages. In addition to being proactive in the development of their online business, Skookum Tools has acted as a role-model within the community, by creating a club that was affectionately referred to as the YEEC club (Young E Entrepreneur Club). Robert and his team met remotely each week with the club participants to provide ongoing coaching and development. Robert even provided each of the young entrepreneurs with free web space to develop their own websites. As part of the process, one of Skookum Tools’ employees developed a sample website focused on games and trading cards. After developing this sample website, they decided it was worth allocating some space in the warehouse and launched the site live at www.elite4games.com. Additionally, one of the young entrepreneurs has successfully launched his own website at https://genuinewatches.ca/ and another has an e-commerce store currently under development. Skookum Tools is thrilled to be able to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of business leaders!