“My adviser, Evan Burfield, and I were talking and he said, ‘What you have is awesome, but you’re never going to make it work unless you make it a full-time thing.’”
With that final push, Fuentes created Lemur IMS.
“Lemur IMS is an inventory management system for big-box retailers that connects local customers with local, slow-moving inventory. Our system drives additional revenue and profit, and it delivers personal offers to customers on items they are seeking. For example, if a customer wants to buy a television that is priced at $1,000 but only wants to pay $950, managers can offer to contact the customer if the TV can be discounted in the future. This helps move the product quicker, and it allows retailers to get a larger profit because they can contact interested customers before they have to place a slow-moving item on clearance. It also builds a loyal customer base who knows that they will always get the best deal at one store over another.
“Retailers use Lemur on a tablet app, which is customized for each specific retailer. We provide the tablet and app to our customers, who then carry the tablet around the store to collect customer and product information. Most retailers have someone who is supposed to be interacting with the customer, asking, ‘Hey, did you find what you were looking for?’ This system allows retailers to track who is interested in what product, at what time of the year and at what price. Our local approach to customer and inventory data is unique. We look at all aspects of inventory information, not just velocity, cost and revenue.
“We are located in Washington, and currently only have two full-time employees, myself and my co-founder Cary Scott, and two interns. Our challenge at the moment is figuring out which market segments to pursue. Should we focus on our initial target segment or build a more generic platform that can encompass all retail segments? We’d really like to jump on all of the opportunities that keep rising as more and more big-box retailers find out about our product, but how do we pursue all that is in front of us and not lose sight of our end goal?”