Australian footwear retailer, Spend-less Shoes, has chosen Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail solution to cope with rapid national growth and deliver an integrated multi-channel retail experience to customers.
The retail chain is looking to open its 200th store and has experienced rapid business and staff growth in recent years, prompting a rethink of its ERP strategy. Spend-less Shoes CFO, Bruce Campbell, said it chose Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 because of its centralised store management capabilities, improved catalogue control and customer-focused ranging and promotional activities.
The system was selected following a strategic business review and replaces the retailer’s legacy business systems, which were manually intensive and required significant support and staff input. Spend-less Shoes was also after an ERP solution that integrated with existing IT infrastructure and could drive better customer insights across both bricks and mortar and online operations.
In a bid to de-risk the rollout, Spend-less Shoes is working with Microsoft partner, OST, on a three-phased rollout. The first phase, Campbell told CFO World, involved bedding down the financial aspects of the solution and went live last July.
The second phase, due to go live in October, involves upgrading the back-end retail functionality including merchandising, allocation, distribution processes, warehousing and supply chain. The retailer is currently undergoing final testing and configuration. The third phase won’t come online until early 2014, and encompasses the front-end retail experience as well as Spend-less Shoes’ online sales channel.
“This will be the icing on the cake and see the convergence of our efforts around digital technologies and the ERP system to enhance customer experience,” Campbell said. “The system provides for the seamless delivery of an exciting and contemporary retail experience to each and every one of our customers that is both personal and enjoyable as we strive to consistently exceed their expectations.”
Data from the new ERP system will not only be used to stock shops with high-demand goods, but improve the retailer’s understanding of customer spending habits and individual preferences.
Given the scope of the project, Campbell said Spend-less Shoes underwent a detailed analysis of every process across the business to determine the best platform, and where the gaps are in its own capabilities.
“It was very important in this massive project that we are clear about the areas we were deficient in and what we are good at,” he continued. “This is about bringing our business up to world-class practices in line with a world-class product.”
Staff awareness is another important part of the journey and involves extensive testing and training.
“Spend-less Shoes is a success story in tough retail times and this project represents a significant investment in our future and next 10 years of growth,” Campbell said. “We have had terrific legacy systems over the years but we want to bring it all together in one platform, taking away the complexity and having one view of the customer.
“Multi-channel retailing is about enhancing the customer experience and looking after them. This system gives us the best opportunity to deliver customers products when and where they want them, and to shop how they want. That’s classic retailing.”
Spend-less Shoes was founded in 1988 and has more than 700 employees.
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