Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marks and Spencer: This is a leading company?

M&S has a top-drawer reputation in retailing in the UK. After expanding to Ireland, M&S now has 300 stores in some 40 countries all over the world.

But in my opinion, their reputation is way-overblown, particularly in terms of multichannel integration. The problem is less channel integration than the way M&S is organized as a company, with different "types" of stores (typically based on size and merchandise mix). Although virtually all M&S locations are supermarkets and department stores, some do more of one than the other.

And therein lies the rub. An item purchased in one store "type" cannot be returned at a different store type, and sometimes the "type" is not displayed in the signage.

Resolving this issue should be relatively easy, but M&S can't be bothered. They seem to be doing well enough without making the effort, but as for being a leading multichannel merchant? Not in my book!

Jacques Vert Group Relies on MNP's Modular OMS for Multichannel Management

Evolving from a concession-only store-based business to an omnichannel retailer requires strategic thinking. Jacques Vert Group, the British fashion house and womenswear concession retailer, resolved this by making new internal appointments to ensure the business had a new retailing platform fit for its purposes and best placed to take the business forward.

Key to the business is to harmonize the inventory, ensure availability, and deliver the brand promise to both the trade and a growing number of direct customers.

Jacques Vert relied on its incumbent Merrit retail sales platform supported by Retail Assist for the Product Lifecycle Management and buying function, as well as the merchandising, plus a WMS for logistics. They implemented a new eCommerce platform from DemandWare with its ability to scale and manage the challenges of cross-border direct retailing; this was handled by London-based Tryzens.

But the big challenge for the business was how to join all this together to provide a robust, efficient end-to-end solution centrally supporting the business with real-time information. A modular OMS platform from MNP Media Ltd. in Salisbury now provides the crucial middleware. Integrated to receive the basic SKU information from Merrit, the OMS further embellishes product information, manages the local inventory, and presents this to all direct sales channels. Receiving orders from 9 concurrent websites, the OMS allocates inventory in real-time to ensure customer expectations are managed. A Sunderland-based customer service team uses the OMS to provide order taking and customer services for all channels.

The selection of the OMS platform was based on MNP’s proven track record of high volume order processing together with its experience in multi-channel retail both in the UK and overseas. As MNP's clients include Lakeland Limited, Kurt Geiger, Pure Collection and LK Bennett, Jacques Vert Group considered it was in good company.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

With acquistion of Priam, elucid, and One iota, Sanderson prospers

Sanderson will celebrate its growth in Omni-Channel Retail at Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) by showcasing its new, extended range of software solutions which are enabling some of the UK’s best known multi-channel retailers to prosper effectively.

Sanderson now has over 250 multi-channel retail customers using its proven solutions for stores, eCommerce, mobile commerce, and supply chain operations. 

Littlewoods and Mamas & Papas are two good examples of the multi-channel retailers the company has added to its extensive customer base, following the recent acquisition of cloud solutions specialist One iota and multi-channel software company, Priam.

IRX visitors can discover the very latest range of software, including the renowned Elucid system, at the Sanderson stand (K40); from multi-channel retail software for managing all sales channels and back office fulfilment operations, to state-of-the-art solutions for integrating your on and offline retail channels, including:

Smartpod – bring ecommerce in-store with an ordering facility offering instant access to your complete product range - boosting store sales, increasing conversion rates and avoiding potential lost sales.

Mobile PoS – a queue-busting, assistive tablet ordering and payments solution - assisting customers with a premium service and seamless shopping experience.

BI Dashboards – providing a greater insight into your business - enabling faster, data-driven decision making and highlighting opportunities to improve performance.

Multi-Channel Retail Systems – whether you’re looking to manage all your sales channels in a single system, or achieve smarter stock control and faster delivery timescales, we’ll help you to deliver a joined-up customer experience.

The complete Sanderson product portfolio will be on show at Internet Retailing Expo including the latest releases of the highly successful multi-channel retail systems, Elucid and Priam. And the team will be on hand to discuss the substantial business benefits Sanderson has brought to its customers.

Managing Director, Ian Newcombe says: “We are excited to bring together all our solutions and omni-channel expertise for the first time at IRX and look forward to showing the capabilities of our powerful new solutions to the industry."
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