Voici La Mode is a Cypriot based franchisee of the world-renowned brands Marks & Spencer, Marks & Spencer HOME Store, and the French menswear trademark Celio. It was founded as a family business in the early 1950’s to become a holding company operating 10 stores with a total retail space of more than 10 000 sq.m., and running 2 distribution centers serving the needs of the outlets countrywide.
For many years, Voici La Mode used to work with a variety of separate software applications provided by local vendors – MS-DOS based programme for POS activities; a stand-alone Accounting and Warehouse application; Excel spreadsheets for Purchasing and Replenishment duties; even paper databases were used for а large number of Warehouse operations. All the applications were not integrated and this meant a lot of mistakes and incorrect data.
There were many drawbacks of the old software. Among the major ones were the limited promotional and loyalty program opportunities provided, and the hitches observed in the Purchasing process. The latter required the management of Voici La Mode to carry out the planning of items and quantities several months prior delivery. All activities and data had to be assembled and stored in Excel spreadsheets. Then, orders had to be submitted to Marks & Spencer UK via web portal, so that the franchiser would be able to plan capacities and streamline the manufacturing process.
Many warehouse operations would also present challenges and although there was an enormous volume of stock processed on a daily basis (from reception of goods, through their movement along different zones, to their actual shipment), most of the activities were still tackled on paper – a time and resource consuming job.
Voici La Mode knew that their expanding business demanded a new, contemporary software platform. Having this in mind, they turned to PhoenixPro – a leading Cyprus-based consulting company. Through close cooperation, they came up with an extensive RFP (Request for proposal), describing in detail every business aspect. Voici La Mode decided on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and LS Retail to comprehensively cover all the requirements of the retailer.
For an implementation partner, over several other solution vendors, was preferred Intelligent Systems due to the excellent industry knowledge and experience with LS Retail.
The project started with setting up numerous retail specific functionalities of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and LS Retail – the POS activities; replenishment processes; pricing, promotional and loyalty schemes, and more. Functionalities for wholesales activities, accounting and finance management, assembly management, and intercompany transactions were also integrated.
The Warehouse management module was customized to meet the customer demands. The Purchasing module was approached in a similar way, as it had to be integrated with the Marks & Spencer UK web based portal. This integration now allows Voici La Mode to easily transfer data with the franchiser regarding budgets for planning of deliveries per group of items. Moreover, it is modified so as to be in accordance to the standards and templates set by Marks & Spencer UK.
The Go Live of the first stage ran smoothly. A credit for this could be given to the “User acceptance test” applied – a phase of the Sure-Step methodology, assuring that every aspect of the RFP is strictly followed by the software solution.
Next steps encompass Mobile Loyalty, Web Loyalty, and POS customer reservations.
With no delay, Voici La Mode started to derive benefits from using Microsoft Dynamics and LS Retail:
- The management team is now provided with current, real-time data regarding sales, profits, and inventory levels, since the replication from stores to the Head Office is a constantly recurring process
- The core processes of delivering, replenishment, budgeting, and planning are now easier, as the data is held in one place and everyone who needs it (provided they have access permissions) retrieves it straight away
- The integration of the Purchasing module with the Marks & Spencer UK web portal is declared to contribute significantly to the planning and delivery optimization and the decision-making processes as a whole
- A number of Warehouse processes are now more efficient, since many activities were either automated or completely eliminated during the implementation stage
- Integration of all operations with the business accounts provides on-line accounting information vital for management decisions
Our people work faster, our business processes run smoothly, our customers are happy. Now we are confident we made the right decision with Microsoft Dynamics and LS Retail.