Being a successful multi-channel retailer isn’t all about having a cool website with great EPOS integration. That helps, obviously, but we’re finding our customers paying equal attention to getting their supply chain systems in good shape to fulfil demand, wherever it may come from.
Here are a couple of recent examples that have kept our supply chain team very busy.
Upgrading enterprise systems is always nerve wracking. You have years of history, active business documents and you can’t do a pilot, meaning that the whole process is inevitably something of a big bang. At Monsoon Accessorise, our team worked a full weekend upgrade to our latest version of Mercatus which was fully working for start of business on Monday morning. Phew.
Since then, Monsoon has installed the first version of our new Merchandise Workbench which enables them to view all product activity, stock, sales orders, price, reservations and fulfilment from a single place.
Multi-channel can also make running a warehouse fiendishly complicated and our supply chain team have been working hard to help another long term customer, Austin Reed automate some heavily manual processes.
Until recently, Austin Reed Group (which also includes Viyella and Country Casuals) was running four logical warehouses within a single building. All pick, pack and dispatch for e-commerce orders was paper-based but a new business initiative, to fulfil web orders from store stock recycled back through the warehouse, was putting a lot of pressure on the processes.
To release the pressure, we’ve implemented Warehouse Operations, an RF based module of Mercatus, that enabled them to combine the four logical warehouses into a single one over one weekend. Paper has been replaced with hand held terminals and WOP now supports receiving, picking for stores and e-commerce, dispatch processing and label printing, put away processes, replenishment to the pick face from back up stock and task management. All this is fully auditable and warehouse throughput has increased significantly.