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One small step for the supply chain system, one giant leap for the business

Thursday 30 June, 2011

One small step for the supply chain system, one giant leap for the business

Every Thomas Pink shirt is an exercise in perfection. And when you have a perfect product, you can't make do with shoddy stock management. So it's no wonder the retailer is so keen to make sure that the systems and processes behind the scenes work as smartly and efficiently as possible. This means using technology to help tackle the big challenge faced by retailers today – managing stock in a multichannel, international marketplace.

Like many retailers, Thomas Pink is looking to new technology to help manage stock, reduce costs and remove supply chain inefficiency. But all of this depends on getting a system in place that can cope with all the different channels catered for – including its retail, wholesale, franchise and international flavours.

We worked with Thomas Pink to implement a new sales order processing module within the stock management system, Mercatus. It builds on the integration of web and store – pulling the wholesale channel into the system for the first time.

It went live in December and it has been remarkably successful. The retailer has already seen a result, with its biggest wholesale customer going from 49 per cent fulfilment last year to 91 per cent this year.


Taking the business to the next level

While the new system has improved efficiency, it's also boosted sales and set up new opportunities.

Thomas Pink's Global Merchandising, Buying, Wholesale and Franchise Director, Melanie Traub explains: "It's made us take the next step. We hadn't planned it, but we can now offer a replenishment service to our customers. That's given us significant extra business and we've taken on an extra person but we can justify this because of the additional sales."

Melanie believes it's clear that Thomas Pink now needs to do more merchandising planning. She wants to move the company away from planning at an overall business level, to plan by channel.

"It's becoming a business management tool, rather than a stock recording tool," she says.

And BT Expedite's supply chain expert Robin Coles is keen to take this on: "When we started with Mercatus we were a software provider. Now we're part of a community, providing a forum for informed debate and discussion. We want to create software that gives our customers exactly what they want."

Read the full case study.

For more information on our Supply Chain solutions, contact, or call us on 0870 8506880.

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