New Look Supports International Expansion and Operational Flexibility with Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture
UK Fashion Retailer’s SOA Strategy wins Retail Systems’ Back Office Solution of the Year Award
NRF 98th ANNUAL CONVENTION & EXPO, NEW YORK – January 12, 2009
New Look, one of the UK’s leading fashion retailers, has implemented Oracle® SOA Suite to help increase operational flexibility and strengthen its foundation for future growth as it expands internationally.
The success of the project secured New Look the ‘Back Office Solution of the Year Award’ at the recent Retail Systems Awards. Now in their third year, the Retail Systems Awards recognize excellence and innovation in IT within the UK retail sector.
With more than 600 stores across Europe and 15 franchise stores in the Middle East, New Look has also recently opened an online channel, which is already receiving half a million visitors a week.
New Look implemented Oracle SOA Suite to leverage existing and future IT investments and help accelerate business performance by reengineering processes within its Buying and Merchandising (B&M) function, initially focused on markdown management and purchase ordering.
As one of the first retailers globally to deploy SOA to achieve process excellence, New Look has championed a business-led approach, in contrast to other organisations adopting a technology or integration approach. By focusing on the business objectives, SOA has quickly gained momentum across New Look’s trading floor.
A core team of senior business users within the IT and B&M teams, Oracle and Accenture, supported by group directors as business sponsors, helped ensure that New Look’s project remained focused on the business.
Rapid Deployment and Results
To date, New Look has completed two of the four-phase SOA programme, which commenced in June 2007. Both markdown and purchase order (PO) projects have delivered real-time savings to the B&M teams and considerable strategic benefits have been realized across the business from the integration and expansion of new channels and markets.
SOA’s visibility and control has helped improved the accuracy of 40 million SKU store records updated by the markdown application and 3000 POs raised each week. This has helped eliminate costly errors, ensure markdown cost and expenses to margin are properly assigned, and reduce lead-time through suppliers getting orders up to a week earlier.
The markdown solution has enabled a common process to be adopted across the UK and International stores for the first time enabling the total impact of markdown decisions to be measured.
The PO solution has allowed New Look to introduce franchise specific POs in order to help ensure that the franchise channels have guaranteed stock, clear visibility of commitment and now, with the introduction of upstream hubs, SOA has enabled direct deliveries bypassing the UK. This alone has helped reduce three weeks of lead-time to franchise markets, with the associated handling and freight savings.
The final stages of the project are expected to go live in January and April 2009 delivering a consistent markdown optimization solution across the trading floor and enabling complex POs to be raised reflecting the various supply chain routings required to support New Look’s expanding franchise operations.
“SOA has been a huge success within New Look and investing early in this emerging technology has created real value. Oracle SOA Suite has enabled us to focus on processes and the way we work, stripping significant non-value effort from the buying and merchandising teams, which in turn, has enabled them to focus on growing the business. More importantly, SOA has helped us create a flexible platform for supporting our strategic expansion,” said Carl McPhail, CEO, New Look.
Oracle is the number one provider of innovative and comprehensive industry software solutions for retailers – enabling organizations to serve their customers better by applying insight into daily business decisions for more profitable results. With software that provides supply chain, operations, merchandising, store systems, optimization as well as enterprise applications and infrastructure software, Oracle partners with the world’s leading retail companies, including 20 of the 20 top retailers worldwide, to transform the economics of their businesses.
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