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SOUTH AFRICAN FASHION RETAILER

A successful South African fashion retailer was facing a problem common to retail organizations around the world: as its enterprise IT systems came of age, they were embraced by the industry, yet highly customized as a result of striving to keep their competitive edge.

As time progressed, the company had become dependent on a Point of Sale (POS) system that was difficult to support, and even more difficult to upgrade due to the modifications that had been made to accommodate evolving business requirements.

Poised for growth, the business decided it was time to upgrade to a modern Oracle Retail POS, but the customization of its existing system meant deployment was a complex process. Due to a deep history with Retek / Oracle Retail, OLR was selected to implement the upgrade to the company's supporting merchandising solution.

WHAT

The retailer decided their best course of action was to select a unified platform with tangible, proven benefits. With this in mind, the retailer planned an upgrade to Oracle Retail POS with the additions of Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (SIM) and Oracle Retail Sales Audit (ReSA) applications to address the gaps in functionality. However, they faced another challenge: OLR's client was running a highly-customized Retek Merchandising System 7 combined with Retek Demand Management 9. The legacy modifications were deemed business-critical, and the client simply could not abandon the existing systems.

Facing such a complex upgrade, the retailer needed a merchandising specialist up to the challenge – which led them to OLR. Many OLR consultants were originally Retek developers and employees, and have had exposure to a wide variety of applications within the suite. This understanding of the systems' components and history across each release proved invaluable when facing the challenge presented in South Africa.

HOW

OLR has a strong culture of creative problem-solving to deliver practical solutions with both short & long-term benefits. To integrate a system comprising four separate applications running on three different versions of the suite without making changes to core programs, required innovative thinking.

While OLR knew that it could integrate these applications, it wanted to ensure that the solution would provide maximum business benefit to the client. With this in mind, the team undertook a detailed scoping and planning exercise to outline their approach. Three of OLR's experienced senior Technical Architects worked together to design a retrofit between the version 13 and legacy systems – one that would leave SIM and ReSA intact, and allow the client to move to Oracle Retail Merchandising System 13 in the future if they chose. The client confidently approved, and the project to integrate ReSA and SIM 13 with Retek Merchandising System 7 moved ahead.

SUCCESS

OLR was able to complete the retrofit and new installation in nine months, with the project finishing on time and under budget. To ensure a best-in-class solution, the applications were deployed as near base code as possible. Where modifications were required, OLR used deep knowledge and innovative approach to complete the changes in such a way as to preserve the upgrade path for the client.

This success was possible because OLR always approaches a project with a central goal: What solution will provide the biggest long-term benefit to the client at the lowest cost?

The unique, forward-looking solution delivered by OLR enabled the retailer to make monetary savings in areas such license & maintenance fees, training and deployment costs; improve inventory visibility at the store level and loss prevention measures; respond to evolving business requirements; and manage items at the SKU-level – previously items were managed at the Sub-Department level.

By working with OLR, the retailer was able to achieve these business benefits with less dependency on key individuals with specific knowledge.

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