Tuesday Jun 19, 2012

Interview with Koen Aben, Supply Chain Director of WE Fashion

We recently spoke to Koen Aben, the Supply Chain Director of WE Fashion, who gave us some insight into how Oracle supported the international fashion retailer through the completion of a large scale integration project across its 340 European stores. Koen explains the reasoning behind the project which was to create a common retail foundation and to integrate and align working processes to drive insight and enable continued growth. It is always good to hear from someone of Koen’s experience who can articulate the benefits of partnering with the right company for such an extensive project as this.

Koen explains that a crucial element of such a project is to unify business applications into a common platform, adding that for successful growth, retailers really need to achieve enterprise-wide alignment. At the start of the three year project, WE Fashion’s application platform was fragmented impacting the company’s ability to support sustained growth. In light of this, WE Fashion invested in its processes, systems, teams and partnerships to build the needed retail foundation. Now after successfully completing the project, the basis is in place to ensure that growth is unimpeded.

In the video, Koen Aben highlights some of the factors necessary for the success of the project as:

  • Having an understanding that the process of creating a growth platform for a company is a long journey
  • Accepting that during a lengthy project such as this, there will be high and low points experienced within the project team and the business, but that the relationship with your partners is crucial to the success of the project.
  • Having the correct team in place will prove to be the “lynch –pin” of any successful project

Oracle supported Koen and his team in implementing this project, and is recognised for the role it played during this development in partnership with the company. On his experience with working with the Oracle team, Koen points out that in the critical situations, Oracle was there to ensure that the right people were in place whenever needed and this was key to ensuring the project’s success. Since Oracle is one of the few providers that can offer an enterprise-wide retail platform, our best practice approach is key to connecting interactions throughout the business to enable insight and optimise operations.

This is a great example of a large scale international retail project, where the true success of its completion is reflected in how proud the company is about what has been achieved, and the fact that results are already being seen.

Wednesday Oct 26, 2011

The Oracle Retail Industry Forum – Retail technology at its best

Sarah Taylor Speaks to the delegates at the Oracle Retail Industry Forum


Last week, we held the first Oracle Retail Industry Forum in Berlin, bringing together some of the most exciting and dynamic European retailers to share insights on the industry, how technology supports their businesses and strategies to drive growth.

[Read More]

Wednesday Jul 20, 2011

Fashion Retail Academy Alumni Interview - Tesco

We recently visited Tesco head office to speak to a graduate of the Fashion Retail Academy about her role as a Trainee Merchandiser.

In the video below, Emma Rodwell discusses how she uses Oracle Retail technology on a day-to-day basis in the fashion department at Tesco and her aspirations for the future.  Many thanks to Tesco and to the Fashion Retail Academy for making our visit possible and special thanks to Emma for taking the time out to speak to us.

For more information about the Fashion Retail academy, visit:


Sunday Jul 17, 2011

Oracle Retail and the Fashion Retail Academy - Retail Futures Challenge

In this video Karen Dennison, principal of the Fashion Retail Academy, explains Oracle Retail's involvement in supporting students at the World Retail Congress 'Retail Futures Challenge'.  For more information about the Retail Futures Challenge visit the official website.


Thursday Jul 14, 2011

Oracle and the Fashion Retail Academy - Interview with Karen Dennison

We recently visited the Fashion Retail Academy to see how they were teaching students about the technology they would be encountering in their day to day roles in the fashion retail industry.  While there we spoke to Karen Dennison - the principal of the Fashion Retail Academy - about the importance of technology skills in fashion retail, and how Oracle Retail is helping the academy to prepare students for using retail technology in the future.

Many thanks to Karen for taking the time out to speak to us. 

Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

Tomorrow's Retail Talent

The Retail industry is built on talent, personality and finely honed business skills. It is the individuals working in retail stores and head offices who redesign the customer experience, reinvigorate operational excellence and re-imagine growth every single day. The Fashion Retail Academy is dedicated to making its students ready for careers in this vibrant retail industry. Oracle has a deep and lasting commitment to the retail industry and has been a supporter of the Fashion Retail Academy from very early in the Academy's history.


FRA front.jpg Based in London, the Fashion Retail Academy is backed by some of the leading figures of the global retail industry. There are a variety of courses for students of different ages and skill levels. Sir Philip Green leads a long list of retail luminaries who spend time with the students to inspire them to work hard and build lasting retail careers.   The opportunities created for the students are truly unique and highly motivating with the majority of students walking into industry jobs immediately upon graduating. Subjects taught include Buying, Merchandising, Planning, Marketing, Product Development and Retail Industry Technology.

Many Oracle customers are also supporters of the Academy including New Look, Selfridges, Tesco and Gap. So, from the Oracle customer's perspective there is a clear benefit to recruiting Academy students who have been using Oracle solutions in the classroom and are already fluent in technology when they enter the workplace. The partnership between Oracle and the Fashion Retail Academy in action within the industry reduces the burden of training requirements on the Oracle Retail customer base.  Every successful retailer today uses technology and students understand the type of systems they can expect to use when they enter the workplace. It was a natural commitment for Oracle to make and we are really proud to be the Academy's technology partner.

We are currently working with the Fashion Retail Academy on Point of Sale and Planning solutions being taught on their syllabus. Oracle and its customers will be giving lectures in 2011 to help expand students' thoughts on how technology can help them become really visionary retailers with great insight. 

It is a really exciting year for technology and retail. Online retail continues to grow and demands new skills from the retail workforce. At Oracle, we look forward to working with the Fashion Retail Academy this year to explore how technology can be used to make buying decisions based on social media sentiment analysis.  We will continue to spend time with the Academy students and staff this year exploring these new trends.

Additionally this year, we are starting to work more closely with the alumni of the Fashion Retail Academy, tracking their progress in the workplace. It is a very exciting year for Oracle's relationship with the Fashion Retail Academy. We will keep you posted of developments through this blog and our 2.0 channels. 

If you are interested in hearing more about our work with the Fashion Retail Academy or want to become a supporter of the Academy please contact me Sarah Taylor at sarah.taylor@oracle.com


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

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Oracle Retail Microsite


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