By Amber Trendell-Oracle on Mar 21, 2016
Perry Ellis International executed an enterprise upgrade of Oracle Retail Merchandising (RMS), Retail Price Management (RPM), Allocation, Retail Sales Audit (ReSA), Store Inventory Management (SIM) and Point-of-Service in just six months with BTM Global. This success story represents a trend we're seeing across our customer base as we position customers to speed time to value and deliver on the promise of commerce anywhere. So what's the secret sauce? In a recent webcast, Sandeep Baghel, director of retail systems at Perry Ellis, shared essential steps to success:
1. Executive Sponsorship. Defining the vision and mission of an enterprise project is essential to obtaining buy-in across the organization. At Perry Ellis the executive leadership defined the objective clearly and simply to "be wherever their customers want them to be." That commitment required an upgrade to existing merchandising and stores POS systems to not only deliver commerce anywhere but to do it efficiently and profitably. Customer's are not going to tell you what they want directly; you have to anticipate expectations otherwise they will go elsewhere. Perry Ellis understands that inventory transparency and availability is the linchpin in a successful commerce anywhere strategy and getting ahead of customer expectations. Without one view of inventory you simply cannot offer your customers a premium brand experience that seamlessly flows from online to in-store or make smart and timely business decisions. Merchandising is the system that ensures a consistent and accurate view of product, price and place across the enterprise and therefore is critical to delivering an efficient, profitable omnichannel experience.
2. Clean Slate. RMS is the heart of the enterprise and whether you're upgrading an existing system or completely replacing legacy technology, now is the time to take the opportunity to review all your integrations, customization and processes to identify opportunities for optimization. Prior to even starting the RFP process Perry Ellis assembled all documents housed in their document management system, identified information holes and took the time to update their documents, integration diagrams and met with business partners to better understand what they were actively using and their future needs. Fortunately, because this project was an upgrade (merchandising 12.0 to 14.0), the existing customizations on the merchandising side were limited to one. Following this vanilla path and leveraging existing process flows in the Oracle Retail Reference Library allows Perry Ellis to capitalize on new innovations as they are released with little effort which results in better customer experiences and lower total cost of ownership.
3. Strategic Partner. First and foremost by completing step #2 above Perry Ellis was able to create a very detailed and specific RFP. This removed any ambiguity from the process and enabled the short list of SI's to deliver hyper-focused responses. When selecting the systems integrator Perry Ellis paid careful attention to partners that had demonstrated experience with technical upgrades and innovative ideas that ultimately would result in the best use of investment. After six RFPs and three face-to-face meetings they selected a partner that presented an innovation approach to conversion with the lowest downtime during cutover, was a true upgrade approach (versus a re-implementation) resulting in lower TCO, and demonstrated experience with both merchandising and stores systems.
4. Core Team. The size of your team will be relevant to the size of your organization. With ~70 stores in the US Perry Ellis defined their core team to include seven individuals that had deep experience with the business and technology systems. However, over the course of the project that team grew to upwards of 50 individuals when needed. To keep costs low, Perry Ellis minimized the time required for the SI to be onsite relying on video conferencing to facilitate collaboration with both on- and offshore resources.
5. Testing. Perry Ellis had successfully hit all their milestones and was ready to go live in October as planned. However, to mitigate any risk of interruption during the holiday season Perry Ellis took the opportunity to postpone their go-live and conduct additional testing. Again, going back to step #2 Perry Ellis had reviewed their testing scripts and made updates accordingly. This pre-work enabled them to step through testing in a methodical manner without the use of additional testing tools. In hindsight, the additional testing time uncovered some small bugs and also gave them the opportunity to conduct additional user acceptance training that ultimately resulted in a very high level of confidence with both IT and the business and no business interruption at go-live.