The project was sparked by an operational audit, carried out by Intersport UK’s IT Director, Laetitia Kotsiopoulos. This revealed the IT infrastructure in place could not support the brand growth.“We really wanted to drill down into the gaps between customer demands and our business capabilities” Laetitia explained. “We found that not only were many processes still manual, but the IT system we were using couldn’t integrate with the warehouse.”
Intersport UK’s retailers in the UK and Ireland were particularly affected by its legacy IT systems, as it slowed interactions between the independent members and head office.
“Lack of integration gave us no central visibility on stock levels, which impacted replenishment,” Laetitia added. “Members were phoning in orders and it was taking us 10 – 14 days to dispatch them. It wasn’t an efficient operation, as it was beset by many manual processes.”
Intersport UK identified Yourcegid Retail as the best store management solution for the UK and Ireland and Retail IT as its implementation partner. Members were given the option to either use Yourcegid Retail or connect the infrastructure to their own, existing POS solution.
A pilot in 7 stores immediately highlighted the value an integrated solution provided to the retailer’s store network, with benefits including:
- Reducing replenishment time from 14 days to 3 days through slicker communication
- Enabling a single clear view of core operations for the first time, to improve decision making
- Streamlining operations by automating product listing, which can be modified and added-to at store level (including non-core products not sold by Intersport UK)
- Closer aligning inventory, purchasing and sales
- Improving inventory accuracy by moving telephone reordering online
- Eliminating many time-consuming manual tasks
- Increasing full price sales by better managing inventory throughout the merchandise cycle
- Reducing cost of fulfillment from warehouse to stores by 15-20%
Moreover, the increased data visibility throughout Intersport UK’s store network has provided the brand with valuable insights into purchasing patterns store by store, to analyse which product lines are proving the most successful.
“The success of the roll out is all down to our relationship with Cegid and Retail IT,” Laetitia commented. “It’s not the typical supplier/client relationship that I have with my other suppliers – it’s a partnership. Their experience and knowledge has been invaluable in creating a solution to support the growth of our business.”
The sports retailer is now accelerating its Yourcegid Retail implementation to 30 stores by the end of the year, and sharing its capabilities with other countries – with a view to rolling out similar solutions globally.It also plans to fully automate its online ordering portal, and implement further business intelligence modules to drive even greater customer insights from using an integrated solution.
“If we went back to the IT infrastructure we had before, we wouldn’t survive,” concluded Laetitia. “This isn’t just a system replacement, it’s a reshaping of our supply chain strategy.”