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SmiffyÂ’s dress to impress with fashion IT

By Retail Technology | Wednesday November 27 2013

Enterprise resource planning package provides foundation for fancy dress retailer to transform business processes, improve efficiency and support future global growth

Smiffy’s, the global fancy dress retailer, has embarked on a business transformation project with systems integrator K3 Retail, to improve operational efficiency across its international retail estate and achieve the scalability required to support future business growth. 

Through the implementation of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform Microsoft Dynamics NAV, inclusive of Pebblestone Fashion from K3, Smiffy’s has integrated many business departments, from online to order management, the warehouse and finance, to deliver a range of new functionality. This will improve the company’s procedure from concept to design, creation and delivery of its 5,000 products to over 5,000 stockists around the world, in store and online. 

Process control and connectivity

All business operations will run off the system implemented by K3 Retail. This will provide improved control and connectivity of product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM), from product selection and specification, to sales order processing, transactions, invoicing, picking, packing and shipping. 

The package provides information to Smiffy’s resellers and directly accepts orders in from them for processing. Data on product information is extracted from NAV to populate the many reseller websites and data feeds, with information on seasonal products, themes, sizes and stock availability.

Gary Alexander, solutions architect at Smiffy’s, said: “The ability to report better is of the utmost importance to Smiffy’s, as all departments report on a detailed level. The system provides the flexibility and scalability required to gain better control and management of all internal documents, with BI delivering better access to document history and information, not just internally but across our network of global stockists.”

Identifying any issues before launch

Several solutions were tested during the selection process, but Alexander explained: “K3 Retail was recommended by industry peers as a preferred supplier and, for that reason, we selected to partner with them for the project. With K3 Retail providing detailed UAT [user acceptance testing], we were able to identify and address any issues before the launch which substantially contributed to a successful go live.”

Warehouse procedures are now automated and handheld devices are used to scan products. This has already resulted in operational efficiency savings of 25%.

Smiffy’s is a seasonal business geared towards Halloween and Christmas and consequently was up against tight time constraints, with only a very small window in which the system could go-live. The project has been running for three years and Smiffy’s decided on an ‘all or nothing’ approach, switching over from the old system to NAV. Alexander added: “We went live in March this year and the process was very smooth and without glitches, so we couldn’t have asked for more at this stage.”