Wincor Helps Value Retailer
Wincor Nixdorf, provider of IT solutions and services to retailers and retail banks, is carrying out a SAP implementation for QD Stores Group, an independently owned chain of value retail outlets, using the Wincor Nixdorf Accelerator approach.
The solution is due to go live in April and will help to support the company in its planned expansion across the UK by enabling it to improve the efficiency of its distribution centre and gain increased visibility into stock levels. In addition, it will help the value retailer combat growing competition from discount retailers, by making more informed buying decisions.
The QD Stores Group business model is based on being able to offer its customers more value by selling quality product lines at lower prices than other retailers. The retailer will deploy SAP Business All-in-One to improve its business processes and become more efficient as a business. In addition, it will deploy SAP Business Objects to provide it with intelligence to better understand its customers and their needs. This, combined with consultancy from Wincor Nixdorf, will enable QD Stores to fulfil client demands better and grow as a business. Wincor Nixdorf Accelerator is a toolkit approach with pre-written project plans and training documentation, which ensures that any SAP implementation can be done to short timescales and for a fixed price.
“Working with Wincor Nixdorf on identifying our core business processes and looking at how we optimise our stock has been a very insightful exercise. In addition, being able to use intelligence to make decisions based on facts that will tell us what a customer wants will be critical to our growth plans,” commented Justin Farrington-Smith, managing director of QD Stores Group.
“This is the biggest investment we have made in technology to date so we need to see a direct return on investment. Working with Wincor Nixdorf, we know that this is achievable as their consultants understand our business processes. They also know that the key to our success is being able to spot a good deal on some goods and knowing whether we can get those goods onto shelves while they are in fashion and season.”
QD Stores Group needed a back office system that would allow it to operate effectively now and through its aggressive growth plans to expand out of its core East Anglia stronghold. The group aims to grow the number of stores to 50 across the UK by the end of 2010. As it grows, the importance of understanding which products will sell in which locations and gaining real-time intelligence on what stock levels are like in different stores will become even more critical.
Direct benefits expected include a reduction in invoicing processes. Currently, QD Stores Group is handling each invoice three times, while in the future every invoice will go straight to head office, making the whole process far more efficient.
Following the implementation and the increased visibility, QD Stores expects that efficiencies will recoup its investment. The improvements to business processes supported by the SAP implementation will allow QD Stores Group to become more agile and therefore secure stock at better prices and offer it to customers quicker than its competitors. Ultimately, QD Stores Group will have far greater visibility and intelligence at the point at which it is making deals with suppliers. This in turn will allow it to understand how much it costs the group to sell any product, the time involved in getting that product to the consumer and how much profit it will make from each product line.
“Offering quality products at the lowest price can be challenging,” added Farrington-Smith. “It is essential that the products we buy are the very best and that there is demand for them. A good deal is only a good deal if the customer wants it. Previously, gathering this intelligence without software was very time-consuming. Moreover, we are facing increasing competition as discount retailers look to enter the value space, so we need to be able to offer the best products at the best price.”
Wincor Nixdorf is working with the QD Stores Group side-by-side in the run up to the implementation going live. Using the Accelerator approach, it was able to provide the retailer with a fixed price for the consultancy and install. In addition, QD Stores knows it can call upon Wincor Nixdorf for further changes to the system and business process improvement as and when needed.
“QD Stores Group has a great business model shown by the phenomenal growth over the past year. It has also recognised that to continue this growth and combat the competition, it needs greater insight into its business and greater intelligence on its customers,” commented Richard Pascoe, enterprise solutions consulting, Wincor Nixdorf.
“We are really pleased to be helping QD Stores achieve this by putting in place the processes and software that will allow it to make more informed decisions and therefore continue to succeed in an increasingly competitive market.”
Tuesday, March 16, 2010