Demands to meet changing business needs are greater than ever; retailers are continually required to adapt, innovate and react. A challenging economic environment, intense competition, evolving consumer preferences and a multitude of channels to interact with customers are forcing retailers to think and execute new business strategies for growth and profitability. Putting in place the right business processes and deploying the right technology solutions can help retailers to improve their bottom-line through faster response to consumer demand changes, more efficient sales channels and merchandising, and optimized supply chain operations.
Merchandising is one of the most integral and challenging functions within the retail company. In most cases, poor merchandise decisions lead to lower revenue and gross-margins, lower sell-thru and high levels of inventory at low service levels. Quickborn Consulting helps retailers in implementing best-of-breed merchandising software enabling retailers to better plan and execute merchandise and store operations.
Following the successful adoption of merchandising and store systems, focus is turned to BI and Optimization solutions which further improve precision and efficiency. These solutions deliver everything retail organizations need to streamline budgeting processes, drive accurate forecasts, optimize pricing and assortment decisions and adjust business plans proactively.
Quickborn’s dedicated team of experts follow customer projects from A to Z, from implementation and transition to project go-live and production support. Our service teams of expert business, configuration and technical consultants, dedicated project director / project manager, and onsite consulting and near shore development teams guarantee your solution implementation project success.
Covering the whole project life-cycle our methodology is based on business and technical Best Practices of the Retail Industry:
Quickborn has implemented a fast track methodology and approach based in part on Oracle Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) and our own pre-defined business process rules per retailer segment (grocery, fashion, department store, etc).
Our approach consists of identifying key business processes and requirements during CRP and proposes pre-defined process solutions for each process while minimizing the number of customizations and enhancements. As a result, implementation time is reduced, budgets are lighter and subsequent maintenance is also cheaper. While we influence customer decisions for business process choice based on our product implementation experience, the customer has the opportunity to request a different solution based on an informed decision of its own.
Subsequently our implementation follows AIM conventions with heavy emphasis on change management and user acceptance of implemented processes and solutions. The ultimate success of the project depends on business support and acceptance of its delivered solution to operational needs.
Quickborn change management methodology, on a complete ERP OR retail suite implementation, starts with implementing planning solutions into the retail organization and managing the adoption of the planning solutions from Oracle Retail such as Merchandise Financial Planning, Category Management, Assortment Planning and Store Space Planning. These projects have a quick ROI and engage the strategic divisions of the retailer which then producing the results of the planning calculations, can justify and drive resulting changes through the retail organization both in terms of business processes and key performance indicators used to judge performance.
During execution of the planning output, the change management team focuses on adoption of new processes and supporting execution and transaction systems, like retail merchandise management system, sales audit, invoice matching, allocations, point of sale and store systems.
Following the successful adoption of execution systems described above, focus is turned to BI and Optimization solutions which can further improve precision and efficiency. Such products are Replenishment Optimization, Price Optimization and Markdown Optimization.
The above change management approach respects the product life cycle constraints of the retailer and introduces change in harmony with the natural cycle of the retail operations. In case above approach is not possible due to customer constraints, we can of course adopt above approach to conform to such constraints.
Project and Client Management
Our project team organization is designed to fit most closely with project based engagements that have clearly defined objectives and timelines (unlike permanently ongoing activities like support projects) and are scheduled into distinct well isolatable stages which each conform to a typical cascade project flow.
In this project based deployment, control of resources and activities is key to a successful completion. For this reason we have implemented a strict reporting structure which limits the risk of deviation from previously agreed plans and timelines and provides the necessary support for securing success of an on time, on budget and on specification delivery.
Our ground team of consultants consists of technical and business expert resources that possess the necessary skills and experience to deliver our commitments on the project. This team is typically deployed onsite in the project due to the high level of interaction with the customer team.
The project manager is tasked with day to day follow up of activities and the teams and is also on site with the customer to provide an on the ground view to the project director and to the customer’s management as well. In some cases there may not be a project director on a project depending on the size of the project and specific customer needs – in this case the project managers report directly to the operations director.
Project directors have the responsibility to overview one or multiple projects and maintain contact with the project manager on each project. The project director reports to the operations director and escalates issues as needed. Project directors are typically only on site with the customer on a limited timeframe.
The operations director is the top decision maker in a project engagement and reports and escalates top level issues directly to the CEO.
On a typical project our engagement team (excluding remote resources and enhancement development teams) is matched in structure with a client side team who work together in the project delivery. Each management layer in the above described structure has a corresponding layer in the client side management team, where each level manages the teams belonging to them and reporting up in their own structure. Each level also has joint meeting on a regular basis the frequency and content of which is defined by the stage of the project and the level of decision making concerned.