Connected Retailer Connected Retailer - Hospitality Technology

Connected Retailer Connected Retailer - Hospitality Technology

Epicor’sConnected RetailerMagazineFall 2010• After the StormLearning to thrive inpost-recession retail• Specialty Fashion GroupIntegrating merchandisemanagement across 840 stores• Leveraging CRMServicesAn alternative to outsourcingthat keeps you in control• Moving Ahead withKellwoodMulti-brand retailer usesSoftware as a Service to pursueefficiency, customers, growthAdvanced solutions for growing retailers

Tableof Contents2 After the StormNavigating the New RetailLandscape4 Case Study: KellwoodUsing Software as a Serviceto Move Ahead6 Epicor Retail SaaSHands-Free IT for GrowingRetailers7 The Future of the MallConvenience and CommunityThrough Diversification8 Case Study: SpecialtyFashion GroupScalable Solutions DriveIntegration and Growth10 CRM ServicesHow Any Retailer Can LeveragePowerful Marketing Solutions12 Streamlined ImplementationsSix Steps That Merge Best-ofBreed Performance withPackaged Value14 Empowered RetailersWhat’s Setting Them Apart14 Epicor CommerceDesign and Manage Your OnlineChannel With Ease15 Epicor Tops Apparel’s Top 50AcknowledgementsEpicor gratefully acknowledges RetailTouchPoints for permitting us to adaptsponsored research and white papersfor several articles in this magazine,as well as RIS News for its production.AFTER THE STORMLearning toThrive inPost-RecessionRetailBy Randy Tofteland, Executive Vice President,Retail Operations, Epicor Software CorporationAs retailers and retail partners, we’re hopeful that the recession willremain a fading memory. Although the recovery has been tentative,the worst economic period in recent history seems to be giving wayto modest signs of growth in consumer spending and an improvedsense of optimism about our industry.Nevertheless, the past has left its mark. Bearing in mind the axiom “thosewho forget history are bound to repeat it,” we’re now at a good vantage pointfrom which to assess the factors that helped many retailers weather the storm,as well as the strategies and tools they will need to navigate effectively in ashifting business landscape.Moving Ahead, by Looking BackWhile almost all retailers struggled to some extent during the past two years,many managed to retain or even improve their positions. As described inDeloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2010, companies that were able to sustainbottom line hits from repeated heavy promotions tended to fare better, asdid those with multiple formats and a more global base of operations. Yetfinancial and structural advantages do not tell the whole story. Most mid-sizedand smaller retailers also managed to hang on by adapting their operations tosuit the adverse conditions.The lesson this offers as we move through and beyond 2010 is that visionand agility may be our most important assets. Regardless of your size andretail focus, you must have the foresight to recognize change and the ability totake advantage of it by shifting your resources in line with market trends. Asnoted by Gartner’s Jeff Roster in this year’s RIS News/Gartner RetailTechnology Study, "Racing to Catch Up," “The future is rushing forward andretailers need to respond now to convert today’s challenges into tomorrow’sopportunities.”This is important advice in this period of market transition, in which ourfamiliar picture of retailing has been markedly changed. For example, mall trafficmay once again be up, but shoppers appear to be more conscious of whatthey buy and cautious about overspending. They’re focused more than ever onvalue—on getting the right products at the right price, easily, while beingengaged by the experience. And to deliver that kind of value, retailers will haveto improve their capabilities while also controlling costs.That sounds like a tall order, but competitive enterprises are moving fast to2

“We still face many challenges in ourpost-recession world, but we also havemany opportunities to excel.”fulfill it, supported by revived plans for investment in new technologyand upgraded systems. The research for "Racing toCatch Up" indicates that retailers are beginning to reinstate previouslypostponed projects and that investment intentions lookvery strong for next year. As Joe Skorupa, Group Editor-in-Chiefof RIS News explains, “…IT has emerged as an essential enablerthat not only helps retailers achieve market advantage…but alsoproduces measurable gains for cost containment initiatives, whichcontinue to be a top priority among retailers this year.”Satisfying Customers with High-Value ITWhat are today’s key IT enablers? The RIS/Gartner study is justone of several that include planning and assortment planningamong this year’s priority technologies, and customer satisfaction,inventory visibility and multi-channel initiatives as leadingaction items over the near- to mid-term. Planning systems serveto boost both revenue and customer satisfaction by helpingretailers align their products with real demand in each market, inorder to better leverage inventory and maximize sales.This is also the case with cross-channel integration and ordermanagement solutions, which meet customers’ increasingexpectations to order online or pickup and return in stores, andconnect them quickly with the items they’re looking for, anywherein the chain. The recent RIS News/Cognizant ShopperExperience Study, “Changing Priorities, Resetting Expectations,”found that fully 73% of shoppers want cross-channel functionalityavailable at the store checkout.With smartphones set to eventually surpass PCs as the mainpoint of Web access for most consumers, mobility is anotherarea of fast-evolving technology that is receiving great attentionfor its ability to empower both consumers and retailers. Considerthis scenario described by Jeff Roster: “…imagine a group ofshoppers snapping pictures in a store and adding text about howexciting it is, then sending it to hundreds or thousands of peoplewho follow them. Also imagine those same shoppers respondingnegatively to a product or promotion and sharing their feelingson a world stage for all to see.”In this bold new business environment, retailers will not onlyhave to do everything possible to avoid damaging reviews, butalso to apply mobile technologies to their own best advantage.Forward-thinking retailers at all levels should therefore be lookingto mobile POS as a way to engage customers who now live onthe go and expect “right now” information and service. Many arealready using it to place chainwide product and customer data inthe hands of store associates, accelerate transactions, and deliverpromotions directly to shoppers’ devices.A New View of GrowthYour customers’ experience can also be elevated with advancedPOS and CRM systems. Both facilitate faster and more personalizedservice and more productive marketing. Fully one-third ofrespondents in a recent survey indicated they are currently planningPOS upgrades, and many studies highlight the importanceretailers now place on customer loyalty, analytics and targetedpromotions. Leveraging your hard-earned base of customers isan excellent, affordable way to grow your business withoutgrowing your chain.For limiting costs, loss prevention systems offer a potent combinationof fast payback and excellent long-term ROI. Automatedexception reporting and case management tools allow investigatorsto quickly identify procedural violations, uncover fraud andprepare evidence—to plug leaks on lost profits that can’t otherwisebe seen. Retailers are also now looking with renewed interestat improving sourcing, warehousing and merchandising capabilitiesto boost efficiencies throughout the supply chain.We still face many challenges in our fledgling, post-recessionworld, but we also have many opportunities to excel. We canmanage and profit from evolving market conditions if we thinkstrategically, apply the right resources and remain agile in theface of change. These qualities have been instrumental toEpicor’s success, and they will enable us to ensure that our retailclients continue to succeed for years to come. •SUBSCRIBE TO CR MAGAZINE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILER3

CASE STUDY: KELLWOODMulti-Brand Apparel RetailerAdvances with SaaSLike many other forward-thinking retailersoperating in today’s challenging economicenvironment, Kellwood was quickto understand the need for streamlinedoperations, agility and strong customerrelationships—and the crucial role technologyplays in helping retailers succeed.When the organization looked to revampits retail software systems, it opted for aSoftware as a Service (SaaS) model toachieve efficiencies and keep its IT teamfocused only on specific in-house technologyneeds rather than on core retailinfrastructure. In addition, the SaaS modelenabled Kellwood to quickly, efficientlyand cost-effectively open new stores.Adding Value with Epicor SaaSKellwood decided to trust its retail systemsto the experts at Epicor due to the company’sindustry-leading retail technology andextensive track record of successful SaaScustomer engagements. The SaaS packageselected by Kellwood features EpicorRetail Store, Merchandising, Planning,Audit and Operations Management, POSand Customer Relationship Management(CRM) functions.Epicor hosts all of the solutions onsecure, redundant servers; procures andmanages the wide area networks; andprovides help desk support, systemmaintenance, 24/7 data security andbackups, disaster recovery, and ongoingupdates and upgrades to the latest Epicorsoftware releases. Outsourcing allowsthe entire Kellwood organization to bettersupport growth across its many brands,and affords its IT team extreme flexibility.“We felt the optimal way to supportour newly enhanced retail software systemwas to have Epicor’s experts manageit for us, as they work with the solutionday in and day out,” says Bob Ross,Senior Vice President of Retail, Kellwood.“This model allows our IT teams to concentrateon matters specific to ourbrands and customer initiatives ratherthan having to spend time and effortmanaging and maintaining the software,hardware and support. In addition, thefunctionality of Epicor’s retail solutions,coupled with the convenience of SaaS,enables Kellwood’s team to remain smalland nimble even as we grow.”CRM: Retail’s Best Sales AccessoryOne of the Kellwood brands benefitingmost from the best-in-class softwaresolutions in Epicor’s SaaS offering isVince. Offering a contemporary sportswearline that reflects a modern yet casuallifestyle, Vince was acquired byKellwood in 2006, and leads the chargein best practices when it comes tosmooth operations and stellar customerrelations.Vince focuses on cultivating customerrelationships and delivering a high levelof personal touch with every interaction.Their customer engagement program isanchored by Epicor Retail CRM software.Using CRM, Vince initiates great relationshipsby efficiently capturing customerinformation and analyzing purchase historydata to selectively market to individuals.“We can’t work with a customer ifwe can’t identify their purchase history,”Ross says. “That’s the jumping-off point.From there we can evaluate their potentialinterest in new products that come in,and develop engaging promotions andoutreach.”To do this, Vince uses multiple formsof communication—from hand-writtenthank you notes to personalized e-mailsto courtesy calls. “When we talk aboutadding a ‘personal touch,’ we mean it,”says Ross. “For example, if a customermentions a particular type of cashmerethey like, our associates make note ofthat, and as soon as something similararrives on site, we’ll send a note, e-mailor phone the customer to inform them.”Or if a customer regularly spends highamounts on single luxury items, such asa leather jacket, associates might communicatewith them about a line of outerwearreceived in-store.Alternatively, if a particular customeronly shops sales, the team relies on thesystem to remind them to reach out priorto special events, and to send semiannualsales notifications. Not only doesthis translate into improved in-storesales, but by mining information beforeand after customers leave, Vince contin-4

CASE STUDY: KELLWOODSolutions for Every OperationIn addition to strengthening its CRM program,the Kellwood Company now worksmore efficiently by using Epicor RetailPlanning. Sales data is leveraged to helpdetermine the ideal merchandise for eachmarket, make the most of theirresources, and enable accurate planningat all levels—and the module is integratedwith financials. “Integration is key asit allows our executives to see—at anypoint in time—how we’re selling againstthe overall plan,” says Ross.With Epicor Retail Audit and OperationsManagement, another core component ofthe SaaS suite, Kellwood manages all transactiondata quickly and easily. The systemenables them to do a close within threedays—a great improvement over their previousmethods—with minimal staff.Two other core SaaS solutions deliverimportant value to Kellwood. EpicorRetail Merchandising empowers teammembers to perform moreprecise allocations andcentralized workflow managementat all levels andacross all channels, whileEpicor Retail Store—whichincludes Point-of-Sale andReturns Management programs—providesKellwoodassociates with a robusttoolset to support best-inclasscustomer service andefficient transaction processing,with a full complementof front- and backofficefunctions.Kellwood’s brands arewell-positioned for growth,and their SaaS suite fromEpicor is well-equipped to support it. As“plug and play” solutions, they extendeasily across expanding chains. AtVince, for example, hardware and softwarecan be up and running in a newstore within three months. And becauseSaaS is fully hosted, new stores do notrequire new IT staff. •Epicor Retail SaaS: ‘Hands-Free’ IT Solutionsfor Growing RetailersEpicor’s Software as a Service for retailmakes it easier and more affordable thanever to gain the competitive advantages ofthe industry’s leading retail solutions. Thisall-inclusive offering provides proven solutionsthat are developed, implemented andmaintained by Epicor, and delivered directlyto stores and the head office via high-speedpersistent networks.Epicor Retail SaaS includes theacclaimed Epicor Retail Merchandising,Store, CRM, and Audit and OperationsManagement solutions, plus Planning andMicrosoft Dynamics GP ® when required.Retailers also get complete infrastructure forboth the host and store hardware, solutionupdates at no extra cost, and 24/7 monitoring,maintenance, and support. The solutionsincluded in the Software as a Service offeringprovide the same advanced functionalityas Epicor’s best-of-breed systems, based onthe same proven architecture for optimumefficiency, scalability, and ease of use.However, the SaaS format dramaticallyreduces capital investment, implementationand operational requirements. An initial,one-time setup fee covers data conversion,implementation and training, paymentprocessing certification, and POS registerstaging; thereafter, the fixed quarterly fee isall-inclusive. And because Epicor takes careof everything, SaaS also minimizes dependenceon in-house IT resources and reducesretailers’ TCO.Epicor Retail SaaS offers benefits from:• High-performance IT, from the sameEpicor Retail solutions used by the world’smost successful retailers• A turnkey solution with everythingneeded, including software, hardware, implementation,training, full security, maintenance,and support• Ease of use, without the requirementsof advanced IT knowledge and in-house systemmanagement• High ROI and low TCO, assisted by lowup-front costs and consistent service feesthat leave more to invest in businesses andbrands• Seamless growth, with IT that expandsfluidly with a business without ongoing capitalreinvestments• Quick implementation within just fourmonths, for minimal disruption and faster ROI• Automatic updates that keep retailersrunning with the latest functionality—at noextra cost.6

THE MALL OF THE FUTUREB Y DIANE NEAVENThe Shopping Mall:Retail Reduxccording to some pundits, the era of the shoppingAmall – a fixture in the retail landscape for decades –is now coming to a close. Personally, I believe therumors of shopping mall death are greatly exaggerated.Rather I believe we are on the cusp of an era ofreinvention of the shopping mall.The mall of tomorrow will offer consumers convenience andcommunity, as well as a place to shop. It will feature differentkinds of anchors and different tenant mixes, and more space setaside for non-retail uses. Envision environments that place asmuch emphasis on recreation—everything from skate parks tojogging paths to entertainment complexes—as well as retail,with lots of added amenities and ambience.This new look and feel of the mall will underscore retailers’efforts to attract and retain a new breed of customer—effortsthat can be aided through technology.New Vehicles to Reach Gen Y ShoppersMall retailers are already employing new approaches to attracttoday’s consumers and those of tomorrow. Retailers—buoyedby the affluent Baby Boomer generation over the past fewdecades, which is now moving into retirement and spendingless—must now focus on reaching new generations of consumerswho are outside traditional means of influence. Theyaren’t accessible via traditional advertising methods (they don’tread newspapers and don’t watch commercials thanks to TiVO).And due to the ubiquity of the Web and mobile phone, they havemore retail choices than ever and are highly educated as to theiroptions.Mobile marketing is an important tool to target these increasinglysophisticated and mobile consumers with customized messages,coupons, and promotions that encourage them to interactwith the store environment, helping retailers strengthen brandand customer loyalty and help drive revenues.Convenience is king, but when it comes to soft goods, customersstill want the option to see, touch and try on in store. Butthey don’t want to go on an expedition to locate a pair of shoesor a handbag. They want to compare their options online athome and then, through integration with brick-and-mortar“Convenience is king,but when it comes to softgoods, customers still wantthe option to see, touch andtry on in store. But theydon’t want to go on anexpedition to locate a pairof shoes or a handbag.”— DIANE NEAVEN, DIRECTOR, RETAILENTERPRISE PRODUCT MANAGEMENT,EPICOR SOFTWARE CORPORATIONstores, leverage location-specific data to identify where thatproduct can be found, experienced, and purchased. Crosschannelinitiatives enable retailers to promote a consistent andrewarding brand experience across whatever channel(s)customers choose.Location-based services on smart phones will be leveragedincreasingly in the future, with malls trying to attract customersby buying services on networks to contact customers who haveopted into the “mall app”. (Yes, there will be an app for that!)Shopping has always had a heavy social and emotional quotient;savvy retailers will continue to support the mall shoppers’need to connect with other like-minded consumers virtually viasocial media where images can be exchanged with friends andfamily for immediate feedback.Indoor, outdoor, horizontal or vertical—no matter what physicalform the new mall takes, the foundation for its success willbe innovation and technology. The new mall—while a work inprogress—is alive and well. •SUBSCRIBE TO CR MAGAZINE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILER7

equirements needed to bridge betweenand across departments throughout SFG.”Sophisticated Systems DeliverSophisticated ResultsArmed with its new retail solution, SFGsoon began to experience the benefitsfrom its investment. Leveraging EpicorRetail Merchandising, Epicor RetailPlanning and Epicor Retail Sourcing, SFGteam members were empowered to performmore precise allocations and centralizedworkflow management at all levelsand across certain channels of operation.The Epicor Retail Sales Audit moduleprovided an added level of confidence toSFG management that their departmentswere now working with sound, disciplinedprocesses centered around reliable,consistent information. SFG beganto see improvements in gross margins,and further, any constraints on the organization’sgrowth were quickly removed.Leveraging Epicor Retail CRM, SFG isable to better connect with new customersand increase the sophistication of its existingengagements with loyal SFG followers.“Our customer database is a keystrategic asset to our business as it helpsus connect with nearly four million customers,giving us powerful insight todrive company strategies across product,pricing and marketing,” says Greenstein.“The functionality Epicor’s system providesto manage and best utilize thiscritical resource is good. It allows us tobetter identify, reward and protect ourmost valuable members, activate newcustomers through cross-selling, andleverage other targeted, contemporaryretail strategies to drive drifting membersback into stores and encourage them tore-engage with our programs.”Revitalized for the FutureWith a continued focus on growth andmanaging customer relationships in anextremely challenging retail landscape,SFG is moving forward leveraging businessbest practices to maintain its competitiveposition in the marketplace. Fromimproving store allocations, sales andmargins to relying on allocation andfuture assortment planning modules toidentify and buy better ranges, SpecialtyFashion Group relies on Epicor technologyand expertise to support the fashionenterprise as it aims to continuallyimprove efficiencies to ensure customersfind the right look at the right price fromthe brand they trust. •AT A GLANCECOMPANY DESCRIPTION: Specialty Fashion Group (SFG) is the largest women’s apparel retail group in Australia, selling women’s work,casual and leisure wear to a fashion- and price-conscious customer base. With stores across all states in Australia and New Zealand,the Alexandria, Australia-based enterprise is spread across six brands and caters to millions of customers.BUSINESS CHALLENGE: With 837 stores, thousands of styles, and millions of customers, SFG was continually challenged with managingplanning, sourcing, purchasing, supply chain and allocation across its vast retail enterprise—all while striving to boost margins and deliverstellar customer service.SOLUTION: SFG chose to partner with Epicor to leverage the company’s best-in-breed Epicor Retail Suite—deploying Epicor Merchandising,Planning, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sourcing and Sales Audit software modules to support the fashion leader’s businessgoals and requirements.BUSINESS BENEFITS:• Confidence that data processes are sound and disciplined, and information is reliable and consistent• Support for future growth/expansion• Improved inventory management and allocation capabilitiesDON’T MISS THE NEXT ISSUE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILER9

CRMSERVICESCRM Services: How Any Retailer CanLeverage Powerful Marketing SolutionsRM is fast becoming a core solution in almost everyretailer’s IT suite, and a competitive imperative inCtoday’s shopper-centric world. Regardless of yoursize or vertical, your customers expect to receivepersonalized service from associates who knowthem almost as well as they know your merchandise,and to be appreciated and encouraged with relevant rewards.However, the ultimate value of a CRM solution depends onyour ability to execute and coordinate a variety of functions, fromcustomer capture and clienteling to analytics and reporting toloyalty program and campaign management—all of which mustbe supported by a well-maintained database. Further, the challengesof performing these functions are compounded when youintroduce multiple channels and require Web integration. As aresult, many retailers are simply not equipped to run a completeCRM program in-house, even when supported by advanced,automated solutions.These retailers have typically followed one of two alternativeapproaches to gain the benefits of CRM with limited resourceson site. Acquiring specialized solutions and expanding them overtime offers limited functionality and potentially higher integrationcosts later on. Outsourcing to a third-party provider meansrestrictions on viewing and controlling your data, as well asescalating costs as the provider's services expand.The Services SolutionEpicor elected to address these challenges in two ways.According to Dave Burton, Director of CRM Services at Epicor,“We first developed a fully integrated, retail-specific CRM suitethat lets your in-house team deliver and manage a completerange of service and marketing functions. This multi-channelsolution enables customer analytics and segmentation, comprehensiveloyalty programs and marketing campaigns, and realtime,targeted communications to the POS and other channels.”Secondly, to support those retailers with minimal in-housestaff or limited expertise, Epicor developed a distinctive serviceoffering that turns the traditional outsourcing model inside out.“Instead of hosting your software and retail data, we leave thosekey resources in your hands, but we will run and apply them toyour specifications,” Burton says. “As a CRM Services client, you10CRM Services can help you generate more traffic,sales and loyalty — with a small in-house staff.

Epicor Retail CRMretain control of your solution, program and data atall times, but are fully supported by the peoplewho know that solution best—the same peoplewho designed and developed it on your behalf.”This model lets you gain maximum leveragefrom your Epicor Retail CRM solution and availablein-house staff. It enables you to focus yourown resources wherever you are best able to,such as on strategic planning, analysis and coremanagement operations, while outsourcing specializedfunctions you may not have the expertisefor, and/or routine functions that may be morecost-effectively farmed out.Many retailers are simplynot equipped to run acomplete CRM programin-house, even whensupported by advanced,automated solutions.A Four-Part OfferingEpicor’s CRM Services are available in four mainareas. Among the most popular is MaintenanceServices, which cover all aspects of databasemanagement. Within Marketing Support, Epicorcan take care of all aspects of campaign management,from target recommendations and potentialROI assessments through execution and postcampaignanalysis.CRM Services also includes Training toaccommodate staff turnover, updates and educationon new functionality. Finally, our CRM expertsare available to deliver a wide range of Ad HocConsulting services. Typically, this involvesassisting retail clients with special projects thathave a well-defined scope and timeframe, or withchallenges particular to their program and operations.Loyalty program design and the developmentof customer segmentation models are twosuch examples. •Epicor Retail CRM Services leverages Epicor Retailer CRM, a complete, retailspecificsolution for engaging, capturing, analyzing, segmenting, marketing andrewarding your customers—for measurable results.Customer Reporting. Discover marketing opportunities in your customer data!Thirty templates can be configured thousands of ways to let you segment the databasewith sophisticated tools, manipulate your reports with ease, and leverage yourdata to drive ROI.Customer Dashboards. Create dashboards for all key users and streamlineaccess to information. You can show KPIs from the CRM database across yourenterprise, build pages packed with pertinent information, select Web Parts basedon popular reports, and even add Web objects from outside CRM.Campaign Manager. Plan and execute campaigns knowing who is most likelyto respond, and automatically update promotion results. You’ll develop and supportcomplex customer segmentation strategies, create targeted lists from a robustquery tool, define and track control groups to determine lift, and identify incrementalsales to prove true ROI.Loyalty Reward Manager. Run an effective discount- or points-based loyaltyprogram that integrates all your sales channels and points of service, accounts forpurchase behaviors and profitability, and encourages sales. Profit from one-to-oneor group messaging, support multiple membership types, define rules, and let yourcustomers redeem points across all channels.Customer Inquiry. Take full control of your customer information from anywherein your organization. Use your browser to view, update or add customerrecords; view purchase histories and lifetime totals; provide personalized responsesto loyalty program queries; and redeem rewards for specific customers.Data Manager. Maintain and leverage a clean, up-to-date database. This modulelets you build complex queries; import, export, and enhance your customerinformation; schedule automatic information updates; consolidate duplicates andstandardize addresses; and analyze your database at the household or individualcustomer level.Contact Manager. Give your sales associates, managers, and call center staffa 360° view of each customer’s contact history for informed, personalized service.This clienteling solution lets you record non-transaction based customer interactionssuch as phone calls, letters and e-mails, and schedule appointments and follow-upactivities.Web Extensions. Personalize your online store. Web extensions lets you interfaceyour CRM database with any third-party solution to deliver triggered messaging,incentives and other content online or at kiosks, based on each customer’spreferences.Point of Service CRM. Give your store personnel a head-office view of customeractivities. Point of Service CRM puts actionable information in the hands ofyour sales associates at the POS, including purchase histories, loyalty rewards andtriggered messaging, to improve service, build loyalty and increase sales.Mobile Computing CRM. Access and apply customer information while yourassociates are still serving and selling—not just at the POS. Epicor’s Mobile CRMsolution enables more productive and profitable interactions between your associatesand customers, with real-time information about their preferences, points andpurchase histories that can be updated in real time.For more information on Epicor Retail CRM Services or Epicor Retail CRM,contact TO CR MAGAZINE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILER11

PACKAGED SOLUTIONSSix Steps for Merging Best-of-BreedPerformance with Packaged Solutions’ Valuence, smaller retailers looking for an easy way to getOup and running quickly with end-to-end solutionsusually had to compromise on functionality andadaptability. “Packaged” often meant “pareddown,” and imposed limitations on the fit betweenthe solutions’ features and each retailer’s needs.Times have changed. Today, retailers no longer have tochoose between the highest quality best-of-breed solutions andthe value of implementing through a packaged solutionsapproach. By combining software and hardware that is preplanned,pre-scoped and pre-tested, and implementing it accordingto a consistent, “best-practices” methodology, companiescan get up and running faster with less risk on solutions thatoffer virtually the same level of performance as their traditionalbest-of-breed counterparts.This type of streamlined implementation using preconfiguredapplications is particularly well suited to the needs of tier 3 and2 companies. With a packaged suite, the basic solution set willtypically cover merchandising, sales auditing and POS as coreToday, retailers no longer have to choose between thehighest quality best-of-breed solutions and the value ofimplementing through a packaged solutions approach.applications, with planning, assortment planning, CRM, loss prevention,warehouse management and other solutions availableas optional/value-add solutions.In all cases—regardless of how many preconfigured solutionsare included in the package—retailers need to satisfy threekey criteria to optimize value with this approach:• Identify a provider that offers a fully integrated suite, toavoid the complexities, time and cost associated with mappingtogether siloed applications• Use highly structured implementation procedures that arebased on repeatable, proven best practices• Ask the right questions and get the right answers, up frontand throughout the process.The following six-point checklist supports the three keyobjectives by providing direction for choosing the right packagedsolution and leveraging this approach for maximum ROI.1. Balance the Cost/Value EquationSince time is money, packaged implementations are typicallysubstantially less expensive than their best-of-breed counterparts.They allow retailers to leverage a full suite of solutions offthe shelf, and also allow the business users to familiarize themselveswith the solutions’ workings ahead of time. Anotheradvantage to pre-tested products is that they can eliminate costlyand time-consuming mistakes.However, to deliver true value—not just cost savings—thepackaged approach must be appropriate for your retail business.The following considerations can help you make this determination:• Is your business able to align with streamlined businessprocess flows and pre-defined configurations, or do you requirecustomization specific to your unique needs?• Are you willing and able to adapt or acquire hardware compatiblewith the software package and prerequisites of thestreamlined implementation?• What level of in-house staffing is available to execute deliverables(i.e. to develop data loads, drive Readiness Testing, managego-live cut-over activities, etc.)?• Are your key business users available to participate in theeducation and training sessions and to execute readiness testing?• Is your organization prepared to support the implementationby embracing an effective change management process?2. Pick Proven WinnersSolutions that are pre-planned, pre-scoped and pre-tested comewith the confidence of proven success and minimal problems.Retailers should look for solution providers that can provide thespecifications, business processes and test case examples upfront. The most experienced providers will be able to shareproven success stories and provide applications that reflecttime-tested characteristics.12

3. Build a Secure TimelineGetting business processes operational in aknown time frame can be the differencebetween a quick success and a long-termproblem. Because the packaged softwareused in streamlined implementations is predefined,its implementation is more predictableand involves fewer risks.The process is based on:• A structured approach that guides aclient from solution overview through to golivewith a focus on education, training andexpectation-setting activities• Critical-path deliverables that supportshort timelines• A high level of client involvement, selfsufficiencyand communication, for optimalcoordination with the software provider.Retailers who have adopted this pre-plannedimplementation strategy have done so with impressiveresults. A major retailer of school, casual, and career apparelwith 120 stores offers a case in point. In just six months theywere up and running with Epicor’s EnterpriseXpress package ofMerchandising, Store/POS and Sales Audit solutions—togetherwith Planning, CRM, Warehouse Management and Financials asvalue-added applications. The potential for higher, faster ROI withthis type and scope of fast-track implementation is unmatchedby any traditional point-solution program.4. Match Hardware/Software NeedsOne of the advantages of implementing proven, packaged solutionsaccording to a consistent, time-tested process is knowingwhich hardware will work best with the software. The mostexperienced solution providers will be able to determine the exacthardware configuration that will work best with the software. Thevendor should be able to provide documentation that shows theresults of integrated testing with the suggested software/hardwareconfiguration.Standard Application Programming Interface (API) layoutsalso should be available for retailers who need to develop thirdpartyintegration. The vendor should be able to supply the technicaldocuments necessary to complete the integration and offerassistance, if necessary. Retailers also should have the option tocomplete the integration in-house if they have the expertise, orcontract out to a third party for assistance.5. Map Out the Implementation for a Quicker ROIWorking with a pre-scoped solution suite and a proven implementationprocess, retailers can be up and running in as little assix to eight months. Off-the-shelf solutions are pre-scoped forprocess flow, hardware requirements and configurations, andthey feature a pre-planned rapid implementation methodologythat focuses on education, training, and building the client’s selfsufficiency.6. Confirm Successful Solution TestingSolution testing is key to confirming long-term implementationsuccess. With the pre-packaged implementation methodology,using components that have been designed to work together,testing can be completed more quickly and with more confidence.And because the solutions have not been created fromscratch and have been in use in the real world, testing resultstypically deliver fewer questions and concerns.The most experienced solution providers will begin the testingprocess with virtual to physical testing. With virtual testing, thesolution provider can complete the full deployment process in anin-house virtual environment. Physical testing is completed inthis virtual environment using the prescribed hardware components.Following in-house testing, another phase of testing iscompleted out in the field, along with quality assurance. •DON’T MISS THE NEXT ISSUE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILER13

RETAIL IN MOTION: HOW EPICOR HELPS OUREpicor’s Empowered RetailersIn addition to serving apparel and general merchandisers,Epicor is the solution provider ofchoice to a wide range of specialty retailers,including leading jewelers such as Ben Bridge,Movado, Zales, and Ben Moss.An Epicor client since 1989, Ben Moss Jewelers is currentlyupgrading and expanding their solutions suite with Epicor’sStore, Merchandising, Planning, Audit and Operations, CRM andMobile POS solutions. The company has more than 60 locationsacross Canada and a 100-year tradition of combining personalizedservice—now enhanced with mobility—with exceptionalquality and value. •Epicor’s retail solutions are also leveraged by specialty retailers of…• Books• Cameras• Garden supplies• Gourmet foods• Hardware• Health supplements• Home accessories• Leather goods• Lighting• Luggage• Pool and patio products• Sporting goods• Stationery• Tableware• Toys• Video games…as well as bowling centers, pharmacies, portrait studios, theme parks, and many more!FEATURED SOLUTION: Epicor CommerceDesign, manage and run your online channel with easeEpicor Commerce lets you provide a completeand intuitive Web shopping environment andexperience for your customers, while enablingyou to easily and efficiently manage the dayto-dayoperations of your online channel witha unified platform for products, pricing andpromotions.Commerce automates everything fromonline marketing, promotions, and customerservice to back-office, yet gives you the flexibilityto design your website for your uniquebrand, customers, and business requirements.This exceptional solution gives you all the toolsyou need to deliver:• Custom website design that allows youto fully express your brand and culture to youronline shoppers• A built-in “virtual” sales associatewho educates shoppers with informationabout your offering, entertains with videos,calls out product features and benefits, andstrategically upsells with suggestions andpromotions• Comprehensive content management14to efficiently organize, deploy and changeimages, videos, texts, documents and othercore elements, with advanced product filteringand categorization• Effective customer engagementthrough live chat, social media, blogs, productreviews, product ratings and promotions, withintegration to loyalty rewards and marketingcampaigns• Cross-channel selling that lets yourcustomers order online for pickup in stores,and lets you fulfill eCommerce orders from allchannels and distribution centers• Search Engine Optimization to helpshoppers find your online store wheneverthey’re looking for the products you sell.In all these ways and more, EpicorCommerce lets you fully connect with yourcustomers and makes your online store acomplete extension of your physical storesand brand.Commerce is just one of 11 core offeringsin the Epicor Retail Suite of advanced solutionsthat hundreds of leading retailersEpicor Commerce lets you fully connectwith your customers and makes your onlinestore a complete extension of yourphysical stores and brand.depend on to streamline processes, integratechannels and deliver best-in-class service— for maximum profitability. For more informationon Epicor Retail Solutions, and access our virtualtour, or write to

CLIENTS MOVE AHEADEpicor TopsApparel’s Top 50Each year, Apparel magazine names its “Top 50” retailers, and onceagain Epicor ranks among their leading solutions providers. Fully halfof the companies on Apparel’s 2010 list rely on Epicor Retail solutionsto help run their businesses efficiently, competitively and profitably.How did these marquee brands make the grade?• Wet Seal is number one on Apparel’s Top 50 list, which notesthat their developments in mobile e-commerce and social media havetapped directly into their digitally savvy customer base, kicking upsales and interest in the junior apparel brand.• VF Corp the world’s largest apparel company,recently ranked second in the apparel category onFortune magazine's list of the World's Most AdmiredCompanies.Epicor #1 for POS in softgoods!For the fourth year in a row, IHL Group has identifiedEpicor as the market leader for POS among softgoodsretailers, with the most accounts, licenses and revenueunder management. Find out why more North Americanapparel retailers use Epicor POS than any other vendorsuppliedsolution at Epicor at NRF, Jan 10-11, 2011!The 100th Anniversary Editionof retail’s “Big Show” promisesmore speakers, vendors andvalue than ever before. Asalways, Epicor will be there todiscuss your issues and providefresh insights and ideas tomeet your challenges andobjectives. Make plans to stopby booth 2105 in the JavitsConvention Center in NY—or set up an appointmentthrough Karen Robson, Epicor’s Retail Events Manager, For more information on the show,visit• Aeropostale was praised by Apparel for increasing same-storesales by 10 percent, net sales by 18 percent, operating margins morethan 17 percent and e-commerce net sales by 48 percent.• Gymboree scored points for impressive domestic growth andinternational expansion plans.• American Eagle grew its successful aerie intimates business(comp-store sales rose 25 percent last year) into a full lifestyle brand,and opened five brick-and-mortar locations for its previously onlineonly77kids brand.• rue21, a 535-store retailer, has plans to open 100 new locationsthis year.• Christopher & Banksachieved one million membersin its Friendship RewardsProgram, launched only inMarch.“Epicor is proud to congratulate all its retail customers named tothe Apparel Top 50 list on this most impressive distinction,” saidRandy Tofteland, executive vice president of retail software for Epicor.“We are honored to play a role in supporting innovation and creatingbusiness advantage for these retailers, and we are glad to see theapparel industry formally recognize their achievements.” •SUBSCRIBE TO CR MAGAZINE: WWW.EPICOR.COM/CONNECTEDRETAILERSUBSCRIBE TO CONNECTED RETAILERDon’t miss out! To make sure you receive everyissue of Connected Retailer and stay up to date with thelatest retail solutions, case studies and best practices,subscribe today at: MORE INFORMATION…… contact us at or document is for informational purposes only. It is believedto be accurate as of its date of publication, October 2010. However,Epicor Software Corporation makes no guarantee, representations orwarranties with regard to its contents. Epicor is a registered trademarkof Epicor Software Corporation. All other trademarks acknowledged.Copyright ©2010 Epicor Software Corporation.15

REACH• higher profits•• more customers•• your retail goalsLEARN HOW! END-TO-END SOLUTIONS BEST-OF-BREED, PACKAGED, SaaS25 YEARS OF SUCCESS 400 LEADING RETAILERS GLOBAL PRESENCECopyright © 2010 Epicor Software Corporation. Epicor and the Epicor logo are registered trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation.

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