14 stores - Fashion

Informed Retailer Case Study

How a leading men's apparel retailer, wholesaler & manufacturer has transformed their omni-channel operations in less than 10 weeks with a cost-effective, best-in-class integrated solution from
Retail Express & Sync.

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“I truly believe Retail Express and Sync will set the pace of multi-store, omni-channel best practice in this really tough world of retail.

We’ve got a software solution that now allows us to be the best in every part of our business, deliver outstanding value to customers and quickly change our processes."
– David Lyford, Managing Director

Return on Investment Summary

In Less than 10 weeks, Rembrandt was able to introduce an integrated tech stack that:

Maximises sales by leveraging inventory across all channels

Minimises overstocks & understocks via auto stock replenishment

Streamlines special orders from suppliers and provides accurate ETAs

A New Zealand Retail Success Story.

The Rembrandt story started in 1946, when Alex Harrison opened a small friendly tailoring store in Wellington’s Vivian Street. Fast forward to today and the company has transformed into an omni-channel design, manufacturing, wholesale and retail operation selling both made-to-measure and ready-to-wear suits, clothing and accessories.

Italian fabrics and limited runs underpin their approach to make their customers look good at every occasion. They now operate 14 retail stores across New Zealand and Australia as well as a burgeoning wholesale and eCommerce presence.

A different business model required a change in software.

Over the last ten years, Rembrandt’s business model has significantly shifted from a manufacturing focus to a wholesale, retail and eCommerce operation. However, its business software had become out of pace with this change and out of date with modern cloud software technology.

Their ERP and POS software were operating in separated silos causing duplicated efforts and conflicts in managing data. Expensive software and hardware costs were hurting operational efficiency.

The missing functionality required to effectively run multiple retail stores and eCommerce was becoming ever more apparent. It was recognised that it would take significant development time and cost to address these issues with the existing software.

“We realised that as our business model had fundamentally changed, so did our technology need too. We needed best-in-class but cost-effective software that allowed us to be digitally enabled, manoeuvre quickly, offer amazing customer experiences and be highly efficient in all the channels we now operate in. While we could have tried to rebuild our processes using the existing ERP and POS software, this would take too long and add even more costs to an already expensive solution”                                                                                                                           
 – David Lyford, Managing Director

Using covid lockdown as an opportunity for transformation.

David and his team knew they needed to make a shift in business software. But they reached that decision at a challenging time – when the Covid-19 outbreak had hit its peak and required them to temporarily close their entire business. While this was a lot of change and uncertainty to contend with, the Rembrandt team saw it as an opportunity to make a proactive, transformational change to their business that would best position them to come out of Covid stronger and achieve long term sustainable growth.

“It was a tough spot to be in. The Covid shutdowns were presenting a great deal of disruption and uncertainty for our business. But we recognised that this could be an opportunity for us to really focus on getting the right software and implement it effectively across our business. We decided to bite the bullet and go for it, committing to change our business for the better.” Says David.

Finding the right partner.

David and the team started the search for suitable software that would provide the best solution for their design, manufacturing, wholesale, multi-store retail and eCommerce operation. After comparing the options, Retail Express and Sync clearly stood out as presenting the best fit.

“While there were a number of software options to select from we concluded that it might be better to explore best-in-class cloud-based solutions that we could integrate together to better and more cost-effectively solve all our needs. Rather than rely on one expensive system that requires a lot of time to customise, money to maintain IT infrastructure and has to try and keep up to date with the latest innovations in all areas of functionality. Instead, we considered that we could bring together a range of leading cloud software solutions that are each focused on being the #1 innovation leaders in their area of specialism.” says David.

It was during this process that they discovered Sync and identified that it offered a cost-effective, cloud-based ERP solution specifically designed for apparel with functions from product life management (PLM) through to engaging wholesale customers.

The fact that Sync had a fixed price implementation model meant it was a much more palatable and predictable investment for the business. They then started to look for cloud-based POS, Accounting and eCommerce software solutions that could integrate with Sync to achieve a best-of-breed omni-channel technology stack.

They engaged with number of POS systems and concluded that only Retail Express offered the multi-store retail capabilities, expertise, proven track record and guided implementation they were seeking in this area. The fact that Retail Express could integrate with Rembrandt’s existing Shopify store and with Xero accounting software meant that the company could see the clear potential for a fully-integrated cloud retail software stack.

Then came the integration between Retail Express and Sync

“The chemistry with Retail Express and Sync felt really good. They went the extra mile to fully understand our business goals and to present a solution that best met them. There was a cultural fit between us all that led us to quickly decide this was the way we wanted to go.”
David Lyford, Managing Director

Best-in-class integrated solution implemented in 10 weeks.

Retail Express and Sync quickly collaborated to build a direct integrated solution that would enable Rembrandt to get a best-of-breed solution that would transform every facet of their operations – design, manufacturing, wholesale, multi-store retail and eCommerce.

Thanks to a true partnership approach with the Rembrandt leadership team, the new integrated ERP, POS, eCommerce & Accounting software solution was implemented on time and budget within 10 weeks! This included full migration of data from the existing systems and streamlining business processes across the entire value chain.

“We’ve got a software solution that now allows us to be the best in every part of our business, deliver outstanding value to customers and quickly change our processes using ready-made functionality rather than constantly needing to develop from scratch like we did with our old systems. We’re more agile and best positioned for omni-channel success – all at much lower overheads than our old systems” says David.

“I cannot express how impressed we are with the solution we have and the speed in which it was implemented. It was a considerable risk we were taking by deciding to overhaul all of our systems during the most disruptive thing to happen to the retail sector in our lifetime! However, we’re pleased we made that move. We were confident the team at Retail Express and Sync could deliver but they’ve not only met our expectations but far exceeded them.”
– David Lyford, Managing Director

Maximising sales by leveraging all inventory – endless aisles.

One of the biggest transformational impacts for Rembrandt from the new Retail Express and Sync solution has been the pooling of inventory across their entire operation. Rather than the wholesale, retail stores and eCommerce having their own siloed inventory allocations, each sales channel can now leverage the stock from all the other business areas. This means that there is much less likelihood of losing a sale because of a lack of stock availability and the customer gets more choice, convenience and consistency.

“By allowing all parts of the business to share in the same inventory pool, we are ensuring we can always satisfy demand and therefore drive more sales. We’re also able to reduce the amount of idle stock in the business. We’re breaking down the walls that were built up by our old systems – which is better for our business and our customers.”

More visibility & control for everyone.

With a cloud-based POS solution that provides real-time visibility of stock availability across all channels in the supply chain including other outlets and the warehouse, Rembrandt store employees are able to draw on that inventory and instantly allocate it to a customer order – allowing them to secure a sale they may not have otherwise made.

They can provide a range of different options for the customer of how the order is fulfilled (store pickup, home delivery or warehouse pickup) and provide accurate ETAs to the customer by having full visibility of the transit status of that stock.

Approved employees can also get instant visibility on the cost and margins of goods so they can appropriately set pricing, discounts and promotional offers. This visibility is particularly useful for Rembrandt’s Special Orders process for made to measure garments.

What was a manual and time intensive process has now been completely streamlined and automated with full status tracking of what stage the order is at and when the customer can receive their goods.

Automated inventory replenishment: right stock. Right store. Right time.

With the integrated omni-channel solution from Retail Express and Sync, Rembrandt now has more ways to ensure they optimise their inventory across each of their sales channels. A more streamlined automated stock replenishment process means inventory levels more accurately reflect the actual demand in each store. And because there is shared visibility of real-time data across all employees, stock is no longer double allocated by the wholesale, retail and eCommerce teams.

“With the smarter inventory management tools in Retail Express, we’re able to ensure we get the right stock into the right stores at the right time. By leveraging stock across all our different sales channels, we’re able to drive more sales. But this requires systems that ensure inventory is constantly replenished to fuel that machine. Retail Express and Sync gives us exactly that solution – and all without the manual admin.”
– David Lyford, Managing Director

Embraced as a positive change by all.

The intuitive interfaces and empowering features of the Retail Express and Sync systems along with extensive training materials and guided implementation has meant that the new tech stack has been embraced quickly and positively by all of the Rembrandt workforce, its customers and suppliers.

“Anyone can quickly work out the system and get the info they want with a few clicks. I personally can get the strategic level insights I need to make business decisions very easily and quickly. So we are able to make decisions, see blind spots and adapt much quicker. The training videos and support portal was exceptional. It’s very easy to train new staff up on the systems and, if anyone does need help by phone or email, the responsiveness of the Retail Express and Sync teams is the best we’ve ever seen” says David.

Setting the pace for omni-channel best practice.

The successful and rapid implementation of Rembrandt’s new omni-channel technology stack is testament to a committed, attentive executive team with a clear willingness to embrace change. They have taken the time during Covid to focus on transforming its software and its business operations, so it is best positioned to be a lean and agile omni-channel leader.

“We believe the future of retail is to be a be low cost, efficient and agile businesses but with best-in-class Omni-channel processes and technology at the core. One without the other won’t cut it.” says David.

"With Retail Express and Sync we are now more transparent, seamless and agile to adapt in a rapidly shifting market. We have a software solution with a much lower cost of ownership and will be able to further lower operating expenses in the business due to reduced labour needed for manual tasks.” he concluded.

Deliver the best customer experience across all channels.

Cut down on the duplicate work and meet your customers wherever they are. Reduce lost sales and increase your margins with Retail Express.

Until you’ve seen and tried Retail Express you have no idea of what you’re missing out on with your current system.
— Corey Davison, Johnny's Furniture

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