When we at Braintree were contacted by our client, Frontier Co, we were tasked with taking their business to the next level – no easy feat, as the brand is already a well-established market leader. However, in light of the pandemic and its impact on retail, our client found itself aspiring for more, and we at Braintree were more than willing to assist.
What do you get when you combine a brand at the pinnacle of fashion lifestyle with a need for effective solutions? Well, keep reading to find out.
As a brand, Frontier Co positions itself as the home of fashion lifestyle brands, forging strategic partnerships with iconic retailers such as Guess, Aldo, Pringle and Call it Spring (amongst many others). A market leader in retail with expertise in local and international names, their portfolio boasts over 1000 combined outlets; from physical retail stores to digital, wholesalers and warehousing.
The effects of Covid-19 and its subsequent economic impact on the fashion industry should not be understated. Not only were retailers forced to scale down and accommodate for reduced foot-traffic, but customer buying power as a whole was in a similar state of decline. With so much focus on health, safety and financial prudence, fashion and lifestyle were the last things on many a previously loyal consumer mind. As a result, Frontier Co found itself researching new methods of attaining their business goals and potential. The brand required a solution that allowed them to stay ahead of their competition through innovative technology – solutions which facilitated timely, informed and accurate decisions based on Data received from their respective branches.
Not only was a systems and software upgrade required (with specific regards to their Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, system), but they also sought a solution which eliminated the complexity of utilising multiple systems to run a singular business.
Frontier Co’s objectives were clear and concise:
1. Streamline business operational processes.
2. Effectively implement more efficient communication from the top down (i.e. from Head Office to Stores)
3. Facilitate processes which allowed individual (business unit) retailers to maximise their ability to service customers.
4. Accommodate for the correct purchasing and allocation of inventory based on location, stock quantity, pricing and support.
As per Willem Wait: Chief Information Officer of I.T Shared Services at Frontier Co:
“We came to the point where we realized our current systems seized to add value to our business model and that we have to implement a new solution as efficiently as possible”.
With applications such as Excel, Outlook, Word and PowerPoint (aka the full Microsoft Office Suite package) crucial to their daily business functions, the brand made it clear that an ERP solution which amalgamated with said applications was imperative.
As a result of our previous, well-established working relationship, Braintree was contacted by Frontier Co and tasked with aligning their requirements with the most suitable solution. After a full evaluation, wherein we assessed their KPI’s and organisational needs, we were able to partner Frontier Co with LS Central. The reasons for this solution were actually quite simple.
LS Central is a complete, all-in-one retail software that extends Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft’s #1 ERP solution, to a global audience. The application consolidates financials (the Microsoft ERP), Point of Sale (POS), store operations, supply chain management, inventory, eCommerce, and customer loyalty into a single, unified platform. Essentially, any brand can use one software (we call it unified commerce software) to handle all essential business functions, thereby eliminating the need for multiple complicated entities that only perform singular separate functions.
We at Braintree had to accommodate for the primary customer concerns, namely resources, timelines, HR availability and minimisation of the knock-on effects incurred from a change in systems. With this in mind, we decided upon a phased, multi-layered approach as our ideal implementation strategy.
Once again, as per our client: “Our previous solution consisted of multiple software vendors that each had to be integrated and maintained, making it very difficult to manage and resolve problems. With LS Central we can manage all areas of our business end to end, not only improving data relevancy, but also query handling and information oversight”.
We also leaned heavily on lessons learned via implementation of similar retail outlets, which allowed us to exact tried-and-tested strategies that realised the client’s brand vision whilst delivering the much-desired change in ERP systems. In doing so, Frontier Co was able to edge closer towards their KPI’s and business targets.
The implementation yielded immensely positive dividends, as the expectations of Frontier Co. were exceeded and the transition proved easy, efficient and co-effective.
Upon the installation of LS Central and, as a result of the process, we were able to attain the following deliverables:
- Business processes were unified across channels, industries and regions.
- Consumer needs were better understood, and the brand was able to facilitate for demands and trends so as to manage stock levels/allocation across stores.
- Prices, offers and campaigns are now easily translated from Head Office to individual retailers.
- The in-store customer experience at store level was able to be improved.
- System administration and integration costs were vastly reduced.
- The brand could now make timely, informed and accurate decisions based on reliable Data.
When one thinks of Braintree and streamlined processes, the natural response is to attribute this to purely digital brands. Needless to say, the concepts of E-commerce, efficient CRM’s, KickStarting your brand and shifting to the Cloud all elicit strictly online connotations. However, our most recent success serves as testament to the dexterity of our applications, as well as our ability to tailor a solution to meet any brand requirements – be it conventional or digital.
Ultimately, the collaboration between Braintree, Frontier Co and LS Central proved an ideal combination. Not only were we able to deliver another solution capable of taking our client to the next level, but the brand themselves were left with a process and application that far superseded its predecessor. In doing so, we remain confident that the brand is now geared for many more years of growth, successful operations and success even in the midst of
this challenging retail period.