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Specialty Retailer Equips Operations for International Expansion

This multi-billion dollar specialty retailer designs iconic brands of clothing and accessories and distributes them through hundreds of their own retail channels. Looking for new revenue streams, this US-based company decided to expand operations into international markets, starting with Canada and Europe and continuing into Asia. Existing processes and systems were sufficient to support US operations, but were not extendable into these international markets. This retailer partnered with Clarkston to design new processes and implement technology solutions that would support their corporate expansion.

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Challenge 1: Lack of scalable, efficient processes to support a fast growing international market.

Solution: Clarkston Consulting collaborated with the client to design and implement new international processes and technologies that would provide a foundation for further international expansion. Some highlights of these solutions included:

  • Designed and implemented a new Point of Sale (POS) solution for 500 stores with omni-channel capabilities (e.g., meet online demand through in-store fulfillment, when needed);
  • Established a custom international pricing tool for more efficient pricing across multiple countries;
  • Created a supply chain solution to support select locations;
  • Performed Unicode conversion of the system for global language and business process support;
  • Extended SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) functionality to Canada, UK, and Hong Kong with integrated payroll.

Challenge 2: Lack of consistent, timely and consolidated reporting across all countries.

Solution: To support the continuing international expansion, a multi-phased approach was used to migrate to SAP’s new General Ledger (GL). This focused effort required migrating all associated data, modifying all needed reports and facilitating end-user training. Using a carefully designed migration plan, this effort was completed with minimal system downtime.

The new GL enables this retailer to report according to local statutory and IFRS requirements while enabling global compliance and balanced financial statement at division, region and store levels. The international reporting solution also provides a platform for easy integration of new countries and stable currency exchange rates, while improving reporting financials across the various parts of the business.

Challenge 3: A fast-paced, ever-changing environment with competing priorities.

Solution: This retailer had many competing projects and a complex, ever changing environment. Many of these initiatives required overlapping subject matter experts, making it challenging to execute against aggressive timelines and still maintain the business. Supporting this retailer at a program level, Clarkston was able to help the client balance their time and resources, while making sure this project, as well as others happening simultaneously, stayed on track.

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Tags: Case Study, Specialty Retail