Retail & Fashion
“An important aspect of our Retail project was finding a partner that could walk us through the discovery phase of the project, since this was an entirely new application and business process.”
Michael Berry, Chief Technology Officer
Project scope and business needs
Denise Thigpen is the founder and CEO of Wholesale Boutique, a South Carolina based supplier of bags, accessories, apparel, and home goods. Thigpen’s core values of hard work, honesty, and integrity are what have led her to become the successful entrepreneur she is today.
Thigpen, a mother and Registered Nurse, searched for an additional way to support her family and with a $5,000 investment she began what is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise with nearly 100 employees. As a strategic thinker, Thigpen understands the need to always move forward. From product design to customer service, the company evolves by implementing new and innovative business practices that better each and every department throughout the company.
Thigpen attributes the success of her company to the work ethic taught to her at a young age by her parents, her hard- working staff, and her loyal customers.
Wholesale Boutique needed a way to take wholesale orders in a quick and easy fashion at trade shows during the year. Their previous solution was not integrated with AX and took a great deal of time and effort to be able to process the orders after the trade shows.
They wanted to move to a more real-time creation of the Orders from the Trade shows. AlfaPeople proposed to use the mPOS (Mobile Point of Sale) from the Retail Module, thus giving them a mobile platform to be able to create Sales Orders based on Customer Wholesale orders at the show.
Wholesale Boutique chose AlfaPeople based on reputation in the Retail world of AX. Specifically, Brent Fudala’s (AlfaPeople’s Director of Retail Solutions) background and accomplishments in the Retail AX world.
AlfaPeople proposed a solution using the mPOS to provide a Mobile platform that could be run on Windows 8 tablets, thus giving Wholesale Boutique the ability to, in real-time, create sales orders in AX from the Wholesale orders being placed at the trade shows.
The initial project was an 80-hour proof of concept, which was completed on time and under budget. The solution has been enhanced and upgraded over the last 2 seasons and is in full use at every trade show Wholesale Boutique now does. They are up to 5 mobile mPOS stations that take hundreds to thousands of orders during the trade shows.
AlfaPeople’s approach was the best one because of its use of standard out of the box functionality of Retail mPOS and the functionality to add customers to a transaction and create a customer specific order. Only minor customizations have been done to receipts and email communications related to the orders.
Retail has improved Wholesale Boutique’s pre-and post-market prep time by 18 hours. There has also been a significant improvement in the overall effectiveness of their customer service (CS) and sales people during the management and processing of the orders. CS and Sales did not have access into the third-party POS application, and could not make changes to an order once it was placed. With Retail, all CS and Sales people have visibility into the Market order, in addition to being able to manage and change the orders if the customer requests it.
The retail module has turned what was a highly manual, time consuming, error prone process into a low maintenance sales opportunity which gives us much more time to spend on the customer and customer experience while they are in the Showroom.
Reduced the time to prepare POS
Wholesale Boutique cut down the time required to prepare POS for Markets from 2 days down to about 6 hours. Their previous POS solution was a third-party application that was not connected to their accounts receivable records (customers) or their products and inventory. This disconnected platform required a manual batch update before each Market of all customer records, in addition to the product and price records from the inventory system.
Increased visibility into revenue and products sold
Wholesale Boutique improved visibility into the sales revenues and products sold during a Market to near real time, versus the prior timeframe of 1-2 days after the Market had ended. Their previous POS application required a manual batch download after each Market, which generally occurred 1-2 days after the Market event was over. This data then had to be converted into a format that would allow us to import it into our ecommerce environment. This entire process consumed 2-3 days after every market.
Enhanced the ability to manage orders
Wholesale Boutique dramatically enhanced their ability to manage orders with items that have different ship dates, since Retail allows them to take one order from the customer, then leverage the Pick List Registration and Packing Slip functionality of AX. The previous POS application required them to split the order if a customer ordered items with different ship dates, and import them into the ecommerce environment separately.