STORES Magazine - April 2015 - (Page 50)

n PLANNING GORAN BOGICEVIC / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM lessly using products wherever they're available. Because Brooks Brothers operates in several dozen countries, it also requires a global supply chain. The goal is ensuring the right product is in the right place to meet demand; for that, Brooks Brothers requires world-class capabilities, Laher says. He notes that a retailer's planning function "really becomes a slice of big data in terms of complexity and amount of data to manage." For instance, Brooks Brothers' basic inventory items come not only in a range of sizes and colors, but also numerous styles including options for fit, Updating the Legacy Brooks Brothers is in the midst of an IT overhaul by KAREN M. KROLL B rooks Brothers has been outfitting men and women - author F. Scott Fitzgerald, aviator Charles Lindbergh, actor Clark Gable and 39 of 44 U.S. presidents all have donned its clothing - since 1818. It's an impressive legacy, and one company management continues to build on. To do that, the company is updating its processes and systems in an initiative dubbed Brooks Brothers Global Transformation. "We're a 197-year- 50 STORES April 2015 old company," says CIO Sahal Laher. "We need to continue to innovate as we try to be around for another 200 years. That's the premise of this whole program." Laher and his team already are implementing new product lifecycle management, enterprise resource planning and point-of-sale systems. Now they're adding merchandise planning and replenishment and assortment planning to their to-do list. The New York-based retailer faces a number of challenges, among them the sheer number of items carried and its ongoing migration from a multichannel to an omnichannel company. "We want to break down barriers across people, processes and technology," Laher says. That requires identifying and seam- "We're a 197-year-old company. We need to continue to innovate as we try to be around for another 200 years." - Sahal Laher, Brooks Brothers collars and cuffs. The company also sells a number of fashion items for men, women and children. The selling and replenishing functions differ between the two: Basics are in the store year-round and replenished on a cycle, while fashion items are seasonal and cycle through every quarter. "Planning for fashion items is critical because you have a short window before the next season," Laher says. Complicating matters was the largely manual system the planning team used. Employees would export data from other systems to develop spreadsheets, a process that was both cumbersome and prone to error. "If you'd accidentally transpose a cell, you could throw off a forecast by tens of thousands of units," Laher says. "It's a big risk to the business." The prevalence of spreadsheet applications among even large retailers is higher than many might assume. Many retailers have invested heavily in fulfillment systems, as well as customer-facing applications like pointof-sale systems. "But there's a big gap in technology, in that it's not really NRF.COM/STORES http://www.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM http://www.NRF.COM/STORES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2015

A Most Complex Game
It's All Connected
Retail People
Selling Satisfaction
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
Business Operations
Online Fraud

STORES Magazine - April 2015