Christchurch-based outdoor equipment and apparel retailer Kathmandu is set to overhaul its Point of Sale (PoS) and back office retail operations to support an expansion from 50 to 80 stores over the next three years.
The retailer’s group information systems manager, Bryan Moore, says Kathmandu has aggressive plans both here and overseas which are being supported by new shareholders Goldman Sachs JB Were and Quadrant.
Moore says the overhaul, which includes the implementation of a new software suite from Australian ERP systems developer Pronto Software, will be completed by the end of 2007.
Kathmandu has certainly outgrown its current system, which Moore says lacks functionality and isn’t able to support future growth.
“There were shortfalls in our CRM and promotion management and, combined with an overall lack of integration, it was time to consider an improved solution,” he says, adding that Pronto’s retail capabilities include real-time POS and inventory transaction processing, designed to improve Kathmandu’s customer service and cost management.
“It gives us much greater pricing flexibility, with pricing and promotional management allowing us to sell the right product at the right price to our customers.”
As part of the CRM features in Pronto there is also an Alert Intelligience tool. Moore says Kathmandu is adopting a “management by exception” style, where staff can be alerted to and manage specific business situations across the company.
“Alert Intelligence will definitely support this change,” he says.
“For example, if there is a stock outage, we can be alerted to it straight away via an email with a hyperlink to the stock details.
“Alert Intelligence can also instantly notify staff as they serve a Summit Club member whose next purchase qualifies them for a reward, which is the type of business and customer advantage this solution can deliver.”
Pronto Software managing director David Jackman says retailers are increasingly tailoring their IT strategy to deliver more innovative and cost-effective services to the business.
He says Kathmandu plans to roll out the solution across all stores during 2007. Pronto Hosted Services will host the software and manage uptime during peak sales periods.