Earlier this year, executives at Boutique La Vie en Rose realized that its backend systems weren’t capable of supporting the retailer’s plans for growth. While the technology infrastructure for the Canadian lingerie, loungewear and swimwear retailer had been adequate for decades, healthy omnichannel growth required replacing legacy systems with more modern tools.
“We are moving away from an Excel-based environment that requires manual input to an enhanced solution that will allow our business to flourish,” said Éric Champagne, Chief Information Officer of Boutique La Vie en Rose in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I tell my team that this is like a pair of comfortable jeans, which is fine occasionally, but sometimes you need to go to a black-tie event.”
To “suit up,” the retailer deployed a unified system consisting of the Techni-Connection integrated solution with CGS BlueCherry PLM and the Cegid Retail Management & POS Solution. The combination is improving data flow and communication with vendors, as well as providing transparency into logistics and offering new tools for management.
The improved automation will help Boutique La Vie en Rose expand its international presence, which includes 275 locations in 17 countries and an e-Commerce site in the U.S. The efficiency gained by automating standard operations will be a key element for enabling this growth.
“Right now, any added new country means we have more manual requirements,” said Champagne. “In managing different countries, as well as distribution channels, we need a simplified process, as well as a better understanding and flow of data. For example, to be present in other countries we need an international solution that offers multi-language, multi-currency functionality and meets local fiscal requirements, such as taxes and GDPR.”
Moving away from manual processes also will help align the company’s everyday operations with its financial planning goals. The PLM tools will standardize design, development and vendor collaboration, while the unified system will make it easier for Boutique La Vie en Rose to upgrade other solutions in the future.
The company already has a five-year digital transformation program underway, which aims to offer shoppers a seamless user and customer experience across channels. One of the immediate goals is to align customers’ online profiles with their past purchases and interests, both online and in-store, improving personalization capabilities.
The new system also will put Boutique La Vie en Rose in a better position to take advantage of new technologies going forward. Both customer-facing technologies like AR and VR, and backend enablers such as AI and machine learning, could be further enhancements in the retailer’s future.
“While AI is a buzzword, there may be potential integration in the future,” said Champagne. “Whatever the latest new innovation the customer wants and needs from us, we’ll be able to integrate it. Tech is moving much faster than ever before and we want to be able to easily, quickly react. With upgraded systems, we will benefit from the changing tech landscape.”