Retailers are implementing agile business solutions to help them keep pace with consumer trends and industry changes more efficiently.
Hanover Direct recently completed a company-wide implementation of NetSuite to improve internal business processes and create a more seamless and memorable omnichannel shopping experience. The retailer offers branded merchandise via brick-and-mortar stores, catalogs and e-Commerce sites for a product portfolio that spans apparel and home fashion categories. Brands under the Hanover Direct umbrella include: Company Kids, Undergear, The Company Store and Scandia Home.
“Our decision to adopt NetSuite was derived from the fact that we were working off of a decades-old backend system that was built to support many different catalog businesses,” said David Hirsch, Director of E-Commerce for Hanover Direct. “We knew as we began to shift to be more multichannel driven, the baseline technology supporting that effort would need to be cheaper, more reliable, cloud-based, and scalable to an environment where business needs change at the drop of a hat.”
With the NetSuite implementation, the entire Hanover Direct business is stationed in one platform, which is providing team members with a complete picture of customers and their shopping behaviors across all channels. This enhanced view of consumers, in turn, is empowering the retailer to better keep pace with new market trends and customer wants and needs.
“We have a global view of the company within a single platform, which gives us a full understanding of customers — regardless of the channels they’re using to browse and buy,” added Jeffrey Rosenholtz, CIO for Hanover Direct, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. As a result, Hanover Direct can “grow the organization as the demands of omnichannel consumers continue to evolve.”
Since customer records from the store, call center and e-Commerce site all are stationed in the NetSuite platform, customer service reps have a 360-degree view of shopper activity and preferences. Not only will this help provide customers with better shopping experiences, it also will ensure Hanover Direct provides effective and relevant marketing campaigns and interactions online.
“The customer experience is crucial to us — from our e-Commerce sites to our retail stores and even the catalogs,” Hirsch explained. “We very often win on the quality of our products, but we must providing the best possible service. That is how Amazon is winning. The benefit of having a single platform is we can get the same information and marketing campaigns to our customers, regardless of the channel they’re using to engage with us.”
Because NetSuite is integrated with the retailer’s Demandware-powered e-Commerce sites, Hanover Direct can monitor the performance of online product promotions more quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the retailer can test and execute campaigns on a more consistent basis.
“When we first went live with NetSuite, we immediately saw the value add it had on our digital efforts,” Hirsch said. “Our ability to gain insights into what were doing from an online marketing perspective has been hugely valuable to us. Now we can create custom reports for any offer or campaign we release in real-time and manage inventory to it directly.”
Inventory visibility and order management also are aligning with omnichannel goals. Hanover Direct now is equipped to fulfill orders as they arrive. Previously, the retailer relied on daily batch processing, causing orders to take 24 hours to complete.
As Hanover Direct continues to optimize the NetSuite solution, team members are striving to enable more flexible order fulfillment and delivery. For example, the retailer wants to speed and simplify delivery by shipping products to consumers directly from nearby stores, rather than from warehouses. “Having this option,” Rosenholtz said, “opens up many more possibilities as omnichannel retail continues to advance and we expand into new exciting channels. We are more adaptable to change.”
Improving Business Processes With Cloud-Based Solutions
By fully adopting the cloud-based OneWorld offering from NetSuite, Hanover Direct has provided all employees with real-time access to vital company information such as order management, inventory planning, financial planning, call center operations, manufacturing and expense reporting. Data also is available through any tablet or smartphone device, so senior management can track sales, inventory and customers from any location.
“We now have the ability to open information to everyone in the company,” noted Rosenholtz. Because information is updated and immediately delivered to the cloud, employees are empowered to make better decisions, he added. All employees now have “volumes of real-time sales data, which gives them actionable insights to help them do their jobs quicker, smarter, and with less dependency on others.”
Hirsch added that employees no longer are forced to “spend inordinate amounts of time building untimely reports that were only answering two questions when we were asking 10. We have immediate insight into every element of the business, and are better armed to answer any questions the C-suite may have and provide them insights they may not have known we could provide.”