Delivering an end-to-end fashion solution for Bradshaw Taylor
Cloud transformation deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to deliver a modern customer experience with reduced customer service queries
Speed of implementation for 9 global brands onto a single cloud solution
Finance synergy and integration of brands globally
End-to-end outdoor fashion solution for a lean business model
About the organisation
Bradshaw Taylor is an outdoor and lifestyle organisation bringing a range of retail brands to market across the UK, Europe, USA & Canada.
As a family business established 25 years ago, it has successfully grown with the acquisition of a range of respected brands in apparel, footwear and outdoor equipment. Its prestigious brands include the recognised ethical and sustainable clothing brand Sherpa Adventure Gear and Le Chameau, the premium footwear brand famous for its rubber boots.
Each of Bradshaw Taylor’s acquired brands had been operating separately with their own business and finance functions. These mainly legacy IT systems were disparate and unconnected having grown organically over the years. Time was being wasted having to manually consolidate data across the nine brands and senior leadership didn’t have full financial visibility in real-time. In addition, the online order and sales processes were not joined up.
Initially, the organisation was running a UK-centric set of brands, but this had recently expanded to include international ones, in Europe, USA and Canada. The company needed a central cloud platform that would be both fit for purpose and future-proof, as the business took on more brands and expanded its reach globally.
Paddy Devlin, Head of Business Technology at Bradshaw Taylor explains, “The IT systems of each brand were outdated and required upgrading. This was the right time to re-engineer our business so that we could deliver a centralised, best practice solution to drive growth.”
After due diligence into several cloud-based solutions on the market, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was selected for its integration capability, benefits and the flexibility that Bradshaw Taylor required. A cost-effective solution, it would deliver a full ERP for everything from finance, sales, purchasing through to warehousing and reporting, with manufacturing capability required further at a later stage.
With a recommendation from Microsoft, Xpedition was engaged to implement their business management solution for Fashion, underpinned by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and K3|pebblestone ERP technology.
Paddy goes on to say, “We spoke with another of Xpedition’s fashion sector customers that had faced similar challenges and were excited by the solution they had put in place. It made sense to adopt this proven best practice working model, which included Magento 2 for the ecommerce platform.”
Bradshaw Taylor wanted to implement Business Central as an out-of-the-box solution as much as possible, avoiding unnecessary or complex customisation. The K3|pebblestone fashion solution provides the customisable style, colour and size handling to enable the creation of numerous styles in different colours and styles on an easy-to-use matrix. Xpedition used its own integration framework to connect to third parties for logistics and for the ecommerce platform Magento 2. This would ensure that online orders would flow seamlessly through to delivery and enhance the customer purchasing experience.
Speed of implementation
Responding to the requirement of onboarding one of the new brands much more quickly than initially anticipated, Xpedition swiftly allocated additional resources. Phase one of the rollout was then delivered successfully in under one month to the first two major brands Artilect and Sherpa Adventure Gear (Canada).
Phase two is a nine-month implementation window for the remaining brands adopting a brand-by-brand approach, with the exception of the firm’s largest brand Le Chameau which has a wider remit to include manufacturing.
Paddy adds, “Transitioning to this new cloud model during the height of the pandemic meant we weren’t able to personally meet the team at Xpedition. But we worked seamlessly together on Teams and went successfully live with our first two brands within the required time scales and were actually taking orders too.”
Bradshaw Taylor now has a centralised cloud solution that provides one single platform for its nine brands globally. The finance and business processes are all integrated and give senior management full visibility of real-time finance and operational data on one dashboard.
Over 220 UK, European and USA users will all be deploying the system once all the brands are live, with the anticipated final go live expected in summer 2022.
Single platform that is fit for purpose
Bradshaw Taylor has a centralised solution that meets the growing needs of its business as it continues to add more brands to its portfolio of active wear and apparel.
The proven, templated solution was fast to roll out and meets the ever-changing demands of a dynamic and flourishing business.
A modern customer experience
The ecommerce platform makes it easy for customers to place orders for any of the brands and enjoy a seamless process from order placement, to payment and shipment. The company will also shortly be integrating a returns and tracking process into the system which will make the whole process even easier for the customer.
Reduction of customer service queries
Having one customer service team that can answer any brand question, coupled with the streamlined business process, has dramatically reduced the number of customer service queries.
Fast rollout of fashion brands
As an outdoor, country and lifestyle company, Bradshaw Taylor can bring its selected retail and brands more easily to market, whether trade or consumer, across UK, Europe and USA and beyond.
One version of the truth
The company has 360-degree visibility across all its data which is consolidated into one single solution in real time. The finance team is able to view a breakdown of costs such as percentage of shipping, insurance and duty, while senior leadership has oversight of the business in one dashboard with confidence in the accuracy of the financial information.
Global stock visibility
With its own warehouses in Belgium and UK and third-party warehouses in USA and Canada, the company has full transparency of its entire stock on one automated system. This makes advance ordering possible because Bradshaw Taylor knows exactly when stock is due and can allocate orders appropriately.
Lower headcount for order process
The transactional order process is streamlined with no manual touch required resulting in a lower headcount. This is because integration with the major US retailers is via EDI interfaces for warehouse, shipping and invoicing.
Working with Xpedition
“Having not worked with Microsoft Dynamics 365 before, we needed confidence in our implementation partner. Xpedition was very adaptable and moved quickly to ensure we met our demanding deadlines. Their knowledge and expertise allowed us to deliver a cloud fashion-based solution that was both on time and totally aligned to our business needs.
“With Xpedition, we have digitally transformed and re-engineered the way we run our outdoor fashion business brands. The templated rollout process means we are now able to get our brands to market much quicker.”Paddy Devlin / Head of Business Technology, Bradshaw Taylor
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