Dunelm Mill supports growth with best practice retail systems

Dunelm Mill, the UK home furnishings retailer, has boosted systems performance across the business and can now handle ordering and stock management at store level, following the implementation of novaRetail from retail systems specialists, CIBER UK.

John Rycroft, Head of Core Systems at Dunelm Mill, said, Our old technology was in danger of putting the business in a straight jacket and holding back our growth plans. We needed to replace all of our core systems with a solution that was strategic and scalable.

The rollout of the technology has also improved how the company manages its product offering. Rycroft said, The technology gives us a solid foundation for the future growth of our business. It has also provided a range of opportunities to run our business more efficiently. The visibility of stock across stores has prompted a number of initiatives to improve our offer to our customers.

Dunelm Mill selected CIBER UK as it needed relevant IT solutions that would support the business through its growth programme. The companys existing systems were not integrated across the business, so data was fragmented, preventing the company from having a single view of its business.

novaRetail is a successful implementation of SAP, developed by CIBER UK using preconfigured retail modules, based on the companys experience within global retailers, including B&Q International, Halfords, DSGi, Alpha Retail and Direct Wines. Approximately 70-80% of retail processes are the same from retailer to retailer so CIBER UK has incorporated these common processes as templates into novaRetail. As a result, retailers adopting novaRetail can expect development times to be cut dramatically and costs cut by up to 50%.

Rycroft added, We chose CIBER UK as our partner, primarily because we wanted the companys experience of implementing SAP in retail businesses. The company seemed a very practical and results focused business just like ours. Our new system landscape is supporting the business, end to end, from selecting and procuring products right through to selling them in store. The technology will also help Dunelm to further automate existing manual processes with a scaleable solution that will support our long term growth plans.

The retailer has more than 1,000 users who are mainly stored based. The company has an additional 150 users who are based at head office and the distribution centre.

Roy Tomlinson, managing director of CIBER UK, commented, The introduction of our technology has provided Dunelm Mill flexibility and 360 degree customer visibility. The novaRetail technology will play an important role supporting the business as it continues to grow.

About Dunelm Mill

Dunelm is one of the most successful home furnishings retailers in the UK and is enjoying rapid growth. Founded over 25 years ago in Leicester by Bill and Jean Adderley, the first shops were relatively small high street units covering a number of towns in the East Midlands.

In more recent years, Dunelm has created a successful superstore format trading in out of town locations. Today's portfolio of 80 stores comprises mainly superstores, spread across the UK. The company has plans for significant growth over the coming years through further new openings.

The majority of Dunelm's stores are located out-of-town, offering free parking, with the most recently opened superstores trading from around 25,000 to 30,000 sq ft, many including a coffee shop. In total, Dunelm currently trades from approximately 1.9 million sq ft of selling space.

Dunelm's success is built around the hard work and commitment of around 4,500 full and part time staff, as well as strong relationships with suppliers. Many suppliers have supported the company since its earliest days and so have shared in the successful growth of the business.

In 1996 Will Adderley took over full responsibility for the day to day running of the company from his father. More recently, a number of senior managers have been recruited from other retail businesses. These appointments have added depth to the management team whilst reinforcing the culture of tight cost control, meticulous buying and attention to detail in all aspects of the business.

As a result, Dunelm is now better placed than ever to maintain its absolute commitment to offering customers Simply Value for Money.

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