EDI strengthens brand opportunities for Scottish fashion chain

Expanding Scottish fashion chain Wilkies, which recently opened its eleventh store in Castle Douglas. After implementing Futura's Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) module, Wilkies now has seamless computerised communications to and from leading European brands and trading partners. This includes the German premium fashion label Olsen, where EDI is a mandatory requirement.

By using EDI to automate the exchange of business information to and from trading partners including sales, Wilkies will maximise speed of response in the highly competitive fashion sector, deepen relationships with suppliers and at the same time extend the choices available to customers across its store network.

Clare Beck, Financial Director at Wilkies, commented: "We are passionate about working with the best brands and providing customers with unrivalled choices. Retail moves very fast and one of the things which singles us out and which has enabled us to attract the best concession partners is our ability to give them the critical information which they need to drive sales in our stores. Without doubt our MIS has been a major factor in our continued success. However as we expand and look at some premium international brands we recognise that different suppliers have different requirements especially in Germany.  For Olsen an upmarket European label having EDI was non-negotiable.  They needed it and we sorted it with help from our friends at Futura."

Futura's EDI module provides a completely standardised and rigorous solution, with instant computerised interaction between trading partners, which reduces order cycle times, streamlines inventory and limits stock-outs. It is fully compliant with EDIFACT, the international standard.

"Implementation has been the biggest challenge, mostly because it is completely different from anything we have done before," said Beck. "Futura went beyond the call of duty to support us through the process of integrating the EDI Module (based on the eBiss package from Pranke) within our existing IT infrastructure. As well as completely satisfying Olsen's automatic trading requirements, EDI opens access to even more fantastic brands —  we simply create new partner accounts as we extend our brand offerings without costly or time consuming set up, putting us ahead of our competitors."

Tina Royall, Marketing Director of Futura, said: "EDI is essential for tier-one retail brands and fashion houses, but its complexity has frequently limited take up with small to medium UK retailers. Our recently launched, preconfigured solution helps to level the playing field and Wilkies is leading the way. Demonstrating how a forward thinking retailer can utilise technology for real competitive advantage."

Led by Managing Director Karen Forret, following  a management buyout in 2012, Wilkies specialises in womenswear as well as men's clothing, shoes, accessories and homewares, and has stores in Edinburgh, North Berwick, Falkirk, Helensburgh, Kirkcaldy, Peebles, Gaslashiels, Largs, Stirling, Dundee and Castle Douglas. Futura has been a business partner since 2006, providing their EPOS and management solution across the entire group.

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