Established more than 240 years ago in 1771, Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes currently holds three royal warrants. It understands the importance of customer service and customer loyalty. Today, Gieves & Hawkes has 14 outlets in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the Republic of Ireland, and around 100 more worldwide.
The company's existing system—consisting of a range of software that had been accumulated over time—was expensive to maintain, and difficult to update and integrate. When staff eventually got the information they were looking for, they couldn't be certain that it was up-to-date or correct. The system was holding Gieves & Hawkes back.
Sam Thompson, IT Manager, Gieves & Hawkes, says: "Trying to get new functionality to work with our existing system was a frustrating, expensive experience. We needed fast, accurate information throughout the business, and we needed more control—from the shop floor to the warehouse—to help us save money and improve our customer service."
Microsoft Partner K3 Retail was chosen for its proven expertise in the retail industry—it helped Gieves & Hawkes identify what was needed.
The solution was a Microsoft Dynamics NAV system for the U.K. business, enhanced by several retail-specific add-ons. These add-ons included the K3 LS Retail module, plus Lanham modules for warehousing and logistics.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM was added to store all customer data, and a SQL-based business intelligence cube was provided by K3 Retail.
With Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Gieves & Hawkes has better, faster access to information across the business—information that's helping the company control pricing, promotions, and stock.
"It's great. Rich data is now available to store staff at the point of sale, giving them the tools to provide better customer service," says Thompson.
Gieves & Hawkes can find out what's selling where and make decisions in real time. "Sales staff gain a lot of control. This makes them proactive and gives them a lot more confidence with customers, which in turn improves customer experience," says Thompson.
Staff can see any facet of the business needed for their roles, and make decisions accordingly. For example, they can find out in a couple of clicks which colour or size of an item is popular, and then order more. "We can see how a store or sales team is doing, and help them if needed. We can be so much more proactive," says Thompson.
All prices are held in the new system and can be controlled by head office. It's easy to change prices centrally and even plan ahead. Staff are notified in advance, so everyone knows what's going on.
Customers are more likely to buy something that isn't in the store if they know exactly when Gieves & Hawkes can get it for them, or if it is available in another store. The company can now set automatic stock ordering when certain items need to be re-stocked.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes it easy to filter records by transaction history and send only marketing that interests the customer. This means Gieves & Hawkes is getting to know its customers better, and it reduces the number of customers who opt out of receiving marketing communications.
All Gieves & Hawkes customers now enjoy an improved experience. "The better customer experience really comes into its own with our VIP customers. We can check account activity and give them a knowledgeable, friendly, first-class service," says Thompson.
Because the new solution is integrated, there's only one version of the truth. Making decisions about sales, marketing, and stock is now easier and almost instant.
With Microsoft Dynamics NAV and its ability to handle multiple currencies, it's easy to trade across different countries. "We're better placed now to serve whoever walks into one of our stores," says Thompson.
In the retail industry, staff turnover is usually relatively high, so in getting new staff up to speed, the fact that the system is simple to use means both time and money are saved. This amounts to a significant saving when multiplied by every new employee over the course of a year. "The system is easy for new managers to pick up and start using—this is important, because if they don't use it they can't get the benefit," says Thompson.