Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

Infor has announced that Chausport has selected Infor CloudSuite Fashion to replace its legacy ERP software across France. Chausport is a wholly owned subsidiary of JD Sports PLC and operates 77 stores across France for the retail company. The decision to select Infor to replace its solution restarts a project that was halted in 2016. That project was with Oracle.

The history

In 2012, JD Sports made the decision to replace its legacy core ERP system, including retail. The project was expected to last 3 years. They selected Oracle ERP and initially the project went well. In 2013 they went live on Oracle Financials. The intention was then to replace the retail ERP solutions across the group. Project Emporer as the it became known, would replace the core systems across the group with Oracle and new JD proprietary software. The cost of this project was significant. From spending £2.3 million in 2013 costs rose, £5.1 m in 2014 to £5.9 million in 2015, there were further costs in 2016 but these were not made clear.

While no doubt some aspects of the project were completed in 2016 the annual report stated: “ During the year, we took the decision to halt the project to replace the bespoke legacy core systems with Oracle Retail as we have concluded that the legacy systems can manage further growth and change in the Group with more agility and at a lower cost thus minimising the change risk to the business.”

Clearly JD Sports now feels it is time to look once again at completing the update of the legacy retail solutions. The announcement that they have selected Infor will come as a blow to Oracle, as it looks to push its own retail solution. They announced on the same day that ABC Fine Wine & Spirits has upgraded its solution across 130 stores.

The Infor team wins

Dominique Dambre Directeur administratif et financier, CHAUSPORT, JD SPORTS GROUP (Image credit LinkedIN)
Dominique Dambre
Directeur administratif et financier, Chausport, JD SPORTS GROUP

Infor has sunk a lot of investment into its new retail solution. Chausport selected the solution because of its functionality and the ability to integrate across the companies other solutions that are not being replaced. This integration will be completed using Infor ION, part of the Infor OS that Charles Phillips revealed on stage at Inforum this year.

Infor were supported in the bidding process by HereWeGo Consulting, a retail management consulting company, based in France. The triumvirate was completed by Helant, a French Infor partner. Infor also delivered a commitment to be involved during the life of the project. It is something that they seem to do often. They are working closely with companies such as Triumph Motorcyles and Travis Perkins in the UK on their digital transformation projects.

While the integration features and project team was critical to winning the bid, it was the user interface that clinched the deal. Dominique Dambre, Project Sponsor at Chausport commented: “We were also convinced by the design of Infor CloudSuite Fashion’s user interface, which was critical for the adhesion to the project for our users, especially for the CRM part which had to cover all our sales channels.”

The project is phased. Perhaps another lesson learned from the failed Oracle project. The first phase will see the implementation of solutions across purchasing, warehouse, supply and the back office. No date was given for the omni channel retail solution but it will probably be another year after that. These may seem long timescale. However it is a complex project. One that will probably include process changes as well. While it is becoming possible to implement modern ERP solutions quickly. The benefits are only realised if processes are reviewed and updated.

So will the tail wag the dog

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