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Clothing firm to overhaul its core systems

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has begun an 18-month project to replace its core systems.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has begun an 18-month project to replace its core systems.

The clothing retailer, which had sales of £160m last year and income through concessions of £20m, needs more flexible systems to expand its customer base.

It will replace a proprietary suite of applications called Marcs with new software from BT Expedite in a £1.6m implementation.

A new sales analytics package is planned to go live this October, with the core merchandising and warehouse management systems being switched on next May. A sourcing component will go live in September next year.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s finance director, Robert Houston, said, “Sourcing will take the longest to get the benefit out of it. That is a two to three-year project that will give us big benefits.”

Edinburgh Woollen Mill hopes to go live with a new private managed network at the same time as it switches on the sourcing system.

The network, which is being procured this summer, will replace a mixture of ISDN and packet-switched data network lines at the company’s 300-plus stores.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill decided against implementing an assortment planning application – a system that sets the product mix for each store – as part of the overhaul because implementing one would be “an enormous amount of work”.

This was first published in June 2006

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