How French Connection automated stock replenishment to cut costs

Fashion retailer French Connection cut costs by deploying a stock replenishment automation system

French Connection has cut costs by deploying a stock replenishment automation system.

The clothing company signed a deal with IT company Redwood to deploy its Cronacle process automation software.

Previously French Connection had two members of staff working night shifts to process stock replenishments manually.

Now stores file sales figures several times a day, which makes it easier to control and manage and provides more up-to-date information to the business, said Claire Joel, development manager at French Connection

Joel said the project has paid for itself, as the night team is no longer required.

“We have a small IT department, which support most of the systems in the group, so this has helped to free up their time.”

She said the company takes a pragmatic approach to IT deployments, avoiding any ‘big buys’ which would be too time-consuming to implement.

“Historically replenishments happened in the middle of the night. If the replenishment was missed it meant that item was not in store. Instead of putting it up once a day it now goes through five times a day,” she said.

The Warehouse tool now has automated packing, she said. 

“We do a lot of automation, based on positive reporting,” Joel said. 

She said the company has extended into other areas. 

“The system also has the capabilities to move onto mobile so we can see what we are reporting on that way,” Joel said. 

French Connection uses SAP for retail, finance, with a bespoke AS400 system for wholesale, distribution and production. It uses Java for its electronic point of sale systems.

French Connection underwent an upgrade to Cronacle 8 in 2011. IT has been working with Redwood since 2004.

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