Fashion retailer Esprit has outsourced the management of its suite of SAP applications to improve the business processes they support.
The company, which is headquartered in Germany and Hong Kong, has signed a deal with Indian IT services firm Mindtree. The supplier will now monitor and support applications that support 300 stores and 7,500 points of sale in Europe, and provide retail business expertise to improve processes.
Esprit wants the outsourcing contract to give it confidence and improve its back-end systems, which will free up the IT department to focus on retail IT challenges being driven by changing consumer behaviour.
Consumers are increasingly demanding online services with fast delivery from retailers, or are opting to shop elsewhere. The SAP infrastructure underpins these services through business processes such as ordering and deliveries, which require links between separate systems.
The service provider is going beyond just providing IT to support existing processes by transforming the operation. It has so far separated 20 business processes in the entire SAP infrastructure and dedicated staff to monitor and improve them. More individual processes will be identified overtime with dedicated IT and business resources assigned to them.
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About 40 Mindtree staff will work on the contract. Half of these will be technical and the other half business-focussed. The technical resources on the project will be based in Bangalore, while the business staff will be onsite in Ratingen, Germany.
Mindtree is also planning to introduce lean management techniques at Espirit in the future.
Group CIO at Esprit Thomas Pirlein said the company chose the supplier based on its expertise in SAP and the retail sector.
“Mindtree will play a key role in our efforts to gain long-term competitiveness with its technology leadership and deep understanding of trends shaping the future of retail," he said.
According to Mindtree, it has taken a business-process view, as opposed to a system-centric view to "provide Esprit the flexibility to achieve its goals in the highly competitive fashion retail space."