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Brief reads on how digital technology can drive your business forward.

Background:

Canada’s leading rent-to-own high-end furniture and home appliances company, with stores in most provinces and bordering US states, was experiencing a pace of growth that their IT infrastructure and existing ERP systems couldn’t handle. Challenges included:

  • Business growth was steadily outpacing service capacity causing excessive customer wait times processing contracts. The existing IT infrastructure comprising the front-end POS systems, business application suites, back-end servers etc., were operating at maximum capacity and could no longer handle business volumes through further customization.
  • Keeping track of fast moving inventory across geographically dispersed business units while maintaining an effective collection strategy and recovery of stolen products became very challenging.
  • Developing realistic growth forecasts and demand projections to better plan inventory and staffing was time consuming.
  • Existing legacy Systems became unwieldy and needed to be replaced. The proposed new system needed to resolve current shortcomings, provide a scalable platform to handle growth, improve customer service, and incorporate advanced real-time business intelligence analytics.

Solution:

Working jointly with management, MRS compiled the scope document and crafted the exhaustive project plan, including reviewing vendor proposals and contracts; tracking expenditures against budgets; preparing weekly status documents for management; tracking the training progress of 1000+ trainees, and scheduling store visits to evaluate post GO LIVE performance.

Technically, this initiative involved the installation of new terminal hardware, PCs and client software, back-end database and related process re-engineering and the training of 1000+ personnel including divisional vice presidents, regional managers, store managers, store associates, leasing specialists and other logistics personnel. The system was to streamline their POS activity, automate features to avoid errors common with manual operations and free up the store managers and associates to spend more time assessing customer needs and offer suitable products. On the MIS side, the requirements included the creation of real-time data acquisition and reports from the POS OLTP systems. RSSS of Texas, USA provided the hardware and software solutions. RSSS is the leading systems solutions vendor in this industry. System architecture comprised of RSSS’s centralised proprietary database with thin client front-end with various improved OLTP and MIS reporting tools and functions.

Benefits:

Overall, the project enabled the client to:

  • Reduce customer wait time by speeding contract execution.
  • Enhance the customer experience by introducing new value added services.
  • Control inventory costs through improved inventory tracking processes across their stores.
  • Improve management reporting and analysis capabilities.

“The project was a success story and the client’s adherence to MRS’ established project management practices helped them complete this project on scope, on time and on budget. Equally important, the client can now plan for growth knowing that their IT platform is robust and scalable and can fully support aggressive growth initiatives.”

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