Striving for a standardized in-store experience
This leading global retailer has partnered with Fujitsu in a number of areas for decades, during which time the relationship has evolved from simple product provision to break/fix and added services. However, the company lacked a consistent approach to IT across its estate, meaning there were regional differences in both hardware and software functionality as well as inconsistent availability of services and support.
The company wanted to introduce a coherent and standardized IT program in order to speed time to market and boost in-store efficiency. After evaluating the competition, it chose Fujitsu to create and then migrate to a new IT infrastructure, based on its local presence, global reach, industry experience and competitive pricing. Fujitsu was initially tasked with refreshing stores in a handful of countries; it has since grown to more than 2,000 stores due to its proven track record and ability to deliver consistent quality at speed.
The objectives were two-fold: to organize and standardize how services are delivered to achieve economy of scale; and increase the speed of deployment for new functionality to better handle the retailer’s high annual growth. The company also wanted to enable centralized promotions, cross-border and online returns as well as omni-channel shopping.
“Facing the new customer needs that exist today within the entire retail industry is the biggest challenge we face today. From an IT perspective this means that we need to adapt systems more quickly to changes in customer behavior. We need to create efficient support tools and lower our costs,” states a spokesperson for the retailer.
An end-to-end retail platform
The core components of the contract include hardware refresh and maintenance; third party and internal POS application support; network management; cloud-based back office application management; and global service desk. As an example of the scale of the project, there are different POS applications in use across the retail network, all of which needed to be properly supported and maintained by Fujitsu.
The solution can also be broken down into four key pillars: retail technology (POS software and hardware and third party peripheral support); enterprise IT (service desk and platform maintenance); global reach (Fujitsu is the only ICT provider with a standing presence in 180 countries); and professional services (the ability to efficiently migrate from legacy infrastructure to the new standard and provide training to thousands of employees).
Fujitsu was also tasked with ensuring legal compliance in each territory as well as helping the retailer meet its commitments to sustainability.
For every new build store, Fujitsu liaised closely with local builders to ensure any required construction was complete before dispatching the hardware to be installed by local Fujitsu engineers. It provides an end-to-end process with a fixed price per store and guaranteed delivery within six weeks of the initial order.
Faster, smarter, more efficient
The new solution provides centralized real-time intelligence on sales and inventory, making it simple to track performance: 99.9 percent of all sales transactions anywhere in the world are logged centrally within 30 minutes. This means the retailer can monitor consumer behavior and adjust its strategy accordingly by rolling out standardized promotions, for example.
In addition, hardware and peripherals can be remotely managed, reducing the number of site visits by 80 percent, while store requests for changes or services can also be performed remotely, further reducing the need for onsite presence.
According to detailed benchmarks carried out by the retailer, there has been up to an 80 percent reduction in the costs of both asset management and store roll out, depending on the geography. Moreover, the time to roll out a new store has reduced by 95 percent. Most importantly, all stores have been rolled out on time and on budget in 32 countries, while Fujitsu has also helped meet environmental commitments through low energy consumption technology, which is
helping the company halve its carbon footprint.
Fujitsu’s importance as a digital transformation partner is underscored by the customer itself: “Fujitsu has done well with cost reduction, has been innovative and has contributed with new ideas to help us meet our challenges. By doing some of the changes that we have made with Fujitsu, over the last five years, we have also managed to improve our environmental footprint. We are reducing large server installations and making things more cloud-based. I would rate them as eight out of ten.”