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Retail-only solutions and services provider, Retail Assist, has named international luxury store chain, Harvey Nichols, as the first client to adopt Merret BI.
Merret BI is an ‘out of the box’ retail-specific business intelligence solution that includes budgeting, planning, forecasting and profitability analysis. At Harvey Nichols, it replaces BI tools such as Business Objects, Arthur Planning and Hyperion.
Explains Harvey Nichols’ IT & Logistics Director, Martin Schofield: “The new solution is easier to implement and easier to use. User requests can be actioned in hours, not days. Our reporting is now more accurate and, as we have only one licence to pay, it’s more cost-effective. With the Merret BI framework in place, we can build in enhancements that will support our business expansion.”
Whilst Merret BI primarily reports on supply chain activity, it can also include other parts of a retail operation to create a universal and consistent business view. Merret BI is not a generic tool: it is designed for retail, and to enable retailers to address the challenges they face through sector- and activity-specific business reporting and workflow.
Retail Assist signed a partnership agreement with software author, Board MIT last autumn. Merret BI is built upon the Board MIT engine, and comes with a wraparound of Retail Assist’s sector intelligence, services and retail-ready report structures. This makes it very quick and easy for a retailer to get up and running with Merret BI. Pre-built retail report templates mean that new users can gain business intelligence from their data gathering, analysis and reporting from day one.
In addition to being the business intelligence option of Retail Assist’s Merret supply chain system, Merret BI is available as a stand-alone solution.
Continues Martin Schofield: “Merret has been driving our supply chain operations for some time but we have used a number of tools for variance finance reporting. Once Merret BI became available, we saw we could achieve a lot more with a single tool than with the multiple products we’ve been using.”
For Harvey Nichols, Retail Assist undertook database design and population followed by user training, enabling finance users to create their own reports using the Merret BI tool.
States Nigel Illingworth, Retail Assist’s Product Director: “Harvey Nichols calls on various sources of information for its management finance reports. These needed to be pulled together into one version of the truth, eliminating the need for dual keying and duplicated effort.”
Harvey Nichols has a number of premium lifestyle stores specialising in brand name merchandise. Its estate covers Dublin, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds in addition to its flagship Knightsbridge, London store. International expansion has seen stores in Riyadh, Dubai, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Istanbul become landmarks in cities where luxury is a byword.
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