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Groupe Dynamite pins expansion plans on Oracle Retail

Women's clothing retailer Groupe Dynamite Inc. prides itself on the edgy style and fashion inspiration it gets from Montreal -- the bilingual, cosmopolitan city it calls home. But the operator of 300 Dynamite and Garage stores in North America and the Middle East found that its ambitious expansion plans were held back by four highly customized instances of its legacy retail management system.

So three years ago, the company embarked on a migration to several components of Oracle Retail and the Oracle SOA Suite for real-time messaging. The final pieces went live early this year, and Groupe Dynamite now has a single cross-channel view of inventory that enables "commerce anywhere" for in-store and online customers and employees, while streamlining inventory management.

In this video recorded at the 2014 Oracle Industry Connect event in Boston, Ian Booler, the company's senior director of business management and PMO (project management office), provides details on the Oracle Retail project.

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Booler explains that it was important to have a risk-mitigation strategy to ensure that the migration didn't disrupt operations. "We took the Oracle e-commerce platform with a brand-new Dynamite Web store and integrated that with RMS [Oracle Retail Merchandising System] and with another third-party WMS [warehouse management system] application. The second piece of the pilot was taking RMS live with the store inventory manager system. We shipped supplies to our stores -- like light bulbs and paper towels. This gave us the ability over a four-month time to make sure that our plumbing and our infrastructure of all of these applications was working in harmony."

The upgrade also allows stores to come online faster. "We can expand our operations quickly," Booler says. "There were many flavors of that old system that required anywhere from nine to 12 months of development time to open a new business unit. With Oracle Retail installed, we're able to open new territories, new countries, with the multi-currency and the flexibility to open stores pretty much anywhere around the globe."  

Booler also talks about the importance of new capabilities such as markdown management and zone pricing. "Those are things that the business needed to be able to preserve margin in territories. In the old system, that was not a capability that they had. Retailers are pushing the envelope to make sure that every dollar of margin counts. This is what we felt we needed in order to be competitive in our expansion."

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