Budgeting and Planning
Charlotte Russe is a leading mall-based clothing retailer dedicated to affordable women's clothing. The company currently operates 400 stores in 43 states. As a fast growth company opening roughly 50 stores per year, Charlotte Russe had achieved one of its best performance years in 2006 and was recognized by NASDAQ as California Apparel Stock of the Year.
Charlotte Russe’ sales, markdown and performance analysis/planning processes involved manual steps of extracting data from the Data Warehouse, manipulating the data in MS Excel or other tools and then keying it into downstream systems. This manual processes posed a significant burden on productivity. The plans and analysis lacked accuracy and consistency. The processes have been subjected in the past to missed deadlines and they have caused fallout and fire-fighting. Charlotte Russe embarked on the transformation initiative to automate and improve their sales, markdown and performance analysis processes.
Charlotte Russe’ IT environment consists of JDA Arthur and JDA PMM as core merchandise planning and allocations systems and Business Objects as an enterprise reporting tool. Charlotte Russe considered leveraging these existing systems; however due to the aggressive project timeline, the dynamic nature of analysis and the uniqueness and complexity of requirements, the option of using the existing systems was not feasible. This is when Neubrain consultants and BOARD became involved.
Charlotte Russe and Neubrain conducted a half-day proof of concept exercise, during which Neubrain used BOARD to build a working prototype from scratch using data extracts from the Data Warehouse. The prototype clearly demonstrated that BOARD represented a fast and simple opportunity to improve efficiency and accuracy by automating the manual data manipulation processes.
Ajay Kelkar said:
As analytics grows popular, laymen may also have the means to exercise their data analytics skills. Until then the best option as Charlotte Russe here, too realised is too outsource data analytics to professionals.
By doing this (i.e. outsourcing) they not only enhance their marketing strategy and thus productivity, they also build a future of a highly customer engaged and customer interactive company.
Moreover, speaking of retail, I have put down a few insights on retail analytics, if any reader or the moderator would like to judge and observe:
Thank you Barb for this great news post. It has only strengthened my faith in analytical marketing vs. traditional marketing.