Design

Shoe companies modernise retail fulfilment with tech

18th January 2022
Beatrice O'Flaherty

Tecsys, a supply chain management software company, is pleased to announce its growing position in the footwear industry across its Omni and Elite software platforms and its capacity to meet the specific requirements involved in omnichannel distribution and retail processes as they shift to hybrid retail models.

The Tecsys platform serves as the central supply chain execution cog in several footwear organisations across retail, distribution and DTC markets, orchestrating logistics activities across channels and optimising complex inventory management and fulfillment processes while upholding streamlined customer experiences.

The footwear industry is particularly suitable to network-wide virtualised inventory and dynamic fulfillment because of the complexity involved in inventory management that results from the intersection of size variations and seasonality. Factoring in half-sizes, consider the number of SKUs for one pair of shoes in sizes 7 to 13, and in three colors, black, brown and tan; that is 39 unique products with unique demand levels for each pair.

Tecsys’ distributed order management system, Omni OMS, enables footwear retailers and direct-to-consumer brands to carry distributed inventory across fulfillment locations, eliminating the need to stock products with the lowest demand at every site. This allows for more strategic inventory management that provides reasonable access to SKUs while forward positioning the fastest moving SKUs. The Elite product line enables enterprise-level complex and converging markets to operate world-class warehousing, delivery and fulfillment operations in order to gain control over customers’ service levels, throughput volumes, order turnaround times, as well as warehousing costs, growth and profitability.

“It is no surprise that footwear companies are investing in this kind of technology because they have historically been hit pretty hard with end-of-line challenges where sizes or colors known to be less popular are stockpiled because they wanted to make sure that outlier customers are still accommodated. Tecsys software is a pragmatic solution to that problem,” said Guy Courtin, Vice President and industry principal for Retail at Tecsys. “By allocating product according to demand and virtualising slower moving inventory while reducing buffers, retailers are able to satisfy consumer expectations without swallowing enormous losses at the end of every season – all the while hedging against customer disappointment because their size is unavailable online or at a certain store.”

One such example is Aetrex Worldwide, one of the fastest growing companies in the footwear industry and widely recognised as the global leader in comfort and wellness footwear products. Tecsys’ Elite WMS has enabled Aetrex to grow rapidly and achieve its strategic sales and customer services goals, such as increased volume by 80% without additional staff, increased inventory accuracy by 70% and reduced cost by 24%.

“They has enabled us to grow at a very aggressive rate, and without it we would have not been able to achieve our strategic sales and customer service goals, says John Mattessich, Director of Distribution at Aetrex Worldwide. “We went from paper-based to RF technology in a VERY short period of time; this leap has enabled us to increase our productivity, our volume and be able to manage our distribution and sales commitments, with a minimal increase in staff.”

Staying at the forefront of unified commerce is a strategic imperative for Tecsys customer Red Wing Shoes. The company’s brands are distributed to more than 110 countries in an immersive multichannel environment of 525+ Red Wing retail stores, third-party partners, and owned e-commerce platforms.

“We turned to Tecsys to help us modernise our omnichannel infrastructure, and the results have been very positive,” said Dennis Keane, CIO at Red Wing Shoes. “From selection through to implementation and execution, the Tecsys team helped us chart a course for more resilient and more profitable retail fulfillment operations. Not only does the Tecsys platform enable us to fulfill orders more economically through consolidation and dynamic routing, but we are also able to cater to a new segment of digital consumer by providing more channels, more flexibility, and better access to inventory. We are agile in our online order fulfillment capabilities, and we know that we are in good hands with the team at Tecsys.”

Richard Sejean, Director of e-commerce at Browns Shoes, a North American footwear chain, added, “This implementation will enable us to stay at the forefront of omnichannel retail for years to come [and] ensures that we are able to provide our shoppers with exceptional experiences regardless of how they choose to shop with us.”

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