Zilian, a ladies’ shoe concept developed by Grupo Mar, aims to become an innovative and sophisticated brand, offering a big variety of modern design at affordable pricing. Zilian’s collections are designed by the company’s production team and are produced in Portugal and Brazil. The company was launched in 2008. Grupo Mar is a Portuguese retail company that has been active in the fashion market since 1986. In 2007, its turnover reached 23 million Euros, an increase of 6.2% from the previous year. It represents several retail brands in Portugal, including United Colors of Benetton, Sisley and Gente Miúda. Grupo Mar is also master franchiser in Portugal and in Romania for the luggage retailer Segue (owned by Benetton). It also distributes Levi’s, Benetton and Sisley accessories in Portugal.
Zilian represents a new store concept in the national market – a space with an expressive variety of models, fair prices, product linear exposure and big sales areas. Aiming at innovation and sophistication, the 100% Portuguese shoe brand has the ambition to become international. The brand promotes versatility, targeting all types of ladies but with a common cosmopolitan style. The brand provides liberty of choice, in a big variety of exclusive models, with Choose being the Zilian signature. The stores have their unique displays sorted by size and color, making it easy for customers to find exactly what they are looking for as they browse the store.
Prior to implementing LS Nav, Zilian did not use any structured solution. The company started looking for a full retail ERP application to fit its dynamic business and to handle the financial, production, and retail aspects of their business:
The company lacked a systematic procedure to carry out an item or product level analysis, implement and monitor new promotion schemes, check the performance of each product on the basis of high or low selling products and promote them accordingly. With the launch of its sharp new brand, Zilian wanted to raise the bar in obtaining a versatile and stable retail solution that would provide the tools to be customer-centric.
Zilian chose LS Nav, a solution specifically developed for the retail industry, based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The solution has been customized by Arquiconsult to conform with local legal and language requirements. LS Nav is a flexible POS based solution that can be configured according to requirements and maintains common data over the entire organization. Since the POS terminals, back office and head office, all use the same application and functionalities, individual transactions can be directly tracked from the head office. Besides its enhanced branch functionality, the system has been customized to meet the specific requirements of Portuguese retail business, including Mandatory Invoicing Software Certification and Standard Audit File for Tax (SAFT). The system enables diverse data exchange between stores and headquarters and it keeps running even if there is a connection breakdown between stores and headquarters.
Zilian now has business management software that controls processes from store to head office level and vice-versa. It stores sales information for analysis and reporting purposes and also follows sales trends. Furthermore, it is easy to use, ensures good connectivity and consistent operating speed, is rich in features, reliable and most of all cost-effective. With the backing of this software, the staff is now more efficient and can quickly attend to customer requirements. “LS Nav provides reliable, real-time insight into critical aspects of our business, such as comparison of stores, breakdown of sales according to time-periods, with drill-downs over different periods. Moreover, it ensures total data and system integrity,” states Sara Midões, Marketing Manager of Grupo Mar. “Arquiconsult gave us excellent support, and also addressed the local needs and changes." The scalability and customization features of LS Nav are ideal for Zilian’s retail environment as it efficiently manages all POS terminals, the number of which can be increased as per future requirements. The back office operation automates data reconciliation from all the different departments at the head office.
Customer loyalty is a huge factor in driving up sales. One year after Zilian’ s brand launch, Grupo Mar created Zi Card, the Zilian loyalty card system. Counting more than 20,000 loyal customers, this project has been designed as a differential factor. In addition to the usual discounts, customers can benefit from experiences provided by the partners of Zilian, including international and local brands such as Vogue and Máxima magazines, Holmes Place, MAC, my Clinique, Magnolia Restaurants, harden Spa, Café Noir, and others. Zi Card holders also get exclusive promotions on special days and events such as birthdays. “With LS Nav, we got a solution that can successfully run our loyalty card system. Moreover, we can trust all data,” says Midões. “Zilian can measure which customers are interested in specific models, colors, and so forth. We can easily measure several key performance indicators (KPI’s) such as email averages, total clients, number of points, transactions, number of discount tickets created and used; client segmentation such as potential revenue values, items required and many more.”