Australia privately-owned footwear firm, Munro Footwear Group (MFG) was going through a “ticking time bomb” in late 2019 as its core ERP would not be supported by the seller by the top of 2020.
MFG has 2,000 workers and round 290 shops, which incorporates manufacturers like Midas, Colorado, and Diana Ferrari. Following a number of acquisitions, the group was operating a number of methods inflicting the IT crew to need to cope with “two sources of reality”.
In 2020, MFG determined to merge its two ERP methods to simplify and retire down to at least one system. It took 10 months to retire and migrate the previous ERP system onto the brand new one.
How MFG linked a number of methods
Forward of the ERP undertaking, in late 2019 MFG selected Boomi AtomSphere Platform to attach all its completely different methods. The low-code, cloud-native integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is designed to assist organisations unify data by connecting purposes, information, and other people wherever they’re positioned.
This got here in useful when in mid-2020 the coronavirus pandemic compelled the closure of its bodily shops, the iPaaS was then used to combine the methods of bodily shops and MFG’s ecommerce.
The implementation course of was speedy, partly because of the assortment of coaching assets in Boomi’s library. “We had been off and operating when it comes to growing reside options inside 4 to 6 weeks,” CTO Keng Ng says to CIO Australia.
One of many challenges with this sort of undertaking is that some methods are being linked to the brand new central system, whereas others are being disconnected and discarded. Earlier than, each system was nearly hardwired or welded onto different methods, in accordance with Ng, which meant that making modifications to at least one system with out impacting one other was usually tough. After the mixing, this a part of the issue was solved.
Ng refers to AtmosPhere as a Swiss military knife when explaining how a lot simpler it has develop into for MFG to run all of the know-how within the background.
Throughout COVID-19, when the corporate was confronted with large provide chain disruptions and ships had been detoured to completely different ports or didn’t arrive in any respect, as a substitute of cancelling orders and re-importing them with the brand new addresses, MFG stopped the messages from the provider from reaching its system, and altered the handle within the iPaaS after which let it move via
“All the opposite methods round didn’t know something was occurring. So, we had been in a position to handle sudden enterprise points by making modifications to the information because it occurred,” he says.
As an alternative of doing any main modifications to attach methods, all MFG needed to do when connecting a brand new system was to tug a library in and join it. “It has an enormous library of various applied sciences and connectors in order that it may possibly join one thing from the Nineties to one thing within the cloud that’s trendy and modern,” Ng says.
“The [only] limitation might be — if there’s any — on the system aspect, the place some vendor would possibly go: ‘I don’t need you to connect with us’, However that’s extra of a coverage dialogue and industrial dialogue with these distributors,” Ng says.
The challenges of merging information from two ERPs
This was adopted by the 2 ERP integrations, which was additional sophisticated by a newer acquisition.
This sort of main system “rationalisation and simplification” undertaking, as Ng likes to consult with, was at all times going to be difficult — however then the COVID-19 pandemic erupted throughout the implementation and migration.
“We’re speaking about retiring a significant ERP, which is normally ugly and tough, and there have been lots of enterprise processes and enterprise understanding that we needed to change as a result of we had two corporations coming collectively,” he says.
All of the variations in terminology, accounting guidelines, and enterprise construction was what made the method longer, in accordance with Ng.
“The opposite problem was lots of data from the previous enterprise had walked out the door within the earlier acquisition, so the issue MFG encountered was choosing via to know what was and wasn’t obtainable,” Ng says.
The most important lesson Ng and his crew discovered was that, with a giant undertaking, you must anticipate unknown unknowns to trigger bother. “The historic ERP system was crammed with hidden options and data, and regardless of greatest evaluation, there have been loads of codes to crack alongside the way in which,” he says.
200 integrations have been accomplished
One main undertaking MFG wanted Boomi for was to combine the methods that make up its brick-and-mortar and e-commerce operations. Because of Boomi, MFG was in a position to bridge its in-house retail software with its ERP and ordering methods, in lower than a month.
“These three are actually huge methods. The retail app is in 180 shops. The ordering system runs all our warehouses, and likewise we hook up with our internet fulfilment system. So, it’s a web based system that if you purchase one thing on-line, we hook up with it by way of Boomi in order that we will then route the orders to shops that would fulfil it,” Ng says.
Since MFG began utilizing Boomi, it’s made greater than 200 integrations, together with a significant integration regarding the group’s sneakers.
“We launch upwards of 400,000 objects each season, and our warehouse, our suppliers, our third-party carriers, our shops, our on-line web sites all have to know data like: how a lot is it price? How a lot ought to we promote it for? What color is it? What materials? What model? What’s the model?” he says.
All it takes is to enter the information as soon as within the system and it will get shared throughout to all shops and the ecommerce system.
There are extra integrations deliberate, with MFG making an omni-channel push whereas adopting a technique that, in accordance with Ng, will see the corporate adopting the perfect system to do the job, whether or not it’s loyalty, whether or not it’s CRM, whether or not it’s ecommerce, whether or not it’s POS.
“And after we go along with that technique, chances are high we’re not going to get one huge system that does the whole lot; we’re going to have disparate methods, that are best-of-class of their house, however they’re in all probability from completely different distributors,” he says.
MFG expects the iPaaS will be capable to deal with all of the upcoming software program.