Jones Apparel Group Deploys StoreNet Manager

Jones Apparel Group uses VendorNet StoreNet Manager as its e-commerce and in-store collaboration technology. The application enables the automated fulfillment of e-commerce orders utilizing bricks and mortar store inventory essentially making corporate-wide inventory available for sale on the Web.

"The implementation of VendorNet StoreNet Manager is part of Jones Apparel Group's overall strategy to fulfill sales on our e-commerce platform by optimizing our current inventory to meet online demand and deliver best-in-class customer service," says Ron Offir, president of e-commerce, Jones Apparel Group. "This technology is helping us improve service to our customers by showing Web shoppers inventory across all channels and capturing demand that may otherwise have been a lost opportunity."

VendorNet StoreNet Manager interfaces with Jones Apparel Group's order management, e-commerce, and retail merchandising systems. Online orders that cannot be fulfilled from warehouse inventory are electronically transmitted to VendorNet StoreNet Manager, which routes the order to the best available store for fulfillment based on Jones-defined store allocation rules. Store personnel access the orders complete with pick list, packing slip, and shipping label through a VendorNet-enabled Web portal. Store personnel pick the items, and confirm the picked quantities in VendorNet StoreNet Manager. This triggers printing of the packing slips with UPS shipping labels, and ultimately the transmission of shipping manifests to UPS notifying the carrier that packages are staged for pickup. In the event a store is unable to fulfill all items/orders, the whole or partial order is automatically allocated to the next best available store.

Upon receipt of the shipment by UPS, VendorNet StoreNet Manager obtains pick-up scans confirming carrier possession, and sends a ship transaction including tracking number back to Jones' host order management system triggering a charge to the consumer's credit card. Each night, VendorNet StoreNet Manager obtains updated store inventory counts from Jones' retail inventory management system, and transmits the aggregate item inventory counts across all stores and the warehouse to Jones' e-commerce system.

The corporate-wide view of inventory provided by VendorNet StoreNet Manager allows Jones to sell down products and also keep styles live online through their entire life cycle across all its sales channels regardless of how the order is being fulfilled. Other benefits include the ability to prioritize stores, and take stores in and out of the program. Jones can take advantage of pockets of inventory or leverage stores that may have less foot traffic giving store personnel more availability to fulfill online orders. According to Offir, the adoption of VendorNet StoreNet Manager has gone smoothly with Jones' store personnel willingly embracing the software for its user friendly interface and ease-of-use.

Jones Apparel Group rolled out VendorNet StoreNet Manager to its Nine West ( stores in a six week period this summer. It expects to have more than 500 stores across all its brands live by the end of 2008, including its newly e-commerce enabled Jones New York ( Web site.
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