Tapping the Pulse of POS

A new POS platform is expected to bring a 15 percent sales lift to Perry Ellis, according to Luis Paez, CIO. The new platform will be particularly successful, he says, because it will be completely integrated with other IT systems in the company. Though enterprise systems are common in today's retail technology world, this wasn't always the case, and many retailers like Perry Ellis are running disparate modules as business systems. Seamless integration between these systems is vital for a real- time view of what's happening at any given moment. Early on in its search for two new software platforms (in-store POS and forecasting) Perry Ellis determined that integration between any new system and all the old systems was a primary requirement.

Total integration could be completed, according to Paez, if the legacy POS system could be brought up to date and integrated. The old system collected data once a week and generated limited-use reports. Without a real-time view of inventory status, the retailer was not able to predict trends or prevent stock-outs. Over a two-year search period, says Paez, "We were looking for one cohesive, nimble system able to react to real-time inventory information."

Perry Ellis chose SkillNet to implement a Java-based POS platform from Oracle and integrate it with the current merchandising, inventory and sales audit systems.
Cross-Channel Collaboration
It was the SkillNet StoreHub software that sold Perry Ellis on the company. StoreHub allows the new POS system to be integrated with virtually every facet of business vital to real-time control of sales. "Our ambition was to have one cohesive business across wholesale, retail and e-commerce and leverage the inventory across all the units," says Paez. Though the stores did need a new POS system, both hardware and software, Paez was determined that the new platform would have much more than just point-of-sale capability. Using StoreHub integration templates, the POS system can access the merchandising, inventory control and allocation systems. "We should be able to detect shrinkages a lot easier by looking at trends and inventory control in real time," adds Paez, who expects that with the new system Perry Ellis stores will no longer be short of any merchandise for more than two days.

At press time Perry Ellis had just begun a pilot test of the new platform. The new POS and StoreHub software is being rolled out in the five Original Penguin stores in Florida, New York, Texas and California. "We want to make sure we have a controlled environment at first," Paez says. "It's easy to do things in five stores; it's not so easy in 38." Paez expects the pilot to last two weeks to one month, at which time if few or no problems have occurred, a complete rollout will be scheduled.