Braintree helps Otto Brothers in efforts to drive business growth

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

About Otto Brothers

Otto Brothers (trading as Power Fashion Factory) is a Durban-based fashion retailer with 105 stores across Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng as well as the Eastern and Western Cape. Continuously expanding, they focus on low-income households and source stock locally to keep costs down so that they can provide the best value for money to their customers.

Over the years, the company ended up using several legacy systems that were no longer capable of meeting its requirements. Accurately keeping track of huge volumes of business records was becoming impossible, and an immediate change was needed.

Critically, there was only a short time-frame in which new systems had to be implemented, before these system limitations started impacting negatively on the daily operations of the business.

Challenge

Otto Brothers turned to local ICT companies to provide a them with an end-to-end implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV, including the integration of third-party add-on modules that were specific to the retail industry.

The company initiated a formal process during which two different products from six vendors were evaluated, of which three were shortlisted. These vendors were then invited on-site, allowing key role players at Otto Brothers to meet the respective consultants and management teams who would be assigned to the project.

Otto Brothers selected Braintree citing its customer-centric approach, as well as the honesty, flexibility and understanding of the management team, the quality of the development lead put forward, and the innovative development methodology proposed.

Solution

A series of onsite workshops, including a diagnostic exercise and needs analysis, were conducted with key role players to identify existing processes and shortcomings, and determine the scope and direction of the project.

Following this, Braintree used a team of nine developers and consultants to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV on-premise at Otto Brothers’ head office, with integration to the company’s retail network across the country.

Business requirements not available in the native product were addressed either through software customisation or third-party add-ons – such as the integration of the LS Retail add-on, which provides functionality specific to the retail industry.

The implementation included the migration of all historic data, the implementation of a Business Intelligence (BI) solution, advanced reporting functionality, and some customisation to the core Microsoft Dynamics NAV product.

To shorten the development process and enhance the quality of the end product, Braintree combined key elements of an Agile development methodology with the more traditional Waterfall approach that is used by most other systems integrators.

User training and user acceptance testing was conducted before going live, to ensure that end users could conduct tasks efficiently, and to ensure that the system performed as expected.

User training and acceptance testing was conducted before going live to ensure that the users could conduct their tasks efficiently, and to ensure that the system performed as expected. The entire project, from initiation to go-live, took seven months to complete – a record under the circumstances.

Post-implementation steps included go-live handholding and a combination of both on-premise and remote support.

Before the changeover, critical applications on the legacy systems had limitations to the size of document numbers supported, and the company ended up cycling through document numbers every three months. This is no longer the case, and the growing business can now accurately keep track of all its purchase orders, shipments and in-store shipment receipts.

“I would recommend Braintree,” says Otto Brothers IT Manager, Jacques Vermeulen. “They have a very customer-centric approach to doing business, and they were willing to take on a project with an extremely short implementation time-frame and tight deadlines. Overall, they exceeded expectations.”

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