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You are here: HomeArticle › Case Study: Breitling UK/Solarsoft

Case Study: Breitling UK/Solarsoft

Customer spotlight

At-a-glance

Industry: Watch distributor.

Location: London, UK.

Key challenges

Billing and serial number information took five staff two to three days to manually reconcile.

Solution

Solarsoft’s ERP system.

Key benefits

  • More than doubled business volumes without adding headcount.
  • Far quicker shipping of goods out to retailers.
  • Tracking of spare parts used within the repair process, enables the build of a complete service history of every timepiece.
  • In-depth analysis of warranty costs by watch type and by year of manufacture.

Breitling has been manufacturing watches in Switzerland since 1884. The company builds certified chronometers designed primarily for aviation use, although they are now worn as high-end luxury watches. The watches have been distributed in the UK since 1989 by Breitling UK, which manages sales to almost 190 retailers.

Since setting up in the UK, Breitling has been using a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from Solarsoft. The software is a highly customisable solution that has continuously evolved to keep pace with the company’s significant growth.

Arvind Mehta of Breitling UK and a regular user of Solarsoft explained: “This is a fast-growing business; Breitling UK has more than doubled sales over the past couple of years. The customisation of Solarsoft’s integrated ERP has enabled Breitling to support this growth without adding staff while also delivering quantifiable business and customer service improvements.”

Product tracking

Each Breitling watch has a unique serial number, enabling it to be tracked throughout the supply chain, from initial manufacture, through distribution to service and repair. “Solarsoft enables Breitling not only to track each individual watch across the supply chain but also to trace straps and bracelets, which are tracked by batch number, and spare parts, which are also tracked as individual items,” Mehta confirmed.

Solarsoft has tailored its software specifically for Breitling UK, to enable it to upload invoice and delivery information automatically into the system. In the past, it took five staff two to three days to manually reconcile billing and serial number information for the weekly delivery from Switzerland. The company now feeds the data directly into the ERP system from an electronic file provided by the Swiss manufacturer.

The new process is not only considerably faster than the manual approach, it has also eliminated re-keying errors. Indeed, despite more than doubling sales, the information reconciliation process can now be handled within a day by a single member of staff. Future growth will be easily accommodated.

As Mehta said: “This customisation of Solarsoft’s ERP system has enabled Breitling UK to more than double business volumes without adding headcount. Furthermore, the company can now ship goods out to the retailers far quicker which is also a significant improvement in the quality of service offered.”

Further customisation

Following the success of this project, Solarsoft and Breitling UK are now working to automate the upload of catalogue price revisions, further streamlining operations and driving down costs.

Looking ahead, the next stage of customisation will enable Breitling to track the use of spare parts within the repair process, building a complete service history of every timepiece.

Each watch includes a two-year guarantee card that certifies the serial number and date of purchase. Any watch requiring repair is sent direct to Breitling UK and, with these system changes, the service engineer will know exactly what work has been done under guarantee and which parts have been used to service the luxury item.

“The ability to track the individual spare parts used in a repair will enable Breitling UK to improve the quality of its customer service,” Mehta said. “Furthermore, the company will be able to undertake in-depth analysis of warranty costs by watch type and by year of manufacture, which will deliver greater insight to drive performance improvements.”

Where, when and how?

The depth of reporting provided by the Solarsoft ERP system has delivered significant benefits to the organisation over the years. “Solarsoft has a very good reporting tool,” Mehta added. “It enables sales analysis by product or by retailer, as well as tracking each retailer’s stock holding.”

In a luxury marketplace, the performance of each retail outlet is critical, especially given the investment required in stock, display, after-sales service and staff training. Sales are also analysed by shop type - whether it is a large chain or an independent - its geographic location and whether it is in a high street or shopping centre.

Sales information within the system is stored by both delivery address and invoice address, enabling Breitling to track performance by shop category. “This information informs the company’s ongoing expansion strategy,” Mehta confirmed. Sales analysis is also provided to Breitling in Switzerland to support international sales performance comparisons by product, location and shop category.

The company pays close attention to the performance of new products which are typically introduced annually. “It is essential to understand the level of interest in new products to maximise market opportunity,” Mehta said. “With Solarsoft, Breitling can track sales of specific product types over a period, providing immediate insight into new product demand.”

“With Solarsoft, Breitling can track sales of specific product types over a period, providing immediate insight into new product demand.”

Arvind Mehta, Breitling UK.


Strong relationship

Breitling continues to have a strong relationship with Solarsoft. “The highly adaptable nature of the ERP software enables continual small enhancements, typically every three to six months, to support business expansion,” Mehta said.

In the next couple of years, Breitling UK plans to provide retailers with online access to product information, online ordering and the ability to track the progress of watch repairs and servicing. “Solarsoft’s ERP software will enable Breitling to reflect the growing move towards online business, further improving customer service and driving down the administrative overhead,” said Mehta.

Critically, the organisation can continue its expansion without incurring the headache of a major ERP systems overhaul.

Mehta concluded: “In the luxury goods marketplace it is essential to deliver excellent customer service. By using Solarsoft’s technology to automate the input of information, Breitling UK has significantly improved the timeliness of deliveries to retailers. Furthermore, the process has streamlined the administrative process, enabling substantial business growth without adding headcount.”

For more information, contact Solarsoft Europe. Tel: +44 (0)844 770 0900. Website: www.solarsoft.com.

 

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