In recent years, fashion group French Connection has streamlined its stock management and distribution operations. The group’s four principal brands are FCUK, designer brand Nicole Farhi, Toast and Great Plains.
First it replaced an outdated manual pick-ticket systems with in-house applications linked to the AS400 system. Then it looked for terminals to survive prolonged use in the warehouses and read barcodes through the plastic covers over the garments.
Codeway recommended the Datalogic Falcon RF mobile computer for the new applications. After exhaustive tests, FCUK installed 200 Datalogic Falcon computers in its warehouses. A year later it moved the whole operation to a new distribution centre serving the whole of the UK and Europe.
The distribution centre now handles more than twelve and a half million items a year, with the Falcons scanning each one in picking and packing. Accuracy is now well over 99 per cent, compared with 85 per cent for the old manual system. FCUK also faced some challenges in its retail stores and commissioned Retail Business Solutions (RBS) to develop a new point of sale system.
Codeway was asked to work with RBS to supply mobile solutions for in-store applications such as: stock look-ups, stock transfers, stock takes, cycle counts, and sale mark downs.
Each store now has one or two Datalogic Falcon and Pegaso rugged PDAs which have helped improve accuracy and quality. The terminals have halved the time taken to complete sale mark downs and all other critical tasks. Promotions are now turned round faster, and staff can tell customers the price and availability of any item instantly.
Doug Gardner, IT manager for FCUK, says: “Over the years, we have built an excellent relationship with Codeway. They are always responsive, professional and quick to address any issues as soon as they arise.”