Chico's FAS: Customer Reference Video

Chico's FAS Inc. is a leading U.S. retailer, with multiple brands, in 1,100 specialty stores. Discover how Chico's deployed SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services to consolidate information, achieve greater accuracy, and optimize the classification process. The company realized its ROI goals well ahead of schedule.

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    • Chico's FAS is a multi-branded specialty retailer. We have three brands under the umbrella of Chico's. There's Chico's, which is the mother company, obviously. We have White House Black Market and Soma. In 2006, we began to realize that the existing infrastructure that we were using in and around our ERP was just not going to support the organization and the multi-branding of the organization over the long haul. So we had a decision to make about moving onto what we call a Tier 1 platform. There are not very many players in this space, but SAP is certainly one of the leading players in that space. We went through an extensive RFP process, and SAP won the business. We were looking at the opportunities to use the import side of Global Trade Services, or GTS. And we spent quite a time kind of comparing several other suppliers, but we settled on GTS as the solution simply because it was, literally offered us the most opportunity, the largest footprint, and was integrated with our ERP. We were very happy with the way that the first phase of the implementation went. It was a small piece of GTS that we chose to implement in the initial footprint, primarily the import piece. And what we were able to do is use GTS to help facilitate the classification process. Classifying apparel items for customs clearance is critical in our business and can create problems if it's not done properly. The implementation of GTS allowed us to become much more efficient and much more accurate. And therefore, we were able to continue to drive down any penalties and/or delays in the supply chain that were occurring. In order to classify and really pre-classify goods before they arrive at customs, we had multiple systems providing that information. And it was very inefficient for the folks that were doing that. The implementation of GTS allowed us to bring all of our data into one place. It allows us to, instead of going to four different systems to find that classification information, we go to one system, it's approved, and it's kept in one place. And GTS is now the system of record for all classification information. So the efficiencies that we've gained from that have allowed us to avoid additional headcount, which is critical for the organization, especially in this timeframe. And it's also allowed us to become a lot more efficient with the amount of users that are on the system. From an ROI standpoint, we had a goal for the project, and that was obviously to return on the investment that it took us to bring GTS up within three years. What we were able to do is, by providing much more efficient and accurate information to our broker partners, which do the majority of the development work for customs and the 7501 documentation that's required for clearance, we were able to deliver that information much more efficiently to our broker. Therefore, we were able to reduce our broker fees by up to 50%. That ROI, in combination with cost avoidance of headcount and becoming much more efficient in the way that we accurately recorded classification, led to an ROI which brought us down to about a year-and-a-half return, as opposed to our three-year goal. So we're very excited about the way the ROI turned out.
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