House of Fraser overhauls its planning system

House of Fraser has upgraded the advance planning systems that help its merchandisers and buyers fulfil the product mix required for each store.

While the retailer has stuck with Merchandise Planner from i2, which was first introduced in 1996, it was still a sizable undertaking.

'I was very nervous,' said House of Fraser director of planning and trading Peter Callaway. 'However, it went very well indeed, with good support from (i2's technical staff) in India and in the UK,'

Work started in June and was finished by the end of July. During this time, the system was only down for two days.

House of Fraser prepares its half-year results at the end of July. If the project had missed its deadline, the upgrade would have been postponed until September.

The biggest advantage has been noticed during the weekend number crunching, when sales data is collated and mapped against expectations. Under the old system, this was not always finished when the buyers arrived on Monday.

'There's been considerable improvement,' said Callaway. 'We're probably talking about halving the processing time.'