Kingfisher – Castorama – B&Q


“WE needed a solution that could position itself as a "meta-referential", over and above the two application environments maintained within our company.
Soft Solutions brought not only a product, but deep retail industry expertise gained from implementing at other clients. This was very valuable for our project. The Merchandising Business Suite solution is an expert tool, integrating real and tangible know-how in the retail business.”

States, Philippe Meurillon
Former director of France Kingfisher Information Technology Services.

Shortly after adding Castorama under its banner, Kingfisher Group began to evaluate the need for improvements in its supplier negotiations and deals management processes. Driven both by its merger and the increased competitiveness in the market, the company realized that its partially automated process needed to be replaced.

The Supplier Relation Management Project was launched to address not only the business functionality required for improved supplier management, but also to provide a common information platform across all business units so that negotiations and purchases could be better consolidated.

After defining business requirements, the group started evaluating alternatives available in the market. Kingfisher finalized their decision and selected Soft Solutions' negotiations management solution, located within the Merchandising Business Suite, to address the following business requirements:

  • Single System to manage vendor purchasing and negotiation related data:
    • Consolidated information leading to a clear strategic visibility;
    • Quick deployment to new countries to follow the banner expansion;
    • Group or own level negotiations of Business Units; and
    • Capitalize, and transmit negotiations' complete history.
  • Automate calculation, facilitate financial execution:
    • Real and forecasted bonuses calculation;
    • Margin calculation at group or item level;
    • Invoices and payments follow-up; and
    • Minimize legal risks by adequate control of applied agreements.
  • Focus on real value by reducing time spent on administrative tasks.
  • Spread best practices across the purchasing community.

Consequently, by implementing the Merchandising Business Suite solution, Kingfisher reported successful deployment a single solution throughout five countries which had multiple purchasing centers managing multiple banners. A common set of specifications was created to reflect the needs across all business operations, and the chosen solution, due to its flexibility and adaptability, could be tailored for each country.

  • Over 4 600 active suppliers
  • 4 currencies used (€, £, RUR, PLN)
  • Over 350 000 active items
  • Over 500 users
  • Over 25 000 invoices/month

Evolving Organization:

  • 1 unique system allowing rapid exposures to new
  • Each Business Unit conserves its autonomy
  • Each Business Unit negotiates based on a contract group
    • Data consolidation at the group level
    • Confidentiality respected between countries using the access right management

Soft Solutions ensures a real decision-support system: Support to both planning and simulating deal terms with suppliers, including contract and discount management, and it provides audit trails to ensure proper completion and accounting for these activities.

“Thanks to the supplier management module from Soft Solutions, we will be able to ensure that we account for and receive all payments due from our suppliers with no exceptions. We will certainly be more productive versus the former manual system and expect measurable ROI for the business.”

Philippe Meurillon
Director of Getinor Information Systems.

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