Macintosh Retail Group, the parent of UK high street shoe retailer Jones Bootmaker and Brantano, has developed a “seamless” cross-channel customer experience using Progress’ newly-launched Pacific platform.
The retail group, which operates in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, is an ‘early adopter’ of Pacific, a cloud-based application development platform, which was launched by Progress last year.
Macintosh is using the platform to link backend systems to its various physical and digital points of sales, as part of its digital strategy, which aims to “provide customers with the best possible experience in the new retail reality”, said Kris de Moor, Macintosh’s corporate ICT and supply chain director. He added that the move had “a major, major impact on ICT”.
A Progress customer for 15 years, Macintosh’s IT team chose OpenEdge, OpenEdge's business process management (BPM) and Mobile platform, Corticon, and Rollbase so they could use “modern and flexible tooling” to streamline their front-to-back end applications.
“We believe it is more important to go for a total suite of applications and not focus on one application, so Progress will take care of it. We don’t want to go for individual solutions,” De Moor said, speaking at Progress’ Exchange conference in Orlando yesterday.
Over a year, the IT team created applications that link to Macintosh's OpenEdge ERP using Rollbase for the cloud-based front end, and OpenEdge BPM and Corticon for business processes and rule management.
An important part of the project was managing Macintosh's master data, so it could transfer item and supplier information between all its channels, including third parties like Amazon, its websites and in its physical stores.
Handling this meta-data, which can be descriptors like heel height or colour for shoes, proved challenging as different channels needed different sets of information, De Moor said. The team used a Progress environment to create an application that would suit every channel, and integrated it into Rollbase, eventually using OpenEdge Mobile so it could be used across different devices.
Now that this is live across its brands, Macintosh is working on adding mobile applications which will allow employees to send goods forms to logistics centres to deliver to stores. Macintosh hopes to roll out applications for mobile devices that scan barcodes on the factory and shop floor to offer real-time stock visibility.