Balkan Services has successfully upgraded the ERP system of FF Group Bulgaria to automate the process of servicing online orders.

The retailer has 15 physical outlets, six of which operate under the Collective brand. The latest collections of world-famous brands such as Emporio Armani, A | X, Karl Lagerfeld, Boss, Hugo, John Richmond, Love Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger, Chiara Ferragni, and many others can be found in Collective's physical stores, which are located in malls in the 4 largest Bulgarian cities and the company's online store.

During the pandemic, FF Group Bulgaria has been busy optimizing its online presence. This was necessary because at the time the company was using its physical stores as warehouses and the available ERP software was linked to nine stores. The process of processing just one order took a minimum of three days from receipt to dispatch to a customer.

It also happened that goods already ordered from the online store were unavailable in the physical stores.

The combination of these factors led the company to the decision to outsource part of the business to a separate warehouse to be used solely for the needs of the online store.


Digitalization of business processes

An integration project has been launched between the ERP system of EF Group Bulgaria, implemented by Balkan Services, the warehouse software of the fulfillment partner, and the online store platform.

The Balkan Services team is responsible for the solution architecture and process concept.

For this purpose, during the project, the business processes were automated in such a way that the ERP system connects in two-way communication, on the one hand, with the e-commerce platform, and on the other hand, with the software of the company that FF Group Bulgaria choose as the fulfiller of their online orders.

This requires both a completely new integration with the warehouse software of the subcontractor chosen to prepare and ship the online orders and a change in the already established integration between the ERP system and the online store.

During the first meetings between the Balkan Services and FF Group Bulgaria teams, it was specified what had to be done to upgrade the ERP system in the most correct and optimal way. Subsequently, regular meetings were held during which the progress of the project was agreed upon.

Thanks to the project, the processing of online orders has been optimized and a faster and better order service has been supported. By upgrading the existing business management system, the entire order handling and accounting process is now carried out in the ERP system.

Since the ERP software itself works with the information that is fed from the warehouse software, the two systems are integrated. Throughout the project, many processes were set up so that things happened automatically and human intervention was kept to a minimum.

For the overall handling of an online order, the Balkan Services team defined 15 statuses, each of which is a trigger to trigger a specific process. The entire automation of the online store emailing is defined specifically through the ERP system and the statuses.

A new set of reports was also created during the project to help control the process.


Performance parameters

Throughout the project, a lot of time has been spent on what Collective's customers will get as an experience from their purchases. According to feedback from EF Group Bulgaria, the customer experience is 101% better thanks to the project.

Another important effect of the change is that product delivery takes one day. If the order is cash on delivery and received by 2:30 pm, it is fulfilled the same day and the next day the item is already with the customer.

The project to upgrade the ERP system and integrate it with the other two platforms frees up time for the online store team to concentrate on the actual performance of the e-store.

The measurable effect of the upgraded ERP system was felt tangibly on the first working day after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Statistics show that 95% of orders received were fulfilled on the second working day, which is five times faster than before.

After the systems integration, the company increased its online sales by between 7 and 8 times year-on-year.

Chandra Chakravardhaya, Online Store Manager of Collective, is adamant that it was essential for him that the Balkan Services team was actively involved in finding the best solution for the specific needs and then put their efforts into implementing this integration. He said the most valuable thing about working with Balkan Services was the partnership attitude on the way to the successful completion of the project.