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Iconic brand Guess doubled profit margins with Centric Planning

(Source: Supplied.)

For a large, worldwide company with significant retail and wholesale businesses such as Guess, innovation and growth are vital keys to the business. This is why, even before Covid-19 shook the world, the iconic clothing and accessories brand was steadily moving towards finding a next-generation planning solution.

Given that they deal with such a complex product range, it was just high time to drop the spreadsheets and operate from a single source of truth with real-time information available to all at all times. 

Setting their goals to increase operating margins, elevate brand quality, reduce promotional activity and react more quickly to market disruptions, Guess partnered with Centric Software as the platform that would help bring these to fruition. 

‘Only a part of the whole’

Explaining the reality of their operations, Daniel Botey, VP of global inventory management at Guess Europe Sagl shares: “We have 8000 SKUs per collection with four collections a year. We had to divide up our teams and files by category of product because we couldn’t manage all the SKUs in one place. So we had several Excel sheets – of course, not connected or synchronised – and everybody was working on only a part of the whole. That was on the planning side. Our management team and key business executives needed a high-level overview of the situation but couldn’t get it with the existing process. A spreadsheet-based program was no longer powerful enough to handle the sheer amount of complexity and information.”

Guess needed a planning tool to have everything in one place and to get alternate views of the same picture. 

Enter Centric Planning 

By adopting Centric Planning, Guess has significantly seen manual workload reduction along with a drastic decrease in planning time, down from a month to one week – thanks to a single source of truth for all product data available anywhere, anytime. Updating assortment and merchandise plans are also made easier as local country managers can work directly within the solution to select their preferred collections. As that’s not all, now Guess also has happier, more engaged employees and satisfied customers.

Botey shares: “The mood of our people is so much better now because we have removed much of the stress from their shoulders. As you know, employees these days are jumping from one company to another and a happy team is more committed, more motivated. It is at least as important as achieving better financial results. Our consumers are happier because they are able to find the product they need in their stores or online due to better visibility and increased agility on our part.”

There really is no second-guessing with Centric Planning as the strategy pays off for all. Botey enthusiastically adds: “Before Covid, we had a 5.6 per cent operating margin at the end of fiscal year 2020. We closed this past year at 12 per cent. It is a huge improvement in profits! If we had had a lot of inventory, we could not have done it. Centric Planning has been an enabler to truly follow our strategy and increase our profitability in a very, very big way.”

Join Centric Software at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2023 Retail’s Big Show on January 15 – 17, 2023, Javits Center, NYC for an up-close look at our PLM and retail planning solution trusted by more than 5300 brands and retailers worldwide. Request for a personalised in-booth demo here.