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Decorland

“SYSPRO Espresso has definitely made our business better. It’s made our stock more accurate, made the SYSPRO processes work and, most importantly, it’s given power to the users, making them feel that they’re contributing more.”

Devon Trew – Decorland, Business Development Executive

Customer Profile

Decorland was established in 1972 and pioneered the concept of expert décor staff within the retail environment in 1978 when its relationship with Game Discount World began. Today, Decorland is a market leader in the window décor and curtain suspension industry in South Africa and Africa. The company designs, manufactures and sells ready-to-install curtain suspension products as well as custom-made and cut-to-measure blinds. Its products are sold through the Decorland departments within Game stores throughout Africa.

The Mission

Decorland identified a pressing need to implement an outward-facing way of monitoring and maintaining control of its stock. Although the company is a longterm SYSPRO customer, having first implemented the ERP solution in 2009, its store-based staff were using Blackberries with Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to email Goods in Transit and Purchase Order receipting information to head office. This manual process caused extensive problems with stock-takes, inventory, accuracy and productivity.

The Solution

The Decorland Executive team was introduced to the mobile SYSPRO Espresso ERP solution at the SYSPRO 7 conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, in November 2013. The possibilities and potential for Decorland’s unique requirements were instantly apparent, and a decision was made to implement SYSPRO Espresso across 120 stores in South Africa as well as in several African countries.

The Outcome

Decorland’s business processes have been dramatically enhanced, as the previously manual system has been automated and streamlined, simultaneously improving accuracy and productivity. SYSPRO Espresso has delivered a costeffective solution while empowering Decorland’s users to take ownership of the information they work with daily.

Pioneering the retail of window décor

In 1972, Ken and Gill Solomon bought out Walton Wallpapers and formed Decorland. The business specialized in wallpaper until further expansion saw the range increase to include curtain track and custom-made blinds. In 1978, Decorland’s relationship with Game Discount World began, with one store in Ordinance Road in Durban, South Africa. Ken Solomon and Game pioneered the concept of expert décor staff within the supermarket environment. They believed that the products that Ken Solomon sold required specialist knowledge and specialist sales skills.

Today, Decorland is a market leader in the window décor and curtain suspension industry in South Africa and Africa. Its focus is on the design, manufacture and retail of ready-to-install curtain suspension products as well as custom-made and cut-to-measure
blinds. Decorland also specializes in DIY roller, bamboo, PVC Venetian, aluminum Venetian and wooden Venetian blinds as well as a wide range of holdbacks, finials, tiebacks and curtains. Its products are sold through the Decorland departments within the Game stores throughout Africa. Decorland has an aisle in each Game store with its own stock which is managed by Decorland employees until the customer leaves at the till.

A solution for a widespread workforce

With 120 stores across South Africa as well as retail outlets in Botswana, Mozambique, Ghana, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, Decorland needed to upgrade its manual Goods in Transit transfer and Purchase Order receipting processes with a live automated system.

Devon Trew, Decorland Business Development Executive, says: “We had extensive problems maintaining accurate stock levels and inventory because our staff in the store were using email on their Blackberry devices to communicate with head office about goods received and sales made. Stock-takes weren’t accurate, our inventory wasn’t live, and there were delays in communications between the stores and head office, which caused further inaccuracies.”

A SYSPRO user since 2009, Decorland was running SYSPRO 6 in November 2013 when Trew attended the SYSPRO 7 User Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. “My eyes lit up when I saw SYSPRO Espresso,” he says. “I saw endless possibilities for live stock in the stores, being able to bring stock in, do stocktakes, check stock levels – and control user permissions from SYSPRO.”

Decorland upgraded to SYSPRO 7 to enable the SYSPRO Espresso implementation. The company opted for the standard SYSPRO Espresso Stock-Take app and the GIT Espresso app was custom developed for Decorland by Codewell under project management by SYSPRO Africa. The customized app took two weeks to develop and test.

The rollout of the mobile solution to the network of South African Game stores began in December 2013. Trew and his team implemented between 10 and 15 stores a month, and this rollout is targeted for completion by June 2016. The implementation of SYSPRO Espresso into the African stores will follow thereafter.

“Wherever Game goes, we go – and so does SYSPRO Espresso. We focused on South Africa first because that’s our largest operation,” Trew says. “The rollout has been smooth because Espresso is quick and easy to set up. The only problems we’ve encountered have been in terms of connectivity in rural areas, and we anticipate similar infrastructure challenges in the African territories.”

Maximizing the potential of mobility

Since implementing SYSPRO Espresso, the administrative burden on Decorland’s head office has reduced considerably. More than 80 stores are already up and running on the new platform, and they’re doing their own GIT transfers and purchase order receipts as well as performing live inventory checks. Stocktakes have also been implemented using Bluetooth scanners and are far more
efficient than in the past, when regional managers were required to visit each store with printed A4 pages, count and recount every item and then go home, log on to SYSPRO and manually capture the stock levels.

“It’s brought our systems alive, and that’s what we want. We can now start reporting on our data,” Trew says. “It’s evident in the data that’s coming through that our forecasting results are now clean.”

SYSPRO Espresso has also been an extremely cost-effective solution for Decorland, as the company has only needed to buy the Business Objects it requires. This has been particularly efficient in Decorland’s retail environment, where modules such as General Ledger and Accounts Receivable are not needed.

Trew has found the support and feedback from SYSPRO hugely beneficial. “Developers and support staff are accessible and responsive – it’s easy to get hold of people, and any minor issues we’ve had have been fixed straight away.

“SYSPRO Espresso has definitely made our business better. It’s made our stock more accurate, made the SYSPRO processes work and, most importantly, it’s given power to the users, making them feel that they’re contributing more.”


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