Case Study: Mio simplifies their item setup process
Shorter lead times: The lead time for setting up an item has been reduced by up to 50%
Ready for growth: Mio can process more items in a shorter time to cope with a growing assortment
Familiar UI: Users can work in an Excel-like user interface, complete with real-time data validation and full connectivity to M3
Less modifications: Complex modifications can be removed ahead of the next M3 upgrade
The challenge of managing a growing assortment
One of Mio’s goals is to be the exciting alternative among furniture retailers, so they have to keep up with current and upcoming trends. They offer an assortment for the whole home, and in different styles for different tastes. Mio has been enjoying double-digit growth for quite a while, so their already large assortment is growing larger all the time.
A large assortment means creating and maintaining a large number of items and their variants. Because it is complicated and time-consuming to set up items in M3 the lead time from idea to a finished item in M3 is very long. This is especially true for products like beds because they have so many variants.
This problem is further compounded because you can only work with one item at a time in M3. Combining items into packages like a dining table and the chairs that go with it, and working with the whole set, is not something M3 does well. It is challenging to get an overview to ensure that all items and packages have been set up correctly. Since many people are involved in the process the complexity involved tends to result in inconsistencies.
How eCraft was able to help
Using our platform we created an efficient task-based application on top of M3, which takes control of the item creation workflow. The logic and data in M3 is still fully used and M3 remains the master of all item information, but our tool adds the concept of workspaces where users can work with several items at once and manage how they are combined into packages. This gives Mio a controlled workflow for creating items, enriching them, and adding prices for individual products and complete packages.
This changed how people work in the process
The people who work with setting up items now have a tool which greatly simplifies the process. The user interface is similar to Excel, so users have an instant familiarity with the tool. They can take Excel documents from their suppliers and copy/paste data into the tool. All data validations still work, and the tool is aware of data that should be looked up from other parts of M3 to make sure that the user can work without having to worry about data consistency issues. Collaboration is much easier throughout the workflow, as different people can now share the workspaces and together enrich the item information with their specific knowledge about the products. Product variants are managed so that at the end of the process all required M3 items are generated with all their required properties. Setting prices for products has become easier, since the tool helps with both the pricing of the individual items and the packages they belong to. Data is now set up consistently in M3 regardless of how many people are involved in the process, which means the tool supports Mio’s continued growth and expanding assortment.
If you want to learn more about this solution, and happen to be visiting the Working Together Conference 2017 in Malmö between April 3rd to 5th, you have a chance to see a presentation of the solution held by Mio.