Al Madani Group rolls out Great Plains system

The Al Madani Group, a clothing retailer, has completed the rollout of an ERP system to help it keep better track of its inventory.

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By  Peter Branton Published  March 6, 2005

The Al Madani Group, a clothing retailer, has completed the rollout of an ERP system to help it keep better track of its inventory. The Microsoft Great Plains ERP system has been deployed across the retailer’s warehouses and stores. The deployment includes a range of different Great Plains modules, including multi-currency management to handle international operations. The project also uses Microsoft’s Retail Management point-of-sale solution, which is integrated with Great Plains and links the 36 Al Madani store operations with its head office. “We had out-grown our previous system and therefore needed something that could handle our operations across the region,” said Mohammad Al Madani, chairman and CEO of Al Madani Group. “Great Plains was able to offer all the functionality that we needed, as well as giving us much greater insight into our business processes. This has not only increased efficiency, but allowed us to make savings through leaner inventory and other improvements.” The Al Madani group is the master licensee for Hang Ten in the Middle East and is the sole distributor for brands such as Levi’s, Dockers and GAS in the UAE and Oman. Before the Great Plains roll-out, Al Madani was using an in-house software system, which was failing to cope with its data demands, said Mohammed Ahmadi, IT manager at the Al Madani Group. “We faced a lot of problems and it didn’t provide us with any product hierarchy,” he said. “In garments, you need to know such information as colour, size, styling, number of buttons and so on and our old system couldn’t handle that. Now we have eight levels of categorisation, which gives us a lot more information in our reports.” The implementation, which was carried out by Jumbo Electronics’ service arm, took six months, Ahmadi said. “However, it took more time to stabilise the system because the users didn’t initially feel comfortable with the software, where there was some resistance in the beginning,” he added. Not that the software was difficult to use, Ahmadi pointed out. “The software is very user-friendly. If the user is familiar with the Windows interface it shouldn’t really be a problem,” he said. The deployment took a team of six, with three from Jumbo and three in-house people from Al Madani to work on the project. The Great Plains platform will also provide Al Madani Group with the infrastructure to deploy other systems that will also help the group to improve efficiency and leverage an improved vision of business processes,the company said. “Microsoft Great Plains not only provides companies with a very powerful, cost effective ERP solution, but it also has a high level of integration with other Microsoft Business Solutions applications, such as Microsoft CRM. This enables customers and partners to build solutions that provide new functionality as they require it to match their business growth plans,” said Soha Kamal, regional products group manager, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Middle East & Africa.

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