This international fast fashion brand, known for its design and creativity, asked us to help them to hit their targets around the world. Among the areas we identified as ripe for improvement and a potential area to drive growth was the 'Design, Buying & Merchandising' operation, covering everything from designers conducting trend research to goods being shipped to distribution centres.
They wanted to improve the process to decide on the right products for the right markets, bringing more forward planning, better insight and making all the steps clearer and slicker. The existing system had grown to cover more international markets and digital channels which created inefficiency, duplication and complexity.
Q5 first looked at the existing processes to find the major “pain points” and identified a series of areas to target. We carried out one-to-one interviews and ran a number of small workshop groups, collecting input from - and building engagement with - over 100 people across the group. It helped us understand how the current process worked and where the opportunities for improvement lay.
Using that information, along with our expertise in buying, merchandise and design, as well as vast knowledge of the retail market, we supported the retailer to design a new set of processes. We spent months helping to build these with a working party, a project team and a steering group. We helped test the new processes and identified tools the retailer would need to look at their ranges globally in a way they had not been able to before.
We mapped the group's processes and redesigned them to be quicker and more effective. We built an implementation plan and supported the group before preparing them to move into implementation.
The new processes gave the right people a global view of the business, with a better overview of what was required from the Design, Buying & Merchandising team to bring to different markets. They could trade the markets more effectively and ensured getting a better product mix into the individual markets. It was a system that befitted a truly global retailer with its designers getting better market insight and the necessary information earlier in the journey of the products. It allowed for clearer up-front planning and more clarity in the whole division.