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Nottingham Forest Football Club Improves Retail Operations with TaskCentre

TaskCentre integrates Magento, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and DPD, leading to improvement in customer service and a reduction in costs

Orbis Software today announced that Nottingham Forest Football Club has successfully integrated its eCommerce and financial systems using TaskCentre, a business process automation software, as well as automated its order fulfilment processes to improve customer service and reduce costs.

Over previous years, Nottingham Forest Football Club outsourced all of its retail operations. However, the decision was made to bring this back in-house to take more control and generate more revenue. In order to do this, it needed to update its financial system and introduce a full eCommerce package. Microsoft Dynamics NAV was selected alongside Magento – a leading eCommerce platform.

“My objective was to use ‘out of the box’ Magento and Microsoft Dynamics NAV and introduce an integration layer between the systems to negate the differences and allow the two systems to collaborate effectively,” said Steve Dickman, IT Manager, Nottingham Forest Football Club. “We use Magento for both retail and web sales. An order will come through and TaskCentre determines whether it is a physical or web sale. This data is then uploaded into Microsoft Dynamics NAV. TaskCentre then generates a ‘ship to address’ process and creates a cash receipt. It’s a true integration solution for retail which requires no manual administration.”

The efficiency of retail operations, with no margin for human error, was a primary goal for Nottingham Forest Football Club. In light of this, one of the main processes that it wanted to automate was shipping.

“We needed to be able to ship a product fairly quickly. Football supporters are impatient. They want their shirts as soon as possible so that they have got them before their mates do,” explained Dickman. “In order to achieve this, sales from the website needed to be integrated with our courier service – DPD. TaskCentre generates pick lists in our warehouse, the products are packaged and then TaskCentre generates and prints shipping labels ready for DPD to collect. We have also integrated DPD’s tracking system. It’s a complete end-to-end solution.”

The primary location for stock is the financial system (Microsoft Dynamics NAV) and not the shop itself. Therefore, a key consideration was that stock data needed to move freely to ensure that orders could be fulfilled and customers would not be let down due to incorrect stock information. As a result, the Club needed a solution that could manage stock levels across multiple locations.

“We decided that Microsoft Dynamics NAV would be the financial platform, which would hold stock and purchase orders, but the web shop (Magento) would also need to contain current stock levels as this would feed both the physical retail store and web sales,” said Dickman. “They would be taking stock from two warehouse locations, and therefore it was imperative that stock could be moved and systems kept up-to-date with correct stock levels.”

When planning to bring the retail operations in-house Dickman predicted that there would be three people in the warehouse, not including front of house staff and people on the phones. Integrating the eCommerce and financial systems and creating tasks to facilitate the automation of key processes has meant that otherwise vital administration is not required now.

“Introducing TaskCentre has meant that we’re running at a third of what was originally envisioned for staffing, and it’s working successfully,” explained Dickman. “We’re now looking at bringing hospitality and catering in house. We’ll be extending TaskCentre to cover purchase order processing for perishable items, in addition to the branded clothing and accessories for retail. We are also introducing an EPOS system into our kiosks and hospitality lounges for the sale of food and drink.”

About Nottingham Forest Football Club

Nottingham Forest Football Club are one of the longest established clubs in the world, currently celebrating their 150th anniversary. Founded in 1865, Nottingham Forest F.C. were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889 and joined the Football League in 1892. The Club has played their home matches at the City Ground, West Bridgford, since 1898, and was the first English club to spend a million pounds on a player, with the arrival of Trevor Francis in 1979. Nottingham Forest’s award winning website, which is now the biggest website in The Football League on the FLI Platform, currently has up to 260,000 unique visitors a month.
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