Solution 9

L'Etoile Selects CipherLab 8300 Series to Open Stores Faster and Improve Efficiency

In the highly competitive perfume and cosmetics industry, L'Etoile has become the largest retail chain in Russia in just ten years. Over 30 stores stretch across Moscow, plus boutiques can be found in more than 25 regions around the country. Customers shop among 150 world famous brands from around the globe - Christian Dior, Burberry, YSL, Matiss, Gucci, Clarins, and others, with the busiest buying season between December and April.

The business of beauty with beastly challenges
Though L'Etoile offers many different brands, similarities exist with various manufacturers creating nearly identical products in comparable packaging. In some cases, the names in different languages provide the only differentiating characteristic. With so many products, manual inventory - both while stocking a new boutique and during daily receiving of goods - was time consuming and prone with errors. It took two to three days to inventory a new boutique. This was important time that could have been spent selling - instead of counting - product.

L'Etoile is no stranger to CipherLab. They deployed their first CipherLab 8300 Mobile Computer with 8 MB of memory in 2004. By 2006, L'Etoile had 300 CipherLab 8300 series Mobile Computers in operation. They chose the 8300 for its reliability, ease of use, and high ROI.

In late 2005 L'Etoile sought advanced software that could run with the 8300 and their Microsoft Access-based inventory application to accelerate receiving, inventory, and dispatch of goods. The company teamed with CipherLab distributor and software developer Scan City. Their engineers quickly developed an Active X component to control the 8300 from within Access. Once uploaded to Access, the data is transmitted to L'Etoile's warehouse application, WMS Axapta. The combination creates a fast, seamless operation from inventory in the boutiques to managing goods in the warehouse. The result is more comprehensive inventory management with fewer errors in stock taking and warehouse orders. The real bonus for L'Etoile is how fast they can now inventory a new store - from a time-consuming two to three days to completing a new boutique in no more than three hours, with less than one percent error. "They think it's beautifully efficient," says Michael Engelgardt, Head of Scan City Integration Department.

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