Bianco Footwear designs, manufactures, and distributes a complex product line of shoes and fashion accessories through franchise boutiques located throughout Northern Europe. To make distribution more reliable and to gain better control over its business, the company replaced an older, no-longer-adequate software system with Microsoft Dynamics® NAV. With the solution, Bianco Footwear helps ensure that all the stores can always meet customer demand and centralize and automate many cumbersome manual processes. In addition, the company decided to maintain the value of its technology investment by signing up for the Business Ready Enhancement Plan for Microsoft Dynamics. Through the plan, Bianco Footwear can upgrade to newer versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV without incurring additional licensing fees and has access to all solution updates and fixes as soon as Microsoft releases them.
|An always-updated ERP solution is critical in collaborating with suppliers and franchise shops. The Business Ready Enhancement Plan is what makes this possible and affordable.|
|Kennet Brodersen, IT Manager, Bianco Footwear|
Every day, Bianco Footwear sells thousands of shoes, sunglasses, and accessories in more than 160 boutique stores in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Russia, and Germany. René Piper Laursen founded Bianco Footwear in 1997, and the company is headquartered in Kolding, Denmark. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes its own collection of shoes, shoe products, and accessories and is one of the most successful franchise-based companies in Northern Europe.
Bianco Footwear’s fast-paced business requires a flexible, effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help manage operations and, importantly, make sure that the shelves in the stores offer the shoes and styles customers want. To help ensure these objectives, in 2007, Bianco Footwear replaced an older financial management system with Microsoft Dynamics® NAV 4.0. Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner Logica, an international technology provider headquartered in the United Kingdom, performed the implementation and added industry-specific functionality.
By switching to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Bianco Footwear received a boost in productivity and efficiency, especially since it became possible to replace many manual procedures with technology processes. In addition, the solution enabled Bianco Footwear to automate certain business tasks and generate significant timesavings, for example, by centrally managing the orders coming to company headquarters from the retail chain’s stores.
Bianco Footwear wanted to avoid repeating the issues it had experienced with its previous software system, which had become so inflexible and outdated that it no longer supported the company’s needs. Kennet Brodersen, IT Manager at Bianco Footwear, explains, “We had been running another ERP system for more than 10 years before we implemented Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0. We hadn’t updated the older system for years. As a result, the system became extremely rigid and it was impossible to upgrade, correct errors, and adapt it to the company’s needs.”
Bianco Footwear’s key requirements for Microsoft Dynamics NAV included the ability to update the solution and upgrade to newer versions at any time without incurring additional licensing or development costs. And, the company wanted to maintain the long-term value of its technology investment.
Bianco Footwear decided to ensure the viability and value of Microsoft Dynamics NAV by enrolling in the Business Ready Enhancement Plan for Microsoft Dynamics. Under the terms of the plan, Bianco Footwear receives updates to the solution as soon as they become available and was able to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 without additional licensing costs. Says Brodersen, “Participating in the Business Ready Enhancement Plan provides us with immediate access to updates, error corrections, hotfixes, and enhancements for Microsoft Dynamics NAV promptly upon their release.”
Not only has Bianco Footwear made use of the updates available through the Business Ready Enhancement Plan but the company has also purchased additional user licenses at a 25 percent rebate provided through a special offer for Business Ready Enhancement Plan customers. In addition, if Bianco Footwear decides to replace Microsoft Dynamics NAV with another Microsoft Dynamics solution at any point in the future, the company stands to receive a credit for the licensing cost for its solution.
Bianco Footwear sees Microsoft Dynamics NAV as a core component of its operations. “The solution is vital to our company, and we’ve improved our ability to act and adapt effectively as an organization,” says Brodersen. “An always-updated ERP solution is critical in collaborating with suppliers and franchise shops. The Business Ready Enhancement Plan is what makes this possible and affordable.”
One reason Bianco Footwear chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV was an expectation that upcoming versions of the solution would integrate more closely with other Microsoft products. This has proven to be the case. Says Brodersen, “We expect that the integration possibilities with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009—especially with applications in the Microsoft Office system—will help make our processes even more effective and smooth.”
For Bianco Footwear, the ability to receive a licensing credit in case of a change to another Microsoft Dynamics solution plays a significant part in maintaining the value of the technology investment. “Switching from Microsoft Dynamics NAV right now is not really something we anticipate,” says Brodersen. “But the licensing credit is a positive factor in following a strategy of protecting our IT investments as much as possible.”
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