MIC.RO, part of Mercadia Group Holland BV, launched on the Romanian retail market in early 2010, soon became the main player in proximity trade area in Romania. The company’s expansion strategy, which practically defined the modern concept of proximity retail, aims to open a chain of 1,000 fixed and 2,000 mobile stores in just two years.
Started initially with 110 stores, MIC.RO began its activity with a start-up software solution in order to validate its business concepts. This autumn, however, the solution was replaced by the integrated information system Charisma, following a very well and rigorously organized selection process that sought to identify a mature, scalable and flexible solution, as well as a software provider with a real implementation force.
“We wanted to offer an alternative to the Romanian copy-paste market trade imported from other European areas, without considering the cultural and traditional ways in which Romanians interact with the merchandise. Currently, the MIC.RO chain stores generate daily over 4 million transactions, and in order to control the system, we needed the information to be delivered in real time and in an intelligent format, avoiding thus losing time with complicated analysis. We chose TotalSoft for a pilot project, being convinced that the Romanian mind could build an integrated and efficient IT solution for controlling such a system. Beyond the technology used, the most important achievement of the project is the integrated and empathized working manner of the two teams.” Dan Ionescu, Managing Partner, MIC.RO.
Charisma solution’s maturity, the ability to manage the activity of a retailer operating a complex business and TotalSoft’s references on this market has led to our winning the project. TotalSoft became the entire IT infrastructure supplier that operates and develops MIC.RO network, which includes software, hardware, maintenance and specialized technical assistance for opening new stores.
The central pillar of the integrated information infrastructure is Charisma ERP, which supports all critical business processes by managing back-office work, such as sales, inventory, cash flow, financial, budgeting, monitoring and sales analysis activities, as well as the actual activities in shops. In less than a year, the number of network transactions performed by MIC.RO in Charisma exceeded 100 million, the system being accessed daily by over 2000 users.
The Retail module is a vital component of the software infrastructure; hence, it is constantly improved with new features designed to simplify as much as possible the sellers work. For example, in order to remove human error and shorten the acquisition duration, the ordering process was automated, while the indicators based on which promotions are made in stores were redefined. In this process, TotalSoft also ensured the interface between Charisma and the suppliers’ systems so that, orders could be sent to these automatically. Such new features have a direct impact on business, resulting in a higher performance on each store, both at individual and network levels.
Charisma Cell Monitor on iPad is another important component that provides the management with the possibility to monitor sales indicators in real time, per store and across networks. Thus, the company’s management is permanently connected to the business development through access to comparative sales analysis and forecasting, identification of critical points or sales tips, and faster decision-making process.
TotalSoft also provides personnel administration and payroll services for the 4,000 employees of the network.
The computerization of MIC.RO network is the most complex project ever undertaken by a retail company in Romania. The complexity lies in the speed of the network development and identifying the best solutions to support activities, whose volume could not be estimated very clear at the beginning of the project, issues such as stock size, sales or number of products and promotions. Other challenges were raised by the sustained growth of number of stores and the extension and optimization of the information solution to support constantly growing business needs.
The network expansion plan is also supported by TotalSoft’s solution. The installation and upgrade time in stores take just a few hours and are performed through an application developed specifically for automatic software delivery.
Case study revised in 2011.