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Retail Tech Roundup: Mirakl Raises $300 Million, Wolf Lingerie Deploys Centric PLM

The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.

Product lifecycle management

Centric Software

Wolf Lingerie, a corsetry specialist brand based in France, has added Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Final Inspection module to further enrich its PLM solution capabilities.

Upon expanding its own brands and is diversifying its offering, notably extending flagship brand Sans Complexe to include swimwear, cotton underwear, shapewear, sports and maternity, Wolf Lingerie has opted for a focused strategy working with expert partners in different fields.

Wolf Lingerie successfully deployed Centric PLM to consolidate all technical data into a common repository and facilitate collaboration between teams in France and Asia.

Jean-François Mialon, CEO of Wolf Lingerie, noted that aside from the improved collaboration, there was “a sharp reduction in lead times and errors and, above all, increased reliability and better control of information relating to products and suppliers.”

When the corsetry brand committed to diversifying its supplier sourcing a year and a half ago, Mialon noted that the company had to keep track of dozens of materials and component suppliers and nearly 25 partner factories in Southeast Asia and Europe.

“We can thus define evaluation criteria and acceptable quality levels for each product, check the compliance of criteria such as size, material, quality and finish in real time, access all the data and update it continually,” Mialon said. “Sending the consolidated feedback to product and production teams will strengthen our approach to continuous improvement of our products, ultimately benefiting the group’s competitiveness.”

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Wolf Lingerie also has just completed the rollout of Centric Software’s Quality Management PLM module, which tracks all stages of material testing and accessory compliance control.

“This module was essential for the group as part of its CSR approach and for monitoring the OEKO-TEX specifications which were chosen as the quality standard for the Sans Complexe brand,” said Mialon.

Marketplaces

Mirakl

Mirakl, a software provider that helps retailers expand their online marketplaces by integrating merchandise from third-party sellers, has raised $300 million in Series D funding led by global investment firm Permira Advisers, with participation from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, 83North, Felix Capital and Elaia Partners.

The investment brings its total capital raised to $400 million and pushes the company’s valuation over $1.5 billion.

This funding will enable Mirakl to hire more than 300 engineers in the next three years, the company said in a statement. These hires are geared at helping the company enhance its product features and ultimately improve its offering for the B2C market and address more use cases in B2B commerce requirement.

The company aims to further develop advanced capabilities that expand the use of AI and automation to provide even faster time to market, greater operational efficiency and robust security for operators and sellers, all while enabling them to create platform APIs and pre-built connectors to marketplace ecosystem technology partners.

Mirakl also wants to use the money to significantly scale its sales and customer success teams worldwide.

In the first half of 2020, during the Covid crisis, Mirakl-powered marketplaces generated over $1.2 billion in gross merchandise value, representing an 111 percent year-over-year increase, the company said. Permira’s investment was made through its Growth Opportunities Fund I, which focuses on minority investments in growth-focused businesses.

ERP

Evosus

Evosus, a business software provider, has launched LOU, a cloud-based ERP software solution that integrates retail, point-of-sale, field service and multi-site inventory all within one program

LOU is designed to provide a fast and efficient checkout process allowing specialty retailers to handle customers as they arrive in waves. All card transactions taken by LOU are EMV/chip compliant, capture customer signatures electronically and secure enough to encrypt customer data and payment information. Additionally, the technology enables users to gain instant access to customer order history and create upsell opportunities.

The platform provider says it gives businesses 100 percent visibility to inventory at all times, whether it is in the store, on the truck or in a warehouse. Key inventory features include real-time visibility by individual SKU, indicating whether it is on hand, reserved and on order. Additionally, the company says the platform can track exact locations, aisle and bin where product is located, and offers users the ability to build and customize product bundles.

Information technology

Tata Consultancy Services

Maurices has partnered with Tata Consultancy Services, a global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, to build out a new IT ecosystem within its organization.

The Greenfield IT ecosystem, as it is referred to by TCS, is designed to optimize more than 200 existing applications and software components across Maurices in the next 17 months. Specifically, TCS aims to help Maurices strategize, create and operate a scalable, secure and future-proof architecture for the underlying IT infrastructure, security layer and a new application stack, as well as remediate its technical debt.

Leveraging TCS’ Machine First Delivery Model, powered by Ignio, its cognitive automation software, Maurices’ technology transformation is expected to integrate business, operations and IT teams without disruption to existing services.

In addition, TCS will help Maurices build a new data analytics platform with extensive reporting features. The project will also involve an upgraded e-commerce platform designed to facilitate quicker business decisions and faster go-to-market responses to industry or fashion trends.

“We are creating a greenfield IT and infrastructure that will lay the foundation for the growth of Maurices’ business and operations,” Fred Argir, chief information officer and chief digital officer for Maurices, said in a statement. “TCS being the industry leader has been chosen as our SI partner to implement the Project Split Rock, the initiative to standup the IT Ecosystem. We look forward to leverage TCS’ partnership skills, tools, processes, practices and thought leadership to ensure the success of Project Split Rock.”

Order fulfillment

Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services partnered with Shoes For Crews, a designer and marketer of slip-resistant footwear, to power the brand’s order fulfillment capabilities.

The multi-location warehousing solution includes direct-to-consumer fulfillment, retail fulfillment, transportation management, cross-border commerce and a custom returns solution.

In addition to enabling fast shipping and returns for Shoes For Crews’ customers and its retail stores, Ingram Micro’s global warehouse footprint aims to offer the company accessible growth into other regions.

“Delivering new products quickly is vital for our customers, as our primary markets include labor-intensive industries such as food services, healthcare, industrial services, hospitality, schools and supermarkets,” said Anthony Manettas, senior vice president of operations, Shoes For Crews. “We needed a fulfillment partner that could scale with us to support our growth and found that in Ingram Micro.”

Robotics

6 River Systems

Shopify’s 6 River Systems (6RS) announced during its second annual user conference, FLOW 2020, that it has added a series of enhancements to its wall-to-wall fulfillment solution that help senior-level warehouse operators further improve site management, gain more concrete business transparency across singular or multiple sites and accelerate their return on investment.

To provide more visibility into operations and increase efficiency, 6RS developed The Bridge, an overarching tool designed to connect the data from what is happening on the ground in a physical warehouse operation to an intuitive cloud-based control center.

This tool enables customers to fine tune and control each aspect of their operation and optimize their warehouse to meet the unique needs of the business. With SLA (Service-level agreement) Management, for example, the company can monitor how an operation is tracking to its SLA commitments through order management and order tracking functionality.

The Bridge also embeds operational dashboards that offer visibility into metrics and data that help operators understand and monitor the health of their systems, letting them proactively fix issues to keep the operation moving smoothly. Additionally, it enables users to resolve exceptions on orders with the click of a button and get help from its collaborative machine learning-powered robot Chuck.

Additional updates to the system that increase visibility into warehouse operations include site simulations, where users can improve labor planning and SLA compliance with simulation tools that show the impact of changes in demand and service levels, as well as actionable insights, which are designed to increase operations performance and realize continuous improvement.

6 River Systems also sought to improve packout efficiency and reduce outbound shipping costs via its cartonization functionality, which is made possible through the company’s partnership with Packsize. With this feature, which uses product size and weight information to ensure the most economical shipper box or envelope is used.

Electronic Data Interchange

Kronos Advanced/SPS Commerce

Kronos Advanced Technologies, a production company with technology that is designed to remove harmful allergens, bacteria, viruses from a shopper’s breathing space, has integrated with SPS Commerce, a provider of advanced, cloud-based retail supply chain management solutions. With the collaboration, Kronos’ e-commerce retail partners can now use electronic data interchange (EDI) and retail supply chain automation solutions.

SPS Commerce provides its customers with end-to-end EDI integrations, order management and analytics solutions, and is designed to help retailers add EDI to their supply chain operations and help companies scale via integrations with other business systems, including Shopify.

The integration between Kronos e-commerce and SPS Commerce allows business customers to be EDI compliant. By sharing order details and real-time status between all of Kronos retail and online partners, the collaboration enables all parties to reduce order processing time and ship faster and more efficiently.