Card Factory

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Card Factory stands as a testament to retail success in the UK, specialising in greeting cards, gift wrap, and party supplies. From its humble beginnings to over 1,000 stores nationwide, the company's growth story is marked by its commitment to affordability, quality, and customer satisfaction. Embracing digital transformation, Card Factory has expanded its reach through an online platform and mobile app, offering personalised products alongside its traditional range.

Introduction

Card Factory needed to address its ageing ERP platforms becoming end of life to look at replacing them with a cloud hosted solution that can scale as their business grows. They issued a request for proposal of which a main component of it was a preference for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which is their strategic public platform. Retailsolutions, who are a specialist SAP Partner focusing solely in the retail sector reached out to Microsoft for a recommendation for an expert Microsoft Azure partner to support this procurement exercise.

We worked almost overnight with Retailsolutions to submit a compelling joint commercial offering and were successful in our bid and then embarked on delivering this greenfield implementation on Microsoft Azure. This offering centred on Retailsolutions RapidRetail offering, which is a templated SAP solution especially for retail customers hosted in the cloud.

Challenge

Multiple Aging ERP platforms

Existing solutions at end of life

No capacity to scale with growth

The three existing ERP platforms at Card factory had been running for around 15 years and these independent solutions lacked integrations and had been heavily customised. These legacy environments couldn’t cope with the increase in transactions as a result of the business growth.

  • Multiple ageing platforms that were heavily customised.

  • Existing solutions becoming end of life

  • Inefficient processes as a result of these solutions

  • Reporting based on inaccurate data

  • Manual processes, spreadsheets and disconnected systems

  • These platforms had no capacity to scale as the business grows

  • Needed a supported, cloud-hosted ERP platform that could grow with them

Solution

In collaboration with Retailsolutions, we undertook a comprehensive transformation programme, starting with the development of a verified SAP on Azure solution design for SAP S/4HANA, complete with accurate sizing details. This groundwork facilitated the deployment of a greenfield SAP on Azure environment, leveraging our deep expertise in designing, deploying, and migrating extensive SAP landscapes to Microsoft Azure.

The process began with an in-depth assessment to determine the precise sizing requirements for the new SAP on Azure setup. Utilising this information, we crafted the solution architecture, incorporating SAP-certified Azure Virtual Machines and components to ensure optimal performance and reliability. From the outset, security was a paramount concern; we integrated Microsoft Security solutions with Azure's native security services to significantly enhance the solution's security posture.

Our commitment to Card Factory extends well beyond the initial implementation. We provide continuous 24/7 support for the Microsoft Azure platform, ensuring that Card Factory can fully leverage their investment for ongoing operational excellence.

This partnership between Card Factory, Retailsolutions and Servent exemplifies a strategic, well-orchestrated journey to cloud adoption, underscored by a commitment to sustainability, security, and continuous improvement.

Outcome

By migrating to a Microsoft Azure-hosted SAP ERP solution, Card Factory realised significant gains, notably in reducing both operational costs and capital expenditure. This strategic move enhanced the performance, availability, and scalability of their critical applications, especially during peak seasons, ensuring consistent service delivery for their customers. Additionally, the shift to Azure significantly bolstered security and compliance through its advanced features and best practices, while also fostering innovation and agility by providing access to a wide array of cloud services and tools.

Importantly, this transition also underscored Card Factory's commitment to sustainability, achieving a reduced carbon footprint by leveraging Azure's greener cloud platform. In essence, the migration not only streamlined operations and heightened technological robustness but also aligned Card Factory with contemporary environmental values, marking a pivotal step in their journey towards operational excellence and sustainability.

Card Factory is now well-positioned to leverage the power of Microsoft Azure to support their business growth and deliver excellent customer service. These steps will further enhance Card Factory's agility, innovation, and customer satisfaction in the competitive retail market.

Conclusion

Card Factory's journey with Servent and Retail Solutions illustrates the transformative impact of cloud technology on business operations. This partnership highlights the challenges and innovative solutions in the digital transition of retail, showcasing a model of collaborative success.

The relationship with Retailsolutions represents a benchmark in partnership synergy, demonstrating the power of combined expertise in achieving customer success. Through Servent's 24x7 managed service, Card Factory benefits from a seamless and secure Microsoft Azure environment, enabling them to focus on core business goals and customer satisfaction. This service ensures operational reliability, with proactive measures to maintain security, scalability, and efficiency.

RapidRetail link: RapidRetail | retailsolutions AG

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