I couldn’t put down Stacey Perman’s A Grand Complication, a history of two wealthy watch collectors who inspired leaps in art, science, and technology. In the early twentieth century, their duel produced Patek Philippe’s finest timepieces. Today, luxury watches are sold by jewellers around the world, as individual income has risen.
What makes Emperor tick?
China’s economy is growing at double-digit speed. And with its middle classes on the rise too, more consumers have started to invest in watches from companies like Patek Philippe or Cartier – the kind that luxury retailer Emperor Watch & Jewellery have been selling since 1942.
Move up in the world
So, when Emperor decided to sell its own jewellery range, China looked the perfect place to set up shop. To be precise, it’s got 17 stores in Hong Kong and 40 in mainland China. To move at this pace, Emperor needed a scalable IT platform to get rid of inefficiencies that were slowing them down. Amy Lo, Emperor’s assistant finance controller, talks about one way the company has streamlined. “We have eliminated many tedious and repetitive tasks while at the same time [been] greatly improving accuracy and internal control”. With the right IT platform in place, Emperor has halved the time it takes to retrieve documents. And it can find data two times faster. It’s this kind of efficiently that lets Emperor open new stores in less time with fewer resources.
Keep your eyes on the silverware
It may take less people to open a store, but its staff are as valuable as a diamond-studded watch. Bryan Wong, Emperor’s managing director, says “We concentrated on meeting both the strategic objectives of our company and the business needs of our employees”. That included training tailored to staff needs. Just because something is bespoke, doesn’t mean consumers will hang around. As Gordon Sin, Emperor’s jewellery business analysis manager, says, “Now it’s easier to design specific jewellery products for our customers, without delays in sourcing”. It’s not just hand-crafted pieces that Emperor saves time on though. As Sin says, “With better inventory control, we can create space at the jewellery counter for newer styles that are more profitable”. And with watches that range into the tens of thousands, shelf space is at a premium. Real-time stock control has helped Emperor boost sales margins by 120% at its Hong Kong stores alone.
Data on display
It’s not just inventory information that’s available in real time. With Emperor’s IT platform, sales data is automatically integrated with financial data. That lets business leaders make decisions based on minute-by-minute, precise data – on everything from procurement to discounts. This crystal-clear transparency helps Emperor cut the time it needs to find data by 50%. And opportunities keep growing.
See how SAP for Retail makes Emperor tick > http://bit.ly/1hNIMSi