Marc Jacobs International, a global fashion house with hundreds of doors across 80 countries, has partnered with Microsoft Corp. and Medius to ensure it can continue to deliver on the avant-garde and fine-arts-driven brand its customers have come to expect with each collection. Achieving this requires more than harnessing the talents of some of the most creative and forward-thinking designers in the industry; the company realized that to let creativity flow freely, it had to streamline and automate a key part of its supply chain.
In the fashion industry, inspiration strikes quickly, and innovation happens every few months in the form of the newest collection, making supply-chain management a complex task. The success of each collection depends on Marc Jacobs’ ability to quickly engage with these suppliers, receive the materials needed, and get products from the runway to the rack in as little time as possible. Further complicating the process, designers and creatives are working months in advance to anticipate trends for next season even before this season’s collection is available.
This model of engaging many suppliers for each collection creates a high volume of invoices. To solve this challenge, Marc Jacobs automated its accounts payable (AP) workflow by leveraging a hybrid cloud approach. The company uses MediusFlow, a Microsoft Azure-based AP invoice automation solution that integrates directly with Microsoft Dynamics 365, the company’s on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. By having better control over its AP processes, Marc Jacobs was able to immediately improve supplier relations by ensuring invoices were correctly routed and paid on time.
“At Marc Jacobs, we’re launching a completely new offering every four months — a model that’s rather unique to the fashion industry,” said Regis Litre, Marc Jacobs CIO. “By embracing this hybrid cloud model, we’re better enabling and empowering creativity to continue to push the envelope when it comes to our designs. Now, we’re able to tap into the most talented artisans around the world to bring our avant-garde creations from the runway to our vast network of stores and retailers as quickly as possible.”
Today, 92 percent of Marc Jacobs’ invoices are routed to the correct approver without human intervention, and time to pay invoices has been reduced from up to 90 days to just five days. Now, when invoices arrive in Marc Jacobs’ centralized AP inbox, they are automatically routed to the appropriate approver by MediusFlow, eliminating the age-old problem of invoices getting buried in inboxes when someone is on vacation or even simply when the volume is high. Because the solution is cloud-based, approvers can receive and approve the invoice from any device, anywhere – whether they’re in the office or out meeting with a new vendor. This not only significantly improves the company’s ability to innovate, it also provides better insight and more transparency into the company’s bottom line.
“Marc Jacobs’ success with MediusFlow, Azure and Dynamics is a great example of how we can combine the power of the Microsoft Cloud with the unique expertise of our partners to help solve our mutual customers’ most complex business challenges, transform their businesses and allow them to innovate as quickly as needed,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Fashion trends change on a dime, and thanks to the cloud, Marc Jacobs can now stay well ahead of those trends to continue to delight its customers.”