o9 Solutions to support M&S with digital transformation, systems upgrade

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Dallas, USA – Bangalore, India: Integrated planning and decision-making software platform o9 Solutions will support M&S with the digital transformation of its Clothing & Home planning systems. Through this digital transformation programme and systems upgrade, o9 Solutions will help M&S to reshape sustainable growth and value creation.

o9 Solutions to support M&S with digital transformation

In the first phase, o9 Solutions’ AI-based platform Digital Brain will replace and modernise Mark and Spencer (M&S)’s existing systems across merchandise planning, sales stock and intake, and range planning. It will combine them into a singular integrated platform. During the second phase, the retailer’s current forecasting and replenishment systems will be replaced and integrated into the platform.

The roll-out of the platform over the next three years will enable M&S’ Clothing & Home business to become more agile, integrated and better able to respond to customer needs and emerging trends.

M&S selected o9’s Digital Brain platform due to its ability to integrate all key retail planning capabilities across departments onto a single, flexible, and extensible data model backed by o9’s proprietary technology, the Enterprise Knowledge Graph.

Retail business functions

The new platform will manage a wide range of retail business functions. From merchandise financial planning and assortment planning down to downstream planning processes like forecasting, allocation, replenishment, promotion and markdown optimisation. This includes supplier collaboration (capacity and material planning and purchase orders).

“As we reshape for growth, we are investing to modernise and upgrade our systems so we can create greater visibility and collaboration between teams and suppliers, improve planning & availability and enable us to be more tailored and localised with our ranging,” said Richard Price, MD of Clothing & Home, M&S.

“By having an end-to-end planning platform, we will be able to better use data and AI to inform decision-making and future planning so we can continue to be more relevant, more often to our customers,” added Price.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with M&S on such a transformational project for the company. We have a unique opportunity to help an iconic brand jump into the future with our next-generation platform as it reshapes for growth,” said Chakri Gottemukkala, Co-Founder and CEO of o9 Solutions.

M&S serves 30 million customers yearly and has a heritage of quality, style, innovation, and value for money. And it was recently voted the UK’s most trusted brand.

In FY 2022/23, its Clothing & Home division grew sales by 11.5%, with like-for-like sales up 11.2%. Last week the retailer updated the market on its Christmas trading with Clothing & Home sales increasing by 4.8%.