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Fashion store undergoes system revamp

Client quote

Bauhaus did not want to sacrifice store space for function. Adoption of an open systems architecture allowed easy migration of its mission-critical retail solution.

Bauhaus

Overview

The challenge

Bauhaus wanted to replace its ageing PC-based POS systems with reliable and high-performance POS systems built for the retail environment.

The solutions

The fashion retailer and creator, with the help of NetIdeas, installed IBM SurePOS 500 systems in its chain of retail outlets.

The benefits

The SurePOS 500 design offered more space for retail functions, improved reliability with rugged functionality, easier access to maintenance, productivity-enhancing features to employees, and higher performance speeds for real-time transactions without sacrificing the company's "cool" image.

It is of no coincidence that Bauhaus, Hong Kong’s leading fashion retailer and creator, has the same name as the famous art and design school in Germany. The company focus on fashion embodies the same avant-garde ideas and “function over form” philosophy that the German school espouses.

In that spirit, Bauhaus, headquartered in Hong Kong, has built a fashion business through designing, manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling of over 50 well-known brands all over the region, including Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and Japan. The company is also paving new inroads into Europe and the US with its own label.

The company’s appeal lies in its extensive range of products that stays true to current fashion trends, allowing customers to mix and match apparels, bags, wallets, belts, watches and other accessories to their hearts’ content. Among its extensive list of brands include famous European and Japanese labels like Levi’s, Miss Sixty, Project E, True Religion, Chip & Peppers, and many others. Its own brands, such as Tough Jeansmith and Salad, garner rave reviews locally and abroad.

Real-time needs

Staying true to the “function over form” philosophy, Bauhaus’ fashion dreams are fueled by information technology. It has built a strong relationship with Hong Kong-based NetIdeas Ltd to provide it with the IT tools required for its growing business operations.

At the heart of Bauhaus operations lies NetIdeas’ Net-Retail Management Systems (Net-RMS). Built on Java 2 Enterprise Edition standard, Net-RMS is a distributed and internet-based retail solution aimed at boosting productivity and keeping retail costs down. The entire solution also runs in real-time, allowing Bauhaus to immediately keep track of purchases and changes in consumer tastes, and make educated decisions.
Performance is a key issue for Bauhaus. It needs sufficient power to send the transaction information from the stores located around the region to their main office situated in Hong Kong in real-time. Although its current fleet of PC-based Point-0f-Sale (POS) systems at its 43 retail stores met their previous needs, it was becoming clear that the company needed a far more reliable retail system that provided its ample room to grow and expand with.

At the same time, Bauhaus did not want to sacrifice store space for function. It wanted a system that was not unwieldy and did not occupy valuable store space that can otherwise be used for displaying their products.
So when Bauhaus and NetIdeas came across IBM’s SurePOS 500, it immediately caught their eyes.
Clothed in awarding-winning designer chassis, the SurePOS 500 was a refreshing change to the PC form factor previously used by the company.

“SurePOS 500 was not only cool to look at, but was designed with convenience in mind,” said Garlic Chan, Senior Area Manager, Bauhaus. Its built-in card-reader and compact form factor especially impressed him.
The SurePOS 500 is not only compact, but includes a conveniently-placed card reader for easy transactions. It is also built to withstand the constant wear and tear of a retail environment by incorporating rugged materials and intuitive designs, including a high-performance 17-inch touchscreen.

NetIdeas was equally impressed with the overall performance of the system, housed within SurePOS 500’s diminutive chassis. Each unit comes with processing power of up to 2.0 GHz, has an open systems architecture and easy access to its inner parts.

All-in-one retail benefits

The all-in-one design allowed NetIdeas to install the SurePOS 500 systems more rapidly, in the initial five retails stores, than it would have with PC-based POS ones.

SurePOS 500’s robust design provided added assurance that Bauhaus can expand its retail operations without any IT reliability issues. Its decision to deploy the IBM offerings was further augmented by its own employees’ laudable comments on their ease of use.

The fast processing speeds met Bauhaus’ real-time transactions needs. At the same time, the systems’ adoption of an open systems architecture allowed easy migration of its mission-critical retail solution, Net-RMS, and the easy access to the systems’ inner parts improved maintenance times.

The position of the card reader allowed retail store employees to easily perform transactions, improving customer service and shorter queuing times. The touch-screen technology also permitted employees to transact directly on the LCD screen, minimising costly typing errors.

The compact form factor also surpassed Mr Chan’s initial expectations. It saved space and also improved the tidiness of the cashier counter.

Conclusion

Overall, Mr Chan remains impressed by SurePOS 500 benefits.

“The compact, robust, all-in-one design of the SurePOS 500 system makes it very suitable for retail environments. At the same time, easy access for maintenance prolongs its lifespan. In the long run, all these factors will count in our business success,” said Mr Chan.

Buoyed by the benefits, Bauhaus is looking to install more SurePOS 500 systems as they open new stores and replace outdated POS machines.

“The SurePOS 500 has met all our criteria. It has the design, the performance and reliability that we needed to grow with,” said Mr Chan.